Thursday, May 15, 2008
So you could rock rice and beans regularly, dance with a dirty burrito on the daily or play the peanut-butter-and-jelly card constantly. But being recession-proof with class means enjoying a sit-down meal with more than two ingredients, that you didn’t have to make yourself (though we threw in the occasional taco and sandwich to keep it real). Here’s how to do it.
Some of the following specials are available one day a week only, while others are offered every day (* notes day-specific specials).
LUNCH SPECIAL ($6.50)
Here’s a way to get the work week workin’ well: soup, appetizers, vegetable fried rice and Spicy Fresh Basil Shrimp – just one of 32 lot-for-a-lil’ choices.
Eagle Restaurant | 26 W. Alisal St., Salinas, 751-2312 | meatball sandwiches and more (free)*
Here one of three free-food nights (Tuesday is tacos; Wednesday, beef brisket) features garlic bread plus two items from a menu of hot dogs, burgers, sausages and meatball sandos. Ping-pong and Wii bowling are on the house, too.
Doc Rickett’s Lab | 180 E. Franklin St., Monterey, 649-4241, www.docrickettslab.com
THE GODFATHER ($4)
Big slices of salami and ham with tomatoes, Swiss cheese, lettuce and an oil-and-vinegar dressing on a sizable roll? An offer you can’t refuse – as long as you’re there by 2pm. (Other robust options are just $4 flat as well, tax included.)
Randy’s Sandwich Shop | 1193 10th St., Suite D, Monterey, 375-9161
LOCALS SPECIAL ($9.95)
Four choices (calamari steak, broiled salmon, grilled chicken or fish and chips), one price. Entrées come with vegetables and either rice or potatoes; salads and soups are discounted too.
Abalonetti Seafood Trattoria | 57 Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey, 373-1851, www.abalonettimonterey.com
LUNCH BOX ($9.95)
You may not know how to say “downright delicious for dirt cheap” in Japanese, tomodachi, but you can taste it here. Lots of local sushi spots offer good values for lunch; the possibilities at Hangasa – like sashimi and fried oysters with miso soup and a wonderfully dressed salad – just happen to be the tastiest.
Hangasa | Eighth and Mission, Carmel | 625-4470
HALF PRICE NIGHT ($3 AND UP)*
This ridiculous deal means Duck with Wild Mushroom Risotto for less than $10, a half-pound bacon cheeseburger (with fries) for around $4 and a pizza that can be had for even less. Drinks are half off, too.
Mucky Duck | 479 Alvarado St., Monterey, 655-3031, www.muckyduckmonterey.com
LUNCH BUFFET ($5.95-$6.95)
This newcomer comes on strong with a lineup of frequently refreshed items like pot stickers, a number of unusual vegetable offerings, spicy shrimp, beef and asparagus. The owners often won’t let diners leave without trying their tasty, decidedly different Chinese cake.
China Chili | 1868 Fremont Blvd., Seaside, 899-5888
NOODLE BOWL ($5.50)
The Barbecue Garlic Prawns and Pork noodle bowl is all anyone really needs to know to fall in love with this shoebox hotspot, but the rest of the menu enjoys the same tax-included sticker price.
Noodle Bar | 1944 Fremont Blvd., Seaside, 392-0210
CHICKEN KABOB LUNCH PLATTER ($8.99)
Nine bones equals four carefully crafted components: a quality salad, supremely tender kabobs, lentils and rice.
Amir’s Kabob House | 794 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey, 642-0231
HERB CRUSTED SALMON ($10.95)*
This daily special, one of six different $10.95 offers over the course of the week (no deals on Saturday), features a farm-raised Canadian filet in a lemon beurre blanc with rice pilaf. Um, yum.
Tarpy’s | 2999 Monterey-Salinas Highway at Canyon Del Rey Avenue, Monterey, 647-1444, www.tarpys.com
PHO BOWL ($5.95)
This deal could lead to an addiction – the noodle soups here, splashed with tofu, pork, chicken and a compilation of crisp vegetables, are tasty and often too much to eat in one sitting.
Pho King | 1153 Fremont Blvd., Seaside, 899-1424
TACOS AL PASTOR ($1 EACH)
Mad flavor, one dollar, two words: taco truck. The best, according to Weekly reconnaissance: East Side Salinas’ La Perla. (Peninsula peeps without the four-wheel options can take heart – Seaside’s Mi Tierra at Broadway and Fremont has delicious tacos for $1.35.)
La Perla | Often seen on East Market Street, Salinas
CHAMPAGNE LUNCH BUFFET ($12.95)*
OK: This is the day to splurge a little – but getting so much of the best Indian food in the area for so little stretches the dipping U.S. dollar too far to be considered indulgent. The butter chicken, meanwhile, is another story.
Ambrosia India Bistro | 565 Abrego St., Monterey, 641-0610, www.ambrosia.com
LOCALS ON-THE-STOOL SPECIAL ($16.95)
This under-the-radar, at-the-bar-only offer includes three choices – salmon, steak or a Kobe burger – complemented by their lauded iceberg lettuce wedge and fries.
Whaling Station | 763 Wave St., Monterey, 373-3778