Besides shopping and sleeping, one of my most favorite things to do is eating. Nothing makes me happier than slapping a big bunch food down my gullet, thus expanding my ever-expanding big-ass booty.
So in honor of all things gustatory, I present to you today things you can eat and places where you can eat them that cost under $20. Shoot, some cost under a BUCK.
1. None of my ramblings about food are EVER complete without mention of the greatest food product of ALL TIME: The Totino Party Pizza. I prefer cheese, Ma prefers Mexican, and Larue’s kids seem to like the combo with pepperoni and sausage. This is a love-it-or-hate-it food, but know this – you can buy them for only 99 cents at Target and only 97 cents at Wal-Mart. Cheap eats, indeed.
2. Stuff from the Minneapolis Farmers Market. I prefer the Minneapolis market to the one in St. Paul because I know a ton of the vendors. For example, Tollefson’s pork (try their Breakfast Sausage), Eichten’s cheese and buffalo meat (I get ground bison for chili), Mrs. Kelly’s Tea (everything they have is amazing) – and all the stuff they sell is well under $20. I also like Fireside's apples - they sell Honeycrisp apples for $11 a bag or "seconds" for $6 a bag. And did you know? Honeycrisp apples were invented at our VERY OWN University of MN. So swing by some Saturday morn (the biggest number of vendors are there on Saturday) and pick up home-grown apples, homemade breads, etc. There are also free samples…
3. Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake Pizza. You can get a family-sized pizza that feeds close to one million people for under $20. Try doing THAT at one of those other, we-bake-it-for-you-but-it’s-cold-by-the-time-you-get-it-home delivery places. Plus, Papa’s deLite thin-crust pizza is to deDie for. Why cook for a girls’ night in when you can just pick up a couple of pizzas and bake them at your leisure?
4. Byerly’s Deli Department at the Roseville location. They have more stuff than I can eat in my lifetime. Okay, that was a bald-face lie, but still. They have fun salads, cheese, deli meat, an olive bar, a fresh salad bar, fresh sushi, hot stuff, cold stuff, DESSERT!! You can make a whole meal and never have to cook a thing – which is my kind of cooking. I am particularly fond of their Lebanon Bologna. We used to get it in my home town of Syracuse, but Byerly’s is the only place in the entire Midwest where I’ve ever found it. If you’ve never tried Lebanon Bologna, pick some up TODAY. And oh yes, there are free samples at Byerly’s, too.
5. Super Target’s Oreo Cookie Sundae-to-Go. There’s no actual ice cream in this sundae, just the stuff you WANT to eat – Oreos, whipped cream, hot fudge sauce and a brownie. It’s like they were thinking of ME when they created it. Cost? $1.99, plus tax.
6. Great Harvest Bread in Linden Hills. You can carbo-load for a thousand marathons and still not spend over $20. Try their mini Apple Crumble bread and butter shortbread. AND they give away samples the size of full servings. Seriously, their samples are so huge, I almost feel guilty telling you about them.
7. Nala Pak in Columbia Heights. Do you like spicy foods? Are you a vegetarian? Who cares! You should just check out this fabulous South Indian restaurant and eat until you get sick, like I do. Everything they make is vegetarian and yummy – you won’t even miss the meat. Plus, you can lie to yourself that since it’s all vegetables, you can eat as much as you want. Nutrition! I wholly recommend their lunch buffet . You can try a bunch of different items and find out what your favorites are. It’s only $11.57, which includes tax and a $2 tip.
8. Casper and Runyon’s Nook on Hamline in St. Paul (right around the corner from The Copper Dome!). They have PBR on TAP. That’s right, on TAP. So you can get a PITCHER. This reminds me of Dad, which just makes me happy. Plus, they have kick-ass burgers, including their version of the infamous Jucy Lucy (yes, that’s how you spell it). I totally heart the Molitor, but you can pick your own fave for less than $10 a burger.
9. Panino’s in North Oaks. If you’ve never had a Panino’s wrap-slash-burrito-slash-sandwich, you are SO deprived that I pity you endlessly. These sandwiches (all under $10) are the best thing going. They have approximately one billion filling combinations, and they also serve salads, pastas, and cracker crust pizzas. Just in case a wrap-slash-burrito-slash sandwich isn’t your thang.
10. I don’t want to tell you about this last place for two reasons. One: they aren’t open in the fall and winter, and two: it’s already busy there without YOU PEOPLE filling it up. But here goes nuthin; Sea Salt by Minnehaha Falls. If you want, nay NEED fresh and yummy seafood for cheap, you must go to Sea Salt. When it’s open for business in the spring and summer, of course, or else you’ll just get cranky. I adore their fish tacos, but far be it from me to tell you what to order. My only advice (besides checking to see if they’re open) is that you go at an off time, like 3 pm to 5 pm. Regular lunch and dinner times are just SWAMPED. Which, once again, will make you cranky.
There you have it – a blog entry for you to feast upon. Just don’t come crying to me if your pants split after reading it.