Food + Drink » Food

Finding value on the menu

In last year’s inaugural Cheap Eats issue, we sent our reporters out in search of the ultimate inexpensive restaurant meals—spending not much money to get some food. We’ve found a new set of low-cost dishes again this year.

by and

Brooklyn Warehouse
2795 Windsor street, 446-8181

If you're hoping to impress a dinner date without breaking the bank, hit Brooklyn Warehouse for BYOB night on Wednesdays. Most joints that allow you to bring your own bottle of wine charge a corkage fee ranging from $5 to $25, but Brooklyn Warehouse will cork your bottle for just $1. Main dishes range from $16-$28, but the Brooklyn Burger ($16), consisting of seven ounces of organic local beef, a generous pile of Oulton's smoked bacon, red pepper mayo and a heaping of potato wedges, is worth splurging on. —LH

5680 Spring Garden Road, 428-5680

Maybe it's the tinted black windows and the sans serif font, but ONYX doesn't look budget- friendly at first glance. But appearances can be deceptive. If you head to ONYX on a Wednesday, you can bring your own bottle of wine and enjoy it with no corkage fee. Plus, everything on the appetizer menu is half-price. While you're munching on some butter chicken ($6 on Wednesdays) or sashimi tuna ($7 on Wednesdays), you can also hear some local musicians playing without paying cover. If you'd like to try some of ONYX's fancy drinks, but can't justify spending in the double digits on liquor, go early in the week. On Mondays a $10 mojito costs $7, while on Tuesdays a $10 to $12 martini costs $6 to $7. —LH

The Lower Deck
1869 Upper Water Street, 425-1501

You may be familiar with the Lower Deck as a prime drinking destination, but the pub also serves meals for a good price. Full daily specials for $8.99 before tax, that's what the Lower Deck has to offer. "I think it's fantastic," says assistant manager Heather Brown. "You can't go wrong with these deals." In fact, with options ranging from pulled pork sandwiches to mini-quesadillas, not to mention the pan-fried haddock you can drool over on this issue's cover, the Lower Deck is making itself known as the perfect lunch destination. "We also have daily specials that change every day depending on what our chef feels like making," says Brown. "Either way, it's all $8.99." —MC

Chez Tess Creperie
5687 Charles Street, 406-3133

Hidden in the north end stands a small, eco-friendly restaurant that is bound to appeal to anyone. Chez Tess Creperie has been climbing in popularity and will most likely increase its fan-base with its new build-your-own-crepe. Owner Liz Cunningham says the customized crepes will cost a little less than $10. "You can pick two or three items: cheese, ham, chicken, ratatouille or eggs. You can really put anything in there." The joint also offers a delectable brunch. According to the menu, two dollars will be taken off each brunch entree when you add your first Caesar, Bloody Mary or mimosa. Nothing better than a little drink with your breakfast. —MC

Brussels Restaurant and Brasserie
1873 Granville Street, 446-4700

Brussels is the spot to head after a nine-to-five workday, if you're feeling peckish and could use a good drink. Between 4pm-6:30 pm on weekdays they serve some tapas items for under $10 and beers for under $5. Try pairing the Belgian poutine ($8) with a Stella Artois Legere ($5). The dish takes Halifax street poutine to the next level, swapping gravy for a demi-glaze flavored with Stella, trading the mozzarella for a heaping of gruyere, switching freezer fries for hand-cut fries and garnishing it all with mushrooms and shallots. If you come to Brussels on Mondays you can also get two-for-one mussels (double portion of mussels for $8-$10), with 12 unusual flavours to choose from. Try mussels cooked with beer and bacon or peppers and bratwurst sausage. —LH

Your Father's Moustache
5686 Spring Garden Road, 423-6766

Whether it's an outing with your bros, a night with your besties or a casual date, Your Father's Moustache is sure to please for most occasions. The pub, perched up on the second floor above Spring Garden Road, offers two six-ounce New York strip steak, all sides included, for a penny if you buy another one. While this deal is only available on Tuesdays after 5pm, the Moustache also sells 40-cent chicken wings on Thursday evenings.

"Thursday is definitely our busiest day," says bartender Patrick Horsman. "The wings are very popular." —MC

The Five Fishermen Grill
1740 Argyle Street, 442-4421

The full Five Fishermen restaurant may not be in your budget, but if you head downstairs to the Five Fishermen Grill during happy hour, you'll find great deals on fresh Maritime oysters. For $1.50 each, select baked or raw oysters seasoned with unexpected toppings---doused with Asian horse radish or wasabi aioli, for instance.

If you're freaked out by eating raw shellfish, try them baked. The baked Nova Scotia oyster comes splashed with Alexader Keith's beer, cream and sprinkled with That Dutchman's Old Growler gouda, onion and garlic. The All'amatriciana comes topped with zesty pancetta, Romano cheese and tomato sauce. Wash it down with a discounted drink, such as a glass of Tideview Cider ($5) or Jost's L'Acadie Muscat ($5). —LH

1685 Argyle Street, 407-7472

In the midst of winter, there's nothing like a good hearty meal to keep foodies warm. People wandering down Argyle Street will be pleased to hear that Pipa's appetizers, inspired from Brazilian and Portuguese cuisine, cost between $5 and $6 from 4pm to 6pm. Salt cod croquettes to mussels and mango salad, there is something there for everyone. If you happen to be taking a stroll on an early weekend morning, Pipa also serves a brunch between 11am and 4pm. "We serve our cheese bread with chorizo"---Portuguese sausage---"and a poached egg. It's delicious," says owner Victoria Gasper. —MC

Elephant and Castle
5171 George Street, 405-8875

If you'd like some greasy Brit-inspired food and a few drinks, head to the Elephant and Castle in the evenings. At happy hour (5pm-7pm) you can get appetizers to share for only $5. Try the haddock bites, a twist on fish and chips served with deep fried breaded haddock, kettle chips and tartar sauce. Happy hour drinks are $4 for domestic beer and house wine. Stellar Hour (6pm-7pm) finds that beer for sale at $5. If you're more of a night owl, head there between 9pm and midnight for $4 well shots, $4 house wine and $5 Keith's on tap. —LH

Certainly Cinnamon
1673 Barrington Street, 423-2466

Picture this: You're stuck in the wind tunnel that is Barrington Street, starving and in a hurry. You only have $6 floating in your pocket. Do not despair. Certainly Cinnamon is there to serve up a quick lunch for next to nothing. Enter the small cafe-like atmosphere and find yourself ordering a delicious deli meat wrap for $5.46. Easy.

Though Certainly Cinnamon may be primarily seen as the perfect destination for catering, its lunches are made right there for you to enjoy in record time. The cozy spot also sells three mini-muffins for a dollar and day-old cinnamon buns for 50 cents. Don't worry about running late, those treats are enough to make you become the popular one at the office. —MC

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