Thursday, October 5, 2006

NYC on the Cheap: Where to Eat

Eating out in NYC is anything but cheap. With the $15.90 my last trip to Pathmark totalled, I made a pork chop dinner for 5, picked up a pint of chocolate Haagen Dazs, and still had leftovers for the next day's lunch. With that same $15.90, I can't even get a large Margherita from my local Italian restaurant - I'd have to settle for the small pie. And that's only take-out. My s.o. and I probably can't eat a filling meal out together with $15.90 unless we have Nathan's, Wendy's, or ghetto Chinese food. No, eating out in NYC is not cheap.

As I've already confessed on this blog, I am a big fan of dining out. (Not to be confused with the Nobu or Tavern on the Green class of dining out, which is a completely different level of dining out about which I can only fantasize.) Anyhow, I'm an especially big fan of dessert, and it just blew my mind last night when I read a NY Magazine "Cheap Guide" article on how daters in NY are saving money by going on "dessert dates." Dessert date: Great idea! I'm just not crazy about where they recommend you go about it...

NYmag recommends 5 dessert spots that are trendy, date-worthy, and thrifty too. One of these so-called thrifty places has a $30 per couple menu. $15/person is reasonable, you're saying to yourself, so what is she whining about? Well, for only $30 more, the restaurant will pair your $30 dessert with the proper dessert wines. Total: $60 per couple. (How...thrifty?)

Another recommended spot offers a dessert tasting menu for $25/person. Need I remind you that it takes two to go on a date? Total: $50 per couple, sans drinks.

Ladies & Gents, if the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then please do not pass me the pudding. Because, if it's in NYC, then it's probably too chichi and too expensive for both my taste and my wallet. I'd rather pick up a sweet $18 Windmill from Veneiro's any day - at least I can take home and share it with 7 lucky people. (And it'd be truly frugal if I learnt how to make a chocolate cake from scratch. Fortunately, all things cooking are currently filed under my 5-year plan, and my brother has a monopoly on all baking duties. =)

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