This year we discovered myriad places where one can dine while "temporarily out of cash." We picked up that cute euphemism for being broke from our little sister's professor at FIU, and we have adopted it as our own. Being a broke foodie can be difficult, especially when it seems like you have to donate a vital organ to get some good grub. That's why we have compiled our Top Five Cheap Eats of 2010.
This little Colombian hole in the wall delivers the goods without breaking the bank. Get yourself and your date a full dinner--bandeja paisa, pan de bono, empanada, and dulce de nata, for about $25. Rincon's bandeja paisa has some of the tastiest, most savory carne asada we have tried at any Columbian restaurant. And its empanadas are to die for.
For over fifty years, Morro Castle has been serving up fritas (Cuban hamburgers) and fresh churros, plus a dozen freshly made fruit juices and Cuban milkshakes--mamey, frutabomba, and so on. Great place to go when the weather is cold--sit outside and feed four for twenty bucks.
El Palacio de los Jugos
Gargantuan plates of food are served daily at El Palacio by the hundreds. Get the taste of homemade Latin food, sandwiches, and juices, and get them cheap. Two people can share one of the ginormous dishes for under ten bucks.
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La Suiza Bakery
Our favorite place to have breakfast or brunch, La Suiza maintains a steady stream of customers all day long. From the best croquetas to a thick and hearty ajiaco (a three-meat stew with tubers), you can probably try everything on the menu and still make your rent. A group of four can easily get their flavorful fill for about twenty bucks.
This family-owned, Puerto Rican restaurant in the middle of Wynwood, not only provides excellent service, but serves huge portions of delicious food made by grandma--literally, grandma helms the kitchen. You can get the immensely popular grilled chicken breast with rice, beans, and plantains for less than the price of a movie ticket. Plus, there are always a couple of daily specials, homemade desserts, and a friendly vibe to round out your experience.
If one of your resolutions for 2011 is to spend your money wisely, you can't go wrong with any of these choices. Happy New Year!