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Dining Out for Under $10 in Chicago

admin Mar 08

Do you find yourself feeling bad about spending money on a restaurant meal? Perhaps that dinner you just had was less than satisfying? Should you settle for fast food when you eat out to save money?

Not really. We all know that no matter how hard we try to be thrifty on food cost, our bodies still crave for real and good food. Even in these times of recession, you can find high quality restaurants that offer fresh, nutritious and delicious meals for less than $10 per person. Best of all, these are all-you-can-eat deals that you can hardly beat by purchasing the ingredients yourself.

The following are three examples from the city of Chicago:

1. Blackies Restaurant

This restaurant at the loop location of West Monroe and Canal Street is a hopping place every weekday at lunch time. In spite of its sophisticated ambience, the $7.29 jumbo hot dog served in split form with melted cheese ranks among the most popular items. The thick, grilled chicken breast sandwich is mouth-wateringly delicious for the low price of $7.

If you wish to indulge yourself, order a small basket of tender crisp fries which is enough to serve two people. Even with this side dish, your meal cost will be within $10.

2. Jolly Inn Restaurant

Having tried many ethnically unique all-you-can-eat buffets in this culture-rich city, I still rank this Polish Buffet as my favorite place. Located at the 6500th block of West Irving Road, Jolly Inn consistently offers a wonderful buffet experience for $9.95 per person.

The owners and workers of Jolly Inn keep this place spic and span. With a well-decorated interior of comfortable booths and tables, the U-shaped food bars are of easy access to every diner. I like the center meat counter which features perfectly prepared roast pork with ribs, ham, and roast beef. That’s all you can eat for all varieties of meat.

If this is not enough, just walk down the hot food bar. Broasted and baked chicken breast, chicken liver, pork chops, and turkey legs fill various long trays next to stuffed cabbage, blintzes, potato pancakes, pierogies and dumplings. Asparagus, green beans, or cauliflower is available for those who enjoy hot vegetable dishes.

In addition, you will find cold salted salmon and herring among the salad selections of red beets, mixed greens, horse reddish sauce. There are at least four or five selections of fresh fruit in any season. I have indulged in fresh figs and pineapples when they are in season.

The Jolly Inn place serves the best home-made sauerkraut in this town. Mixed with pieces of polish sausage, the warm sauerkraut has a sweet and fresh taste. I am sure it helps me fend off colds and flu in the winter.

3. Jason’s Deli

Even though it bears a traditional name, when you walk into this place, do not expect to see logs of salami or chunks of cheese for sale under the counter. Instead, you will find a Panera Bread Cafe-like pleasant atmosphere with bright banners showcasing items on their menu.

The price of a broad selection of sandwiches, salads, pasta, and soups ranges from $0.99 to $7.99 per item. Organic coffee and organic milk are part of the choices. The new Kid’s Menu offer a child’s meal for under $4 which includes side and drink.

This deli restaurant serves more good food in healthy, contemporary style than what its name conveys. Everything served in this place is free of artificial trans fats and MSG.

To top all these, the unbeatable value is the $6.99 Famous Salad Bar with all you can eat fresh salad greens, mixed beans, artichoke, olives, pasta and potato salads, alfalfa sprouts, roasted red pepper hummus, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, raisins, mini-muffins and more delightful options. This protein-rich salad bar is more than enough to fill one’s appetite. You can add a cup of soup for $0.99 or a side of chicken breast for $1.49.

Customers of many age groups favor this place for its good food, comfortable ambience, and free, easy parking. In Chicago, Jason’s Deli is at the convenient location of South Loop on Canal Street. But Jason’s Deli can also be found in many cities across the country.

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