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cheap eats in the T-dot
I am a bit thin in the wallet these days, but what can I say, I still love to eat out. Thin on the wallet and round in the hips.(I am only ever thin when I have money in the bank. Why is that? Lara Flynn Boyle must be very rich indeed. SO maybe the adage of thin and rich is you can be too thin if you are too rich...)

Since I was an teen, I have sought out places where I could get served cheap, yummy eats. So adult. I loved to eat out alone. Apropos of a section on Orkut, I have started digging out my favorite places to dine for less. (rant: I am always amazed at how many people drool over the nauseaous concoctions at "New York Subway" on Queen, but to each there is her own taste.)

My picks in the T dot? So many, but my area of expertise is in my hood, Kensington Market/Chinatown area. So I will stick with that for now.

Any of the places up or down Spadina's Chinatown have a cheap rice plate (protein and veg on rice) or bowl of soup for under $5.
My favorites:
Swatow: The shrimp and eggplant on rice, the big bowl of vegetable noodle soup, or the bowl of beef and vegetable noodle soup (each of these will fill you for an entire day). Oh, and their shrimp dumplings rock. And no one makes noodles as well as they do. Note: you can ask to buy their noodles to cook at home. A huge bag of rice noodles or lo mein will set you back 3 bucks)
Miss Saigon: Vietnamese that Ariel introduced me to. Yummy pho, veggie specials (hard to find in Viet restos) and the scrumptious pricier wrap trays.
Gold Stone: Hong Kong BBQ joint with fresh, smiling piggies in the window. They make the best congee around (3.50) and with a salty donut and some chinese broccoli...the best cold or hangover remedy ever (not for those with texture issues).
Super cheap: the vietnamese bun shops on Spadina where you can get baguettes filled with mysterious, tasty contents (veg or non) for 1-2 bucks.
Bonus: Yung Sing bakery in Baldwin Village serves up fluffy buns filled with meat or veggies for, like, 87 cents. Two are a meal. THeir tofu bun is greasy goodness.

In Kensington Market:
Jamaican patties. Always a buck, consistent hit of grease and protien spicy goodness.
Empanadas; 2.50 each at segovia butchers on Augusta. Good for ovo-phobics (no egg in the many veg options). Some bear more resemblance to mini-calzones. Get served with macho finesse by the brothers.
Across the street, Jumbo empanadas are puffed up with thin, beautifully-rendered dough, but the one veggie option is on the tasteless side. At nearly $4 each, they are not such a bargain. Marlene and Irene, the mother-daughter duo who run it, however, are sweet as corn pie.
Pupusas. Perola's is my fave. Rock out to the rhythm of the two mujeres smacking dough at the back of this dusty latino dry goods store. Every Friday, Sat, Sun. Bean and cheese or meat and cheese: you pick. $1.75 each. Order 2 and you won't be able to eat till tomorrow.
Falafel: Akram makes a perfectly respectable falafel and other pita and phyllo treats in his nut shop. He is also a sweetheart.

I could go on about the cheap and awesome dolsut bibimbap in LIttle Korea or the addictive nachos at tacos el asador, or the portugese chicken on college street...but I am suddenly hungry for dinner. lates.

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