$5 lunches: 3 choices for 3 days at El Pulgarcito

Back from a few days off, during which I started a survey of $5 lunches in town.

Several restaurant are advertising a $5 special, which sounds good for the ol’ wallet but how much food do you get?

I started with one of my new favorite restaurant, El Pulgarcito de America. Mondays-Wednesdays, El Pul offers 3 lunch plates – enchiladas, tamales and taquitos. I started with enchiladas, ordering two with chicken. Comes with rice and beans. I left full and, of course, it was good. Met a friend for lunch on another day and went the tamale route. Got 3 of those, plus rice and beans. Again, got filled up. Not stuffed, like we tend to want to get. But satisfied, like we should be.

Great time to go to El Pul is 11:30-noon before crowd gets there.

Still need to try KFC, Popeye’s, Fasoli’s, DQ and Taco Bell.


$1.99 salad at United can work for two meals.

A quick hint for eating cheap … and healthy.

Stopped by United the other night and, not very hungry and it being close to 9 p.m., looked for a salad.

Found a simple iceberg lettuce salad with a few extras like a small carrot, a couple of grape-sized tomatoes and a cucumber for $1.99. Probably had more cheese on it than necessary but it was a pretty good portion of salad for the price. I had half that night and half another night with a meal.

A little salad is not bad for you. $1.99 certainly isn’t.

Free coffee (sort of)

Went by McDonald’s today and saw a sign advertising free coffee, Sept. 16-29. Sorry, I don’t drink coffee, so missed it earlier.

Here’s the catch though. It is free and you don’t have to purchase anything else. But it’s only during breakfast hours. It’s a small coffee, probably good but not scalding hot, if case you spill it.

So, drink up, coffee lovers. Free coffee is cheaper than paying bucks for Starbucks.

Ice cream special Monday; Gatti’s 45th party Thursday

Monday is National Ice Cream … how great is that!

At Sonic, you can get half-price vanilla cones all day. As if we needed a push to celebrate … Still, saving some coin works.

Also coming up is the 45th birthday of Mr. Gatti’s. Yes, the old boy is getting on up there in years. But still tough to beat in air hockey and the whack-the-alligator game!

On Thursday, Sept. 25, guests at Gatti’s will get:

* Double tokens

* A chance to take home giveaways

* Participate in games and contests

* Meet costume characters and have faces painted. And more.

That’s all day at Gatti’s.

Thoughts about fair food, pizza boxes and Subway

A few random thoughts …

* Hard to eat cheap at the West Texas Fair & Rodeo. After all, vendors must cover operation expenses and food costs, and they have a short window to make money. Line was long Wednesday at Elmwood West Methodist booth, where they sell a good hamburger for $4. It’s $3.75 at Fountaingate. So, not bad on the wallet. I had the fajita dinner at Little Mexico and besides being very good, it was plentiful at $8.50, which is about what you’d pay at a restaurant.

* Janet Van Vleet at the office showed me images of a new pizza box that is waaaay better than what we use now. When you have leftover pizza, you have to fit the big square box in the fridge or maybe stack pieces in a baggie or plastic container. Not good. New boxes can be folded to fit what pizza is left. And the box can be used as an individual plate. Ain’t American ingenuity great!

* While I enjoy my Subway sandwiches, I am getting frustrated with our restaurants here in Abilene. Apparently, we now have three franchises and the prices and availability of sandwiches and specials vary. At one store last week, I ordered the Italian BMT and when I was asked about dressing, I replied, “Italian.”

Sorry, sir, we don’t carry Italian any more. Mama mia! You are joking!  Italian sandwich without Italian dressing! I was at a loss of what to put on it.

Considering that Subway prices keep going up – the monthly special no longer is $5, for one thing – I am less likely to grab a Subway these days.

Free kids meals this weekend at Bueno

Happy  Labor Day from T-Bueno.

With any purchase Friday through Monday, you can get a free kids meal. Kids meals come with either a party taco, party burrito, mini cheese quesadilla or taco rollup; applesauce, chips or cinnamon chips; and a drink. Oh, and a treat. Think it’s temporary tattoos.

Ask for “free kids meal” when ordering. Buenoheads can show email they got.


Eating cheap today at Sonic, Bueno

Thursday has been throwback day at Taco Bueno, where you can get a 49-cent party taco all day.

Also today, Sonic is offering corn dogs for 50 cents. I am not sure of the occasion – they did the back-to-school cheeseburger thing already. While school started this week in Abilene and the Big Country, it’s still summer vacation in many parts of the country.

Regardless, it’s a cheap eat. Let’s celebrate.

Word up on the new restaurant on South 7th – El Pulgarcito de Americas. Great food and good prices. Pretty crowded during the lunch run, 11-1. Will try the $2 breakfast burritos this weekend.

Bueno’s breakfast burritos are 49 cents Monday AMs

Been pretty quiet at the corner of Cheap Street and Frugal Avenue recently but here are a couple of things:

* Went by Bueno this morning to try the new 49-cent breakfast burritos. Yes, 49 cents. Might have to eat two, maybe three, but hey – that’s still under $2. Bueno just launched Monday Fundays, when you can get a potato, egg and cheese burrito for 49 cents until 10:30 a.m. They are not huge but pretty tasty. The tortilla is lightly grilled to give it a slightly crunchy taste. I love breakfast burritos, and I’m not giving up La Popular and Alfredo’s. But for 50 cents minus a penny to start the week, this ain’t a bad deal. No lines, either.

* It’s National Back to School Day on Thursday at Sonic, where you can get half-price cheeseburgers all day. And if you time your visit from 2-5 p.m., you get the happy hour drink special; after 8 p.m., you get half-priced shakes. The Summer of Shakes won’t last too much longer, so if you haven’t tried ‘em all, time’s running out.

Remember, life’s too short not to eat cheap.

Subway cuts price on veggie salad

Most of what goes through here is fast food and probably not the best stuff we should be eating. It’s good, though, right?

So here is this: Subway has reduced the price on its Veggie Delite Salad. It’s $3.50 now and someone at office said it’s quite filling at lunch. Salads are good for us if we don’t smother them in dressing, and some days – especially when it is hot  – a salad is just the thing.

I plan to pick up one and try it out. But at $3.50, sounds like a winner already.