Cheap Eats: $1 to $5.00

You don't have to eat on the go to snag a great price.
Menage a Trois Breakfast
Latitude 41 n
5712 Detroit Ave., Cleveland
(216) 961-0000
Most cheap breakfasts involve a greasy paper bag. But at Latitude 41 n, $3.95 equals a cup of coffee, two eggs cooked to order, two slices of toast, two bacon strips, a sausage patty and home fries. The eggs — scrambled and dry per request — arrive flanked by a heap of hand-cut, homemade home fries that rival the best french fries you can recall. This simple, hearty dish (served Monday through Saturday 8 to 11 a.m.) doesn’t come served in a pool of fat like many inexpensive breakfasts. For a buck more you can choose two of 10 additional sides, including pan-seared oatmeal, French toast or one of two breakfast quesadillas: chorizo sausage and avocado or potatoes and eggs. Try to get that at the drive-thru.
Two-Piece Breast And Wing Dinner
Hot Sauce Williams
7815 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland
(216) 391-2230

We found plenty of ways to eat super-cheap at Hot Sauce Williams, Carnegie Avenue’s soul food kitchen: from the fish sandwiches ($5 for tilapia, $4.25 for cod) to a big side of mac and cheese ($4.59) to a Polish boy ($3.85). But the best bargain is the two-piece breast and wing dinner. Its presentation is as simple as the restaurant (which looks like a fast-food shack repainted in pastels): fried chicken served in Styrofoam with thick french fries and two slices of white bread. The starch is your clue: This ultrajuicy chicken, the antidote to fancier eateries’ countless dry sandwiches, is meant to be ripped from the bone and piled together with the sides in any greasy way you like, such as in a sandwich or dipped, like the fries, into the sweet, smoky namesake sauce (free with chicken, 20 cents with fries).
Spicy Chicken Chili
Souper Market
14809 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
(216) 712-7292
2528 Lorain Ave., Cleveland (no seating)
(216) 737-SOUP

You might doubt it’s chili. Where are the beans? The ground meat? But don’t let the full-fledged broth of the Souper Market’s spicy chicken chili deter you. With the first spoonful, there’s no mistaking this is the real deal — and that’s jalepeño pepper setting the back of your mouth aflame. Carrots and green pepper dominate, with the chicken shredded into strings, tomato sliced into flecks and a very occasional red bean husk. An inch-thick slice of Italian pugliese bread, just the right size for dunking, puts out the fire and helps fill your stomach. The 10- to 12-soup lineup changes weekly (check the Web site), but almost all options are less than $5 for a 12-ounce bowl and less than $4 for 8 ounces.
Hillbilly Hot Dog
Midway Oh Boy
6620 Lake Ave., Elyria
(440) 324-3711

You know how sometimes, when on a food bender, one indulgence leads to the next? That bowl of ice cream makes you crave something salty, and before you know it, you’ve polished off a bag of chips. That danger is nonexistent when you eat a Hillbilly Hot Dog from Midway Oh Boy in Elyria. The Hillbilly is an all-beef hot dog topped with homemade coleslaw and chili. The coleslaw’s a little sweet, the dog’s salty, the chili’s spicy, the bread holds it all together. There is nothing left to crave. You are satiated — and you very much enjoyed getting there. For those of you who would turn up your noses at a soak-through-the-paper-bag meal from Elyria, know this: Chef Michael Symon is the guy who told us about the place.
Share this story: