I (Heart Shape) Pho Misses Its Chance to Make Bad Puns. Vermicelli's Good Though.

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Vermicelli bowl at I (Heart Shape) Pho
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

I (Heart Shape) Pho is in the same shopping center as the Used To Be Kinko's at Forest Lane and Central Expressway (7927 Forest Lane). If you'd like to look this restaurant up on The Yelp, its name appears to be "I Luv Pho" and "I Love Pho." (I would be annoyed by the fact that this place has a not-letter in its name, but I'm already too pissed that in naming their restaurant, they completely skipped the opportunity to make a "pho" can sound like "fuck" joke. Everyone knows the first rule of opening a phostaurant: If you're gonna use the word "pho" in your restaurant name, it's your job to make a fuck joke. Name it Pho Me Running. Or, Who Gives a Pho? Or, Zero Phos Given. Or, Pho the Police. Or, Pho You, Pho You, Pho You, You're Cool, Pho You, I'm Out! Or, Let's Get Pho Ktup. Or,,There's A Hole In This Bucket, Well Pho It. Or, You Pho My Wife? You Pho My Wife? Or, Yippee-Kay-Yay, Mother Pho. Or, Down to Pho (DTP). Whatever you do, make the fuck joke. You've got one job.)

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The Cheap Bastard Visits, Is Pretty Confused by Harvey B's, East Dallas' Burger Shack

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Alice Laussade
Burgers within.
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

"I'm sorry -- you can't drink that in here, sir." Register Girl runs from behind the counter to stop Already Chugging the Craft Beer She Just Sold Him Dude from chugging his craft beer right next to the craft beer cooler, which is apparently for take-out purposes only. A little annoyed to be stopped mid-chug, Chug Dude wipes his face with his sleeve and replies, "For real?"

"Yes, for real," Register Girl says in her good-employee voice.

Chug Dude looks around, "You got a cup? I'll drink it outside on that curb while I wait for my dang burgers."

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How to Be a Cheap Bastard at TJ's Seafood Market

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. It's getting crowded down here.

Fish eyes staring me down: 4

"Fish taco can also mean vagina" jokes that ran through my head during lunch: 456

Fur Coat On A 70-Degree Day Lady arrives a little late to meet her friend, Strait-Lane Old-Money Awesome Huge Old-Lady Hair Lady, and side-hugs her. They talk shit about their grandkids: "Jernathon is 2 now, and Sally refuses to spank him. I swear, this generation is a bunch of pussies." They order one salmon burger and split it.

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If You Haven't Had Monkey King's Soup Dumplings, Your Life Is Dumb and Pointless

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Catherine Downes
Scientists believe humans are actually just molecules on a Monkey King tray.
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Dollars you pay for a parking meter right out front on a weekday in Deep Ellum: 0

People freaking out as they realize the patio is closed, and they suddenly "Can't even." count: 4

There was a time before this moment when you thought you were happy. You have a relatively clean sedan, your cubicle d├ęcor receives nods of approval from all of your coworkers and people regularly tell you, "You clean up nice." You thought things were great.

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When Life Kicks You in the Huevos, Let North Dallas' Casa Navarro Give You Food Hug

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Dusty Christmas decorations count: 27
Warm, cuddly, Tex-Mex fuzzies count: 400

Some days, you need a food hug. And not just a side-hug food hug. You need that full-front-hug food hug. The kind that lasts a little longer than you're comfortable with, but you relax into it and find yourself in a good, for-real hug-moment. The moment a regular hello-hug turns into something warmer and more meaningful and band-aids all the cuts and scrapes on your soul. And then -- obviously -- you start to make out real hard. Like, angry-happy, Jimmy-Stewart, It's-A-Wonderful-Life hard.

Lucky for your comfort-food-needing ass, Dallas has you more than covered in the cheap comfort food department. We have you so covered, in fact, that there are categories of cheap comfort food. Do you want burger comfort? Chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes comfort? Tom kha comfort? Or, do you just need a big-ass enchilada plate worth of feel-good?

If it's enchiladas you seek, it's essential that you hit up Casa Navarro.


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Grub Burger Bar's PB&J: Finally, There's a Reason to Have Kids

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
The mother of all peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- or MOAPBJS for short.
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Scarf-wearing dudes at the bar: 4
Times I said, "Damn!" whilst eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: 3

From the outside, Grub Burger Bar on Greenville Avenue looks like a fancy private barclub thing for the office building it's connected to. I imagine secret passwords for entry like, "Someone stole my stapler," or "I forgot to save it to the server and I lost everything." In reality, it's Hopdoddy without the stupid-ass line.

Even though the word "bar" is in the name, the place is super kid-friendly. They have regular highchairs, plus clip-on high chairs for the highboy tables so you don't have to stack three highchairs on top of each other.


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Spending Less Than $10 at Ten50 BBQ Is Easy, Because No One Needs Sides

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Kellie Reynolds

Good barbecue is always a little pricey, but there are ways to make it work for $10. The main rule of eating good barbecue on a budget is order only meats. Meats with a side of more meats. On this day, you're eating caveman style. You're the Meat Hulk, with full-on-ripped-pants-anger if you don't get a pound of brisket, stat. You're Meat Terminator. "I want your meat clothes, your meat boots and your meat motorcycle." This is a grunty, fork-optional lunch.

See also: Ten50 BBQ, Whose Owner Says He's "Matched" Franklin, Sold Out on its First Day


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The Original Daiquiris To Go, Land of the "Break a Bitch" and "Suck Me Dry," Is Not Playin'

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Yes, that says "blow jobs."
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Other cars in the drive-thru: 0

Level of seriousness of the person serving me frozen booze in a sealed, plastic bag: HIGHEST

The Original Daiquiris To Go (543 S Riverfront) claims to be "DALLAS TX 1ST FROZEN DRINK SPOT. THINK I'M PLAYIN.'" I could not confirm or deny whether or not they were playin' at this time.

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And the Winners of Meat Fight 2014 Are ...

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Robert Strickland
The Meat Fight judges included Aaron Franklin, Jack Perkins, Daniel Vaughn and Jusitn Fourton.
Imagine this: Saturday night, while you and your fuzzy-ass slippers shiffled to the thermostat to crank your heater to 11, four teams of fancy chefs were huddled around smokers in a muddy West Dallas parking lot, drinking beer and cooking meat overnight in freezing temperatures, all in the name of charity. All in the name of Meat Fight.

This was the fifth year of the Fight, a charity barbecue competition founded by our longtime and award-hoarding Cheap Bastard columnist, Alice Laussade, and her husband, Mike. (The Observer is a sponsor.) It was the largest yet, held in a drafty warehouse across the street from Trinity Groves.

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Dinnertime at El Fenix Is Tex-Mex Heaven

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Alice Laussade
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

Grandpa and grandma double-date count: 4
Praline count: 7

One could go to El Fenix at lunch. But it's much more fun to go for Old Lady Dinnertime (OLD). It's in the 4:50-5:15 p.m. range and is the sweet spot of the El Fenix scene.


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