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 décor 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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You, Too, Can Eat Like a Cheap Bastard at Stephen Pyles' Fancy-Ass San Salvaje

Categories: Cheap Bastard

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Catherine Downes
It's "sal-VAH-hay"? Really?
Follow the Cheap Bastard as she scours the city, looking for a good -- or at least non-lethal -- lunch for less than 10 bucks.

People saying "Ooooooh" at their food: 14
Times I wondered why there was a full-length mirror next to the shitter in the ladies' restroom, angled so that one could watch oneself depant and repant: 457

I have loved every Stephan Pyles thing I have ever eaten. Even though his restaurants are usually a little fancy for my monetary goals, there's always an offering or two within my cheap range at lunch. So I walked into San Salvaje (emphasis on the "vag") with high hopes. When I sat down at my table, the menu was already mad at me.


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The Meat Fight Meat Scavenger Hunt Starts ... Now

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Catherine Downes for Meat Fight
Go do something meaty and photograph it. It'll be fun.
Last year, tickets to Meat Fight (my barbecue competition that benefits the National MS Society) sold out in a flash.

So, this year, we decided to have a meat scavenger hunt so that one lucky bastard could have easy access to our meat tickets before any other bastard. This is good for us for two reasons: 1) If anyone participates, it means that an actual meat fight occurred in the streets of Dallas because we demanded it, and 2) (see 1).

It's good for you because the winner receives the opportunity to purchase Meat Fight tickets without having to endure the possible scramble that could happen on October 1 when tickets go on sale to the general public. Also, you now have an excuse to fight a pig or cow in public. You're welcome.

Behold: the rules of the 2014 Meat Scramble.

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The Cheap Bastard's Guide to the 2014 State Fair of Texas

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We sent Alice, our resident State Fair of Texas expert, to sample the eight finalists at this year's Big Tex Choice Awards. Well, actually, that's a lie. We didn't send her. She was going no matter what. In fact, God help the poor soul who stands between Alice and a pile of battered, fried, greasy weirdness, particularly if it's ball-shaped. Not that we're making any judgments. She did, though, and here they are:

Before we begin, let's sum up the basic rules of eating things at the State Fair for those of you too damn lazy to read all these words. They are:

• If it's a ball, eat it.
• If it's on a stick, eat it.
• If it's fried, eat it.
• If it's all of the above, praise the Fried Lord, you've found a fried heaven three-fer, SHUT UP AND EAT IT.
• Anyone who says the following words at any time during the fairgoing gets punched in the tit: calories, Paleo, CrossFit, expensive, cardiologist.

Want more details? Keep reading ...

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