Oklahoma is in the midst of yet another fiscal crisis, facing enormous revenue shortfalls that threaten to disrupt vital public services, cripple schools and force another round of budget cuts. Wow. That’s a huge downer. Budgeting doesn’t always have to be bad news, though. Many metro restaurants offer great deals on tasty food to keep our bellies and wallets full. Try these spots if you’re hungry for a bargain.
By Greg Elwell
Photos Garett Fisbeck and Gazette / file
3409 NW 23rd St.
Every day is a good day for tacos, but Tuesdays are especially fortuitous for money-conscious munchers at Hugo’s Taquizas. That’s when Hugo’s sells delectable taqueria tacos for uno dinero. One dollar is a heck of a deal, especially when you can choose from al pastor (pork), cabeza (beef cheek), lengua (tongue), carne asada (steak), pollo (chicken) and, my favorite, alambre — a mix of steak, bacon, peppers, onions and cheese.
428 W. Main St.
A great lunch — like the ones at Coney Island — sometimes requires you to carry cash. Diners can score chili dogs with mustard, chili, cheese and onions for a scant $1.55; Frito chili pies for $3.55 and Greek-style spaghetti covered in chili for $4.85 — but only if they pay with cold, hard cash. This downtown lunch spot offers a tasty, spice-infused chili, no-nonsense service and great value.
Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant
5808 NW 50th St.
If you think Paddington Bear is Peru’s greatest export, you really need to check out Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant. Start with fresh ceviche and a hit of lime or get something heavier with plato serrano — deep fried plantains, yucca and sweet potatoes. But lomo saltado, the pride of Naylamp, is on sale weekly for lunch for $7.99 with a soft drink. Steak, onions and peppers served with rice and fries? Move over, marmalade.
7432 S. May Ave.
Time is money. You can save both by driving straight down May Avenue to Perry’s Restaurant. Open 24 hours a day, Perry’s has classic diner food whenever it fits into your schedule. It’s hard to beat a breakfast of two fresh eggs with pancakes and hash browns for $4.99. Unless you like your eggs scrambled; then it just makes sense to beat them. Still hungry? Steak and eggs are $10.99.
James E. McNellie’s Public House
1100 Classen Drive
Every Wednesday night is $3.99 charburger night at McNellie’s. This Tulsa import is already one of the best places in Oklahoma City to taste great craft beers, and the restaurant has long fed Midtown delicious Irish fare. But when those IPAs are flowing and the evening grows late, it’s wonderful to top the night off with a fresh, juicy burger. Order a few for the table while you wait for your designated driver to pick you up.
Sauced on Paseo
2912 Paseo St.
There is an asterisk by this amazing deal, but that’s to be expected when talking about a $3.50 dinner at one of Oklahoma City’s coolest restaurants. Sauced on Paseo is best known for serving tasty pizzas and cold beer to denizens of Paseo Arts District, but on Thursday nights, the restaurant serves an enormous “sketti” dinner for $3.50 a plate — until the spaghetti runs out, anyway. So go early, pile on the pasta and enjoy one of the city’s best patios.
1200 W. Covell Road, Edmond
Hold the phone! No, seriously. Hold my phone, because I need two hands to enjoy Covell Park’s all-you-can-eat sushi on Thursdays. At $30, it’s not the thriftiest meal around, but it’s served all day long. Besides, sushi fanatics can blow through a budget twice that size when ordering rolls for everyone. But if fish isn’t your thing, Covell Park still has a deal for you. Mondays are when kids eat free, which can help make family dinner a little more affordable and a lot more delicious.