Better than Sliced Bread – 6 Cheap Foods that Ain’t Classy but Taste Better Than the Fancy Stuff
You go to a Michelin-star-rated restaurant or a swanky French restaurant in an ooh la la place and assume you’ll eat the best meal that money can buy. You can have a hundred cheap meals for the exact cost, and the food will be the best thing you’ve ever eaten.
I’m huge on comfort food. The first cheap food on the list is the favorite of college students, Top Ramen. Top Ramen comes in single-serving packages. If you’re super lazy, you can buy the type that comes in a cup. You can usually buy this for less than a dollar a package. Ramen has become a trendy food in the last few years. I’ve been to quite a few Ramen restaurants. I want to like the restaurant ramen more, but I don’t. Nothing is better than the mysterious, salty flavor packet with the make-it-yourself version. I swear this soup has magical healing powers when I’m under the weather.
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There’s a sandwich in restaurants called croquet Monsieur. It’s the French way of saying grilled ham and gruyere cheese sandwich with béchamel sauce. It’s good. It can be great, but you know what’s better- a grilled cheese sandwich at home. I’ve got this thing with American cheese. I’m against it. My husband knows I’m obsessed with his grilled cheese sandwiches, so I don’t ask many questions. There are some things better left to the imagination. I’m unsure if he’s using American or cheddar cheese, but I know the over-the-top goodness comes from salted butter. I’ve had every type of cheese sandwich, but the good, old-fashioned one with nothing else in it to gunk it up is way better, and it’s cheap at 80 cents to 3 dollars.
This next one is almost embarrassing, but Jolt readers deserve the truth. There is an after-dinner wine called port. You can drink 75-year-old aged port for thousands of dollars. I’ve tried it. Much to my embarrassment, I like something from Publix better at 8 dollars a bottle called Tawny Port. If you want a treat fit for a king, buy stilton cheese and eat that while drinking your port at home. Watch Emily in Paris to enhance this low-brow culinary experience.
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French restaurants serve these highly coveted, supposedly tricky-to-make cheese soufflés. They’re yummy, and the texture is comforting, but if you want the best one you’ll ever eat, get the four cheese soufflé at Panera Bread. They only serve them before 11:00 AM, and they tend to run out quickly. They’re $6.49, which is a fortune compared to the other foods mentioned, but it’s not that bad when you consider that a cheese soufflé at a fancy restaurant in Palm Beach costs 26 bucks, not even close to being as good.
This next one, a hamburger, will be one to debate. Burgers are a very personal choice, but I have a favorite: the Krystal cheeseburger, which is also made with some “cheese” I don’t want to know the details about. I think it’s the perfect small size. I like the ratio of a bit of meat with cheese, pickles, and ketchup. The bread is soft and has just the right texture. It’s just good, especially during a long car ride. I’m also quite the fan of a MacDonald’s Big Mac, but it’s too big and messy for me to enjoy stress-free in the car, which is when I eat fast food burgers.
This last one is going to upset people. You can get the best hot dog from one of those dirty water carts. Maybe it’s the New York in me, but they’re amazing. You can get them in Florida too. There’s a guy who has had a cart for many years at Home Depot in Delray Beach. It’s great. It’s cheap.
Just to let you know, nothing on this list is even remotely healthy. This article isn’t called cheap and healthy; not going to give you a reason to live food. This is about cheap, comfort food that tastes good. Give these a try. Your palate and your wallet will both thank you later.
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