Cheaper than Food

There is a burger place in Ann Arbor that advertises as being "cheaper than food." I never really understood this, and in fact, it didn't really inspire me to eat there (so I never tried their food). One of the first places Eric and I saw after we moved to Gallup was a Chinese restaurant that advertised as "Everything's $1.50". We postulated that this could not, in fact, be the case for a place that would be able to stay in business, and maybe they charged $1.50 for the soy sauce packets, and the napkins, and....etc. But their advertising worked, because we were curious enough to pay them a visit yesterday on Eric's day off.
We walked in, and while the menu posted on the wall behind the counter featured many items that were not $1.50, everything in the steam table (think Panda Express or something) was actually just $1.50. How much food could we really get for that price? Answer: a lot. We ordered 4 entrees (including the lo mein noodles instead of the fried rice) and 2 egg rolls (which were $1.50 for 2) and walked out with a giant bag of food for less than $8. Note the amounts in the photo below. It was so much food, in fact, that we are figuring 6 servings from this. So basically, $1.50 per person per meal. I can't make dinner with generic WalMart ingredients for that, unless we're maybe making lentils without any other side dishes to go along, and we drink water. I'm sure you're wondering what kind of quality ensues from such cheapness, and I answer, the same quality you get from any other fast food Chinese place. Not spectacular, but not bad. The healthiness level is of course a different question, which we will avoid answering. We could start eating here every week...


Ellen said...

Will and I have always wondered about these dirt cheap Chinese places - how they can afford to do it. A front for money laundering operation??? : )