The best cheap eats across Houston

July 9, 2013 3:00:04 PM PDT
With more than 11,000 restaurants in Houston, where can you go for a gourmet-like meal without busting your budget? We're about to dish on some of Houston's hidden secrets.

From authentic home-style Italian, to filet mignon under 10 bucks, when it comes to finding great deals, one savvy saver was up for the culinary challenge.

For a Little Taste of Italy, the Downtown Tunnel System is where you'll find the Brooklyn Meatball Company.

"The food here is the best in the tunnels," patron Wiley Jennings said.

"Every Sunday, my grandmother would make a dinner that was to die for," Brooklyn Meatball Company Chef Joey Galluzzi said.

Galluzzi was raised by his grandparents in Brooklyn, New York and brought the meals he grew up with to Houston.

"You're able to express the authentic Italian flavors through that type of food, and still have a beautiful meal," Galluzzi said.

On the menu, you'll find some of Galluzzi's family favorites, like two meatballs with a slice of Italian bread for only $4.99.

In the mood for something more filling? A half sub with two meat balls only runs $5.99.

Galluzzi says to compare that to other gourmet Italian restaurants in the city and you'll pay double, if not more.

If it's gourmet on wheels you're craving, just come back to street level and check out the food truck craze that's taking Houston by storm.

"Food truck scene here is great. We see ourselves as a community. We eat at each others trucks. We support each other," said Mark Tran with Phamily Bites.

Tran says his menu favorites are not budget busters.

"Filet mignon on top of water cress with pickled red onions, grilled jalapenos, homemade Vietnamese mayo, on top of a fresh baked French baguette," he said.

The price tag for that plate of goodness?

"The price is $7. There's no where in town you're gonna get filet mignon at that price," Tran said.

"Food truck food used to have a certain connotation where it's just cheap kind of food. But I think people have taken it to the next level," patron Piya Gandhi said.

Over at Maggiano's off Post Oak Boulevard, they have a wildly popular promotion called Today and Tomorrow's Pasta. It works like this: Guests can choose a classic pasta menu item during lunch and dinner menu and then choose a second dish to take home to enjoy the next day. So the price for two pasta dishes is $12.95. Classic pasta dishes include spaghetti (marinara or meat sauce), lasagna, eggplant parmesan and fettuccine Alfredo. The restaurant has been serving up this promotion since 2009 during the difficult economy.

If you have a great place to enjoy cheap eats, head to Patricia's Facebook page and chime in on your favorite restaurant that offers great tasting meals at a value price.

Find Patricia on Facebook at ABC13PatriciaLopez or on Twitter at @patricialopez13


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