Soup and grilled cheese from B & H Dairy (127 Second Avenue, 212-505-8065), $8
Have a cheap lunch counter meal and support a piece of old New York.
With the shuttering of cheap eat institutions like Gray’s Papaya, the Sixth Avenue location of which closed yesterday, comes an implicit lesson: When it comes to old New York, use it or lose it. That prompted us to stop by an East Village stalwart for lunch. B & H Dairy opened in the late 1930s, and it’s been serving up lunch counter fare ever since. Most of the menu rings in under $10, which makes it a good place to duck into if you’re craving old school macaroni and cheese, a tuna melt, or a knish. When we took our stool yesterday, we opted for our standby: the $8 grilled cheese and soup special. Neither is fancy; the grilled cheese is built on two slices of fat, fluffy challah, griddled golden brown and until the American cheese within is gooey, and it’s served with a pair of dill pickle spears. B & H serves hot borscht, matzo ball soup, and vegetable soup in the winter, but we like the split pea, an earthy bowl of hearty stew.
Hungry for more? See the Cheap Eat of the Day archives.
Restaurants open at a dizzying pace in New York City, and keeping up with what’s hot takes some serious cash. If you — like us — need the occasional reprieve from a food-forward spending spree, you’re likely always on the lookout for cheap eats of high quality. In this space each day, we’ll highlight a tasty dish that rings in for less than $10, spotlighting places worth checking out when you’d like to get full while giving your wallet a break. Know of a great affordable bite? Email us.