Friday, September 24, 2010

Frugal Friday Feast

The Brooklyn Bitches on a Budget like to eat.

A lot.

Unfortunately for us, our wallets are not always in support of this favored pastime. However, as we’ve told you all time and time again, ­­being poor is no excuse to sit home alone on the couch while your friends are out feasting at food trucks and doing cheap shots. So you may have to steal your toilet paper from Starbucks, and eat dented cans of soup for weeks on end. What is the point of living in New York if you don’t splurge on a nice meal every so often?

Sometimes, we just want to enjoy good, cheap food, plenty of BYOB wine, and not sacrifice our eating budget for the rest of the month. Is that really so hard to find in the most expensive city in the world? It turns out to be much easier than you’d expect.

Enter: Panna 2 (93 1st Ave between 5th and 6th Sts).



If you’ve happened to be stumbling down First Ave between 9pm and 3pm, chances are you’ve been drawn to the expansive and overwhelming fairyland on display at a trifecta of Indian joints stacked precariously atop each other on 6th St. Panna 2 is the sparklefest at the top of the stairs, right side, with the most enthusiastic of waiters and pushy of patrons. You may have thought you were hallucinating from the sidewalk, but nothing compares to your first steps into the restaurant as you Enter the Void- er, the dining area.

According to their website, it is also the place “where chili-pepper lights meets Christmas-tree lights”. While the Bitches cannot usually afford any restaurant that comes recommended from anyone other than a close, equally-as-broke-friend (not to mention Time Out New York), this place is apparently the place to go when you like to cheap and filling- and also delicious.


A recent good-bye party led to an intimate dinner between yours truly and a gaggle of Broke Boys on a Budget, six bottles of Gato Negro, and one Hindi-speaking member of the bunch, who took pleasure in ordering for the table. Between the four of us, we quickly consumed several orders of nan ($2.25), traditional samosas ($2.95), piazi ($2.95), cheese poori ($2.95), chicken vindaloo ($11.95), lamb kori ($8.95), chicken curry ($7.50), and too many pickles to recount.

The reason for the gathering was to celebrate the above Hindi-speaker of the crew, a true adventurer with a heart of gold and the next two years of his life booked in Azerbaijan for a stint in the Peace Corps. The briefest of tears were shed, many, many sloppy toasts were made in his honor, and the chefs at Panna 2 even choreographed an insane and seizure-inducing lighting show and clapping performance, resulting in free mango ice cream for all at the table, just to wish him the best of luck.



It was an altogether lovely night that this Bitch will remember for a long, long time.

Bang for the Buck: The dinner special, where you can split two appetizers, soups, parathas, salads, main entrees, and desserts for $25 with your best Bitch (or Boy). The amount of food you will receive is overwhelming, although the copious amounts of wine you’ve stashed in your bags (no corking fee) will make it easier to throw caution to the wind and eat with reckless abandon. Although for the truly, truly broke Bitch, a plate of samosas won’t break $5 and you’ll be full for two days. At least.

Bitch Approval Meter: Feasting is possible, even with just a few dollars. Highly recommended the next time you’ve got a hankering for Indian food and a few bucks to spend out on the town.

Check it out for yourselves and let us know what you think!

And best of luck in Azerbaijan to our favorite dreadlocked boy in the States!

xo,
B

Did you like the latest development in the adventures of the Bitches on a Budget? We want to know what you think about Frugal Friday Feasts, the weekly series of restaurant reviews where even Bitches can fill up without emptying their change purses. Drop us a comment below, send us an email at bbonabudget (at) gmail (dot) come, or tweet us @bbonabudget!

Totally Bitchin’ Throwback: Dessert in a Pinch

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