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The Blue Plate Special: eating out on a budget


My new favorite trick for eating out affordably is to hit a diner's Blue Plate Special. Do you remember those from your childhood? I do! Growing up in New England I am no stranger to diner food. We had some choice ones back there and my mom and dad took me to them regularly. I remember The Beef and Bun on Thayer Street in Providence and that oh so delicious double whoopee cheeseburger platter I'd get when my dad took me out for lunch. That coupled with a coffee malted?


So, the man and I recently stumbled upon this sweet little special running at Dupar's Diner here in L.A. at the Farmer's Market, Third and Fairfax. It's called "Beat The Clock" and between the hours of 4.00-6.00 pm your price for a blue plate special (well, it's what I call it anyway) is the time you arrive. You show up at 4.00? You pay $4.00! I kid you not. I take my cheap eats very seriously.

I'm all about the deal.

With images of plates full of warm happy food in our heads, yesterday afternoon at 4.27 pm Simon and I, after forgetting to have lunch, arrived at Dupar's for our favorite Blue Plate Special going, the turkey plate. That's turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, the yummiest roasted veggies, cranberry sauce, warm fluffy rolls and, get this, a bowl of soup, for $4.27 each. We found our favorite spot and snuggled in for some good old fashioned comfort food. We even splurged and had two pots of tea! Ah, the sweet life...

For more information and history on the Blue Plate Special you can read about it at wikipedia. I highly recommend checking to see if they are being offered at local diners in your area. And splurge and get that fresh piece of pie afterwards. You're worth it!

I'll be writing more about cheap eats around Los Angeles on future blog posts. With the economy the way it is and people losing their jobs at record rate, I am happy to share my little cheap eats with all of you. Who knew saving could be so much fun?

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