Monday, April 7, 2014

Delicious $10 dinners for two in SLC

Shawarma: the best thing you've never tried?
For the dear wife and I, the cultural experience since getting married has been characterized by two main (and seemingly contradictory) centers of gravity. We both love eating out and we both love saving money. This of course, colors the food recommendations made on this blog. For example, California Burgers may not have the best tasting burgers in the Salt Lake Valley at any price, but they’re instead on what we can call a efficient value curve. For what they cost, you likely won’t find tastier burgers in SLC than those from California Burgers; relatedly, at their level of tastiness, you won’t find such burgers any cheaper in SLC. This has inspired some thinking to find other great value propositions around Salt Lake City. The requirements for this list: 1) delicious food and 2) dinner for two for ~$10.

1) La-Cai – Chicken curry – Large amount of delicious curry for under $10.

2) Chunga’s – Al pastor burrito – Al pastor is pork marinated in dried chiles, pineapple, spices which provides an unbeatable flavor (spicy, savory, fruity). Not sure if it's necessary, but the burritos here are also available in chicken, steak, and veggie varieties. Comes with chips for $8.63. Can’t believe this place doesn't get more attention.

3) Chipotle – Burrito – The king of food service innovation provides a different burrito experience than Chunga’s; Chipotle is all about neatly presenting fresh ingredients in a non-smothered burrito. The options here are carnitas, barbacoa, steak, or chicken. Comes with chips and guacamole for almost $10 exactly.

4) California Burgers – Two delicious hamburgers (try the bulgolgi or chipotle burger), fries, and drink (using one combo meal) for $12.14. These guys, who deserve more praise, were profiled here.

5) Oh Mai – Two fresh, tasty, bahn mi sandwiches – I recommend the garlic-butter rib eye steak (just say S8). The flavors are unique and the price is right. $11.82 for two.

6) Curry Fried Chicken – Two shawarma wraps and spicy fries – Delicious shavings of meat from the spit with fresh veggies and an amazing sauce in a pita. I like these sooo much better than the typical gyros with yogurt sauce. Just ask for shawarma and hot fries--they'll split the shawarma into two regular pitas for you. All for $9.15. We profiled them here.

We've gotten so engrossed in this kind of eating that Chipotle burritos (for ~$10) are something of a unit of measure at our house when contemplating large purchases. So much good food in Salt Lake right now. What are your favorite spots?


  1. Lent's almost over and I'll use this list for my post-Easter indulgence. This all looks so good. When I'm back in SLC during the summer we'll have to go to lunch.

  2. Yeah, lunch'd be great! Keep me posted as to when you're around. Also, I'd love to hear what cheap places you or Katie have to add to the list above...

  3. Reading this makes me hungry. Good ideas!

  4. Thanks, Amanda! Would love to hear any of YOUR favorites.