The Frugal Buffet

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

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Part 37: The Triumphant Return of the Frugal Buffeteer!
Hello, everyone. I have returned. Where have I been, you may ask? Where haven't I been, I say! I've been all over this grand old city from the Bronx to Coney Island, and I've been having a swell time of it. Unfortunately, in my old age, I have forgotten to keep you, my loyal readers, informed of my grocery-shopping adventures. 

I have been up to many things over the past 6 months or so. For one thing, I have been working on music. I have been playing music at the Jalopy Theatre every couple of weeks, and focusing my sets on music by people whose birthday it is on that particular day. It is a very rewarding endeavor, and I have enjoyed it. I have also been recording a lot of music, and am having a CD release party for my 10th album of original music, "Let's Get Friendly" on Saturday, February 20th at the aforementioned Jalopy Theatre. Y'all should come. I have also learned that having a girlfriend somehow leads to less time spent grocery shopping. But I have certainly had many exciting grocery store adventures nonetheless. Unfortunately, however, many of them have probably been lost to the ages. Maybe that is for the best. Anyway, I decided that this particular blog entry would follow a different pattern than others. Rather than focusing on grocery stores, I am going to discuss a few new restaurants that have opened in my neighborhood, both of which I am particularly fond of.

First and foremost, I would like to tell everyone about my new favorite bar: The Keg and Lantern. Located on Nassau Ave., btwn Manhattan and Leonard, it is a very happy, uncrowded, inexpensive place with lots of excellent specials every night of the week (And when I say specials, I mean the kind of specials that cost less than the regular things on the menu, as opposed to the kind that cost more. One way to be frugal when restauranting about town is to stick to the kind of place with specials that fall into the former category).

For me and my roommates, The Keg and Lantern's most exciting special is the 25 cent chicken wings on Sundays and Mondays. This is what brings us there at least once a week. And when we go for the 25 cent wings, we also enjoy the 2 dollar Buds, Bud Lights, and PBR (The PBR is $2 every day, but the Bud and Bud Light are only $2 on Sunday and Monday). One thing we have learned is that if you order a regular bud, it generally comes in a bottle, but if you order a Bud Light, it usually comes in a HUGE mug. We have all switched to Bud Light at this point, except for Gergely, who maintains that Bud Light is only Bud with water added, and that a big mug of bud light ends up having the same amount of alcohol and beer that a bottle of regular budweiser has. I don't know if this is true or not, but boy do I really enjoy drinking from those big mugs.

Another good thing is that the waitress more often than not gives us at least one round on the house.

The wings taste different every time I go, and range in quality from, "That's pretty good. It is fun to eat. It is a wing. Plus, it only 25 cents!" to "Wow! These wings are fantastic! I haven't had wings this good in a long time. Plus, they are only 25 cents!" 

On three occasions they ran out of wings before we got there, which was really disappointing, especially the first time. But each time, we stuck around and enjoyed the $2 beer, and ordered other things from the menu. The burgers and fries and reubens and chicken pot pie and dessert are all pretty good. But DO NOT order the cajun fried chicken. It is not good, it is expensive, and the portions are small. If you are thinking about getting it, I suggest that you just order some french fries instead (which aren't on the menu by themselves, but they can be had at a fraction of the price of the cajun fried chicken).

Other specials they have at the Keg and Lantern include freshly made 50-cent pierogies on Saturday nights, $4 Irish Car Bombs on Friday nights, and 10-CENT PBR ON FRIDAY'S from 7-9. On Wednesday night, all top shelf liquor is $6. Thursday is Ladies' Night (Women's drinks are half-priced).

Here is The Keg and Lantern's facebook page:

And here is their (fancy) website:

I would also like to stress that it is never crowded. It is a great place. I could go on, but I will stop now, and move onto the other exciting new addition to my neighborhood.

One block from my apartment, Vinnie's Pizzeria (which is excellent, and has, for a while, had only one location on Bedford Ave. a few blocks from the L stop), opened a new location about a month ago. I can't stress highly enough how exciting it is to have good pizza only a block away. I used to have to walk for 15 minutes to get great pizza. Now it is right here. And now I have no reason to ever get pizza anywhere else again. Victory!

For the first week or two that they were around, they had a great lunch special that is no longer there. If I bought a $4 specialty slice (they have some pretty exciting specialty slices), I got a free plain slice. This special had me eating pizza for lunch a little too much, so it is probably for the best that it was only temporary.

Here is Vinnie's website (they don't have much of a website yet):

And here is their facebook page:

This new location has also added some evidence to a long-running theory of mine. I believe that, in general, pizza places that are located near subway stops have better slices than whole pies, but that pizza places that are located far from subway stops have better whole pies than slices. The original Vinnie's location, which was near a subway stop, had better slices than whole pizzas, and the one by my house seems to have better whole pies than slices. I think I can now safely say, "Case closed."

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These are very exciting developments. Also, I was touched by your acting last weekend and am mildly outraged your company of players did not end the weekend triumphant. Thrilling times!

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