The phrase “Cheap Eats” can mean different things to different people. While some local eateries expressed discomfort at being referred to as “cheap” — and the word can, of course, have negative connotations — I think it is fair to say that most people regard cheap eats as a good thing. Hell, I regard it as a great thing. To me, cheap eats conjures up images of mounds of wonderful, home-cooked grub — served up with absolutely no frills. Often, these meals double as comfort food, with their nostalgic or sentimental appeal. And of course, the low price tag doesn’t hurt either. I’ve found that people often indulge in their favorite cheap eats during certain rituals — the last day of college final exams was always an excuse for me to dig in.
While I often share my own experiences in this column, this month I’ve decided to turn it over to my staff and let them tell you about some of their favorite Cheap Eats experiences. So, here goes.
Senior Editor Polly Sparling recalls how, when she and her husband Reed were first married (we’re going back 25 years here), she couldn’t wait to go to her favorite local hamburger joint, Marty’s Mug & Munch in Ardsley. “Sadly, it’s no longer there,” says Polly. “But, particularly when I was pregnant, I just craved their nachos — all the time. They were huge and just covered with cheese; delicious.” In fact, when her first child was not born by the expected due date, a friend suggested she start eating the nachos daily to induce labor. Polly thought it was a fabulous idea — and eventually little Evan made his arrival. All nine pounds, five ounces of him. Polly still makes time to visit another one of her favorites from the good ol’ days, Carlo’s Restaurant in Yonkers. “Nowadays, when we’re driving into the city we sometimes try to time everything just right so we’re going by Yonkers at dinner time. Then we stop and have some of their Italian food. The eggplant rollatini is my favorite.” Polly’s local haunts include Emiliano’s Pizza on Poughkeepsie’s Main Street. “Everybody knows them for their pizza, but you get about a pound of pasta on your plate when you order it. And their meatballs? Huge and delicious.”
Naturally, Web Editor Jessica Friedlander has many tales of cheap eats from her days at Marist College. “Ah, Gerry’s Pizza; that’s what it was all about,” says Jess, noting that the beloved pizzeria burned down several years ago. Then there were Thursday nights at the popular local watering hole, Noah’s Ark. “Oh my God, everybody went there. They had huge trays of food during happy hour: ziti, wings, everything. And it was all free. All of it!”
These days, one of Hudson Valley’s favorite lunchtime haunts is Noshi’s Coney Island hot dogs. For a couple of bucks you can down a couple of dogs, while taking in that nostalgia factor in spades. In the photo above, Creative Director Bob Supina, Assistant Editor Rosemary O’Connor and Polly Sparling enjoy a laugh — and some dogs — while celebrating Bob’s birthday.
Enjoy the issue.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief