Day 1 of Cheap Eats: Gyros, Flying Pizza and Frugal Fish

Posted April 28, 2008
Updated April 30, 2008

With the pinch of rising gas and food prices, getting a great meal cheap can be tough.

WRAL reporter Kim Dean went in search of the best inexpensive meals in the area. The entree, drink and tax all have to be less than $10.

She began at Saladelia in Durham. The restaurant is known for home-style food with a Mediterranean flair. Owner Robert Ghanem said he buys local products and organic when available.

“If it’s local and it’s in season, it’s less expensive,” he said.

Ghanem also saves money by not having a wait staff. At Saladelia, customers order from the counter. But there are no short cuts – everything is done by hand.

Most entrees on the menu are under $10. Dean ordered a gyro platter, with fresh veggies and a homemade black bean salad. With a drink and tax, the total was $9.91.

Dean’s next stop was Pepper's Pizza in the heart of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. A mural on the wall painted by a local artist shows North Carolina musicians. Outside, people line up to get in the restaurant.

Regular Jay Fitzgerald said he's mesmerized by the flying pizza dough.

“It’s a little more than doing the drive-thru. It’s a little more entertaining,” he said.

For her order, Dean picked the spinach and cheese calzone. It wasn’t the prettiest to eat, but with a drink and tax, it was $9.61

She then moved on to Skipper's Fish Fry and Market in Apex, where most menu items are under $10. It's inexpensive, but that doesn't mean they skimp on fish.

Fish, plus homemade onion rings and a drink, cost Dean $9.56.

Tune in Tuesday to the WRAL Morning News at 6 for Cheap Eats at area establishments.


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  • MarcoPolo Apr 28, 2008

    I'm sorry - - those meals are not WORTH $10. I rather spend $14 and get something good.

  • One flew over Randy_s nest Apr 28, 2008

    JandD, economists define a recession as "A period of general economic decline; specifically, a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters."

    Another definition is set by NBER, but NBER has not declared a recession yet. Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said on April 6, 2008 that "There is more than a 50 percent chance the United States could go into recession." However Anatole Kaletsky has argued that recession unlikely if US economy gets through next two crucial months.
    According to all experts, we are not in a recession yet. We may be soon, but not yet.

    Other generic sources may have a less stringent definition, but I use the definition as defined by the experts.

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 28, 2008

    luvtoshag: I liked your response on this one. I love to shag too. Do you go to SOS?

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 28, 2008

    All of this sounds good. What is the caloric intake per meal?

  • Bill Bixby Apr 28, 2008

    I actually think this is a pretty good idea for a series... Dinners are getting pretty doggone expensive these days - I almost forgot about Pepper's Pizza - I used to go there when I was in college when all of the workers there had like a million body piercings. It's the best Pizza I've ever had in the triangle. Did I miss something? Why is everyone talking about lunch? This is for dinner portions, right?

  • raldude Apr 28, 2008

    I think Ms. Dean is trying to show people that there are places to eat something besides fast food. It appears WRAL is trying to be like the Food Network. At least she wasnt trying to copy Dancing with the stars..Dancing like the stars? Come on WRAL show us something original.

  • Through a glass darkly Apr 28, 2008

    I'm with jbyrd, $10 is not cheap. My lunch today was $6.23. I can't remember the last time I had lunch or dinner that was over $10. (BTW, I don't eat at fast food places, either).

  • UNCRedhead1 Apr 28, 2008

    If you are trying to "pinch pennies," going out to eat shouldn't be considered.

    $10 for a meal??? You can get so much MORE food if you go to the GROCERY STORE. Plus, you have to tip most of the times which is 2-3 more bucks. AND $3.75 a gallon of gas just to get there.

    People eat out way too much, but obviously money is not stopping them.

  • HopSkipJump Apr 28, 2008

    Another option for cheap eats is to take half of what you order for lunch home for dinner. Once a week I eat out for lunch and do this, and then it feels like a treat at dinner when I do not have to cook. It is easy to bulk up the leftovers with a salad or other fresh fruit or vegetables.

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Apr 28, 2008

    Sorry WRAL but cheep eats is at McDonals or BK....and if you look closely in the mail box you might find some coupons for Hardees and can get a FRee Burger....That is not cheap !