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Best Cheap Meal


The Polish & Slavic Center Cafeteria
177 Kent St., nr. McGuinness Blvd., Greenpoint; 718-383-5290
It’s not exactly the Google cafeteria, but what this community- center canteen lacks in steam-table style, it makes up for with cheap, delicious home cooking. Everything here is made from scratch, and no bulging plate of grub costs more than $9, with most dishes hovering around the $6.50 mark. Chef Monika Trznadel—who incidentally looks absolutely nothing like the beetle-browed women who traffic in junior-high tater tots—specializes in the kind of rib-sticking stuff you’d expect to find on the bill of fare at a Polish lumberjack camp. We’re partial to the white borscht, the pork meatballs, the Gorski mountain cutlet (thick breaded pork with a fried egg on top), and the cheese blintzes. Main courses come with mashed potatoes and gravy, a choice of salad, and a cup of the cherry-flavored juice called compot. There’s also enough offal here (tripe stew, pig’s feet, tongue with gravy) to feed a small army of Mario Batalis.


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