Cheap Eats

Fort Lauderdale's Dirt-Cheap Happy-Hour Eats

Recession or no, it seems that everyone loves a deal, whether it's a happy-hour buffet, dollar eats, or slashed prices on favorite items. Would you eat dinner for a dollar or less? (I'd likely skip it, though I'm in the minority.) Here's a roundup of recs for lowbrow fare on days when money's tight or you're saving it for the weekend.

5. America's Backyard $5 Happy Hour menu

From 5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays, drinks are two-for-one, and a rotating selection of cheap eats -- sliders, mac and cheese, plain pizzas -- sells for $5.

4. Maguires Taco Tuesday

"Are you really gonna eat that?" I've heard more than one Tuesday during happy hour. The answer is undoubtedly yes, even though they're not particularly Irish (or appetizing).

3. Mai-Kai's Wednesday free sushi buffet

Highlighted in November's Atlantic Monthly for its tiki cocktails, the Mai-Kai has regained some cachet when it comes to drinks and goings-on. Never a gourmand's destination, Mai-Kai makes us hesitate when it comes to free raw fish, offered every Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. What kind of fish? "We never know until it's out that day," said a spokesperson. Proceed with caution.

2. Treasure Trove's $1 Taco Tuesday

A favorite dive bar at the beach offers one of the area's favorite cheap-ass lunches: hard tacos for a buck. Add to it a $3.75 Corona or a shot of Jameson and it's a lunch that beats the hell out of Taco Bell. Enjoy while you can, since Treasure Trove's lease is up this winter.

1. The Downtowner Saloon's $1 menu

Every weekday from 4 to 6 p.m., the locals saloon on the river offers a dollar menu that includes tacos, sliders, potato skins, wings, and burritos. Get dinner and drunk for under ten bucks.

What have we missed? Tell us in the comments.

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart