Ash Wednesday starts off the Lenten season, and this is when many are more mindful of what they eat. Here's a list of budget-friendly meals when you're practicing abstinence, or simply craving a vegetarian or seafood dish for cheap!
1. French Onion Sandwicheese (P130) at Sandwicheese
Their cheesy fish and veggie sandwiches all cost less than P200, and their semipressed French onion sandwich melds garlic cream cheese, caramel onions, thyme, mozarella and parmesan on wheat bread. You can't go wrong with cheese.
2. Tuna Pie (P45/pc, P130/trio) at Jollibee
Why won't they put this on their regular menu, really? It's got the crunch of the pie, and oozing out is a delicious and tangy blend of tuna filling. One piece for merienda, two for dinner. Even with an extra one for good measure, you won't cause much wallet damage.
3. SST (P180/Regular) Rice a Bowl at Recovery Food
A favorite post-party hangout for soothing hangover meals, RF does it right with their rice bowl of spicy sweet tuyo, served with scrambled or fried egg. It's just stuff of comfort food that you don't even have to wait for Lent to choose this over other meals out there.
4. Vegetarian Mushroom Wontons with House Special Spicy Sauce or with House Soy Sauce (P195/6pcs) at Din Tai Fung
Skip their famous soupy dumplings and give these mushroom ones a try -- they might just be your new favorite.The meatless wontons are coated in sweet-savory house special spicy sauce, or just plain soy sauce, if you're skipping the heat.
5. Ay Caramba Temaki (P189) at Sushi Nori
A handheld meal in one handroll sushi. Sushi Nori simplifies your Japanese food cravings by letting you choose either sushi or temaki for their different fun combinations of ingredients. This nori cone filled with vinegared rice has spicy tuna and crispy wantons.
6. LF Puttanesca (P195/lite) at Linguini Fini
Fresh pasta is the name of their game, and LF has lots to choose from--22 to be exact! Get the solo serving of their tomato-based specialty, a spicy and tangy pasta laced with capers, anchovies, and olives.
7. Any 2 Orders of Sushi (P99/8 pieces) at Ta Ke Ho Me Sushi Stand
All of sushi rolls here sell for cheap, starting with 8 pieces for less than 100, and you have these flavors to choose from: Cali Maki (kani, mango and ebiko), TKHM Roll (salmon and cream cheese), Spicy Tuna, Migori (torched salmon and cucumber miso mayo), and Dragon Ball (spicy smoked salmon with mango and togarashi). Take home some, as their name cheekily suggests.
8. Pancit Negra (P180/Small) at Manam
You can skip Manam's ultimate best-seller that is their crispy sisig for Lent, yet still have a delicious time with their many seafood and vegetable options. Try these bihon noodles cooked in shrimp broth and stirred in squid ink, and topped with crunchy garlic bits.
9. Hongo (P165) at Lo de Alberto
Mushrooms and cheese -- a killer combination in this hot and fresh quesadilla by Lo de Alberto, served with salsa and chips. No need to spend much to have this gooey vegetarian Mexican dish right by your side.
10. Tortang Talong with Cauli Rice (P195) at Pipino Vegetarian Food
You're totally good to go with anything on the menu of Pipino during the Lenten season -- this restaurant, Pino's little sister, is known for their vegetarian and vegan friendly dishes. If you don't want to spend much, go Pinoy comfort food with their eggless tortang along (they use a chickpea based batter) served with cauliflower rice.
Food parks are a plenty and super popular because not only are they a fun hangout place where you have so many food options, they tend to be budget-friendly, too. For a seafood treat that's a complete meal under P200, get this deep fried whole squid with a perfectly seasoned batter, which Above Sea Level serves with a cup of java rice.
12. Ah Tee Weekday Lunch Meal (P199) at Makansutra
A tip for the hungry cheapskates in Megamall: head to Makansutra during weekday lunch for their set meals that are easy on the pocket! Ah Tee, the stall popular for its crispy-edged, succulent oyster omelets, sells an Oyster Omelet lunch set with dumpling soup and rice for only P199. You an also add P20 for soup-all-you-can! The weekday lunch sets are available from 10am to 2pm, Mondays to Fridays.