CHEAP EATS
Nobody Serves Peruvian Chicken Like Pio Pio
DAILY BITES
Mad For Chicken

Are you going mad for chicken? Don’t just wing it and settle for regular fried chicken. If you’re going to satisfy your craving, you might as well go all out and experience one of the best fried chickens the city has to offer.

Mad For Chicken houses the famous Korean fried chicken, which is crispier and less greasy in comparison to other fried chicken out there.

Our friends had been egging us on to try the chicken. So on a Saturday night, while the air was crisp and chilly, we arrived at the Flushing location for dinner and waited 20 minutes to be seated. We took that as a good sign. When there’s a line, the food is most certainly divine. Besides, 20 minutes is a pretty standard waiting time for restaurants in New York.

CHEAP EATS
Comfort Food to the Max

Americans have been pairing fried chicken with breakfast breads for some time now, but Astro attempts to deliciously inch over the boundary. They’ve paired their chicken with an eclectic array of thirty doughnuts. These definitely aren’t the kind of doughnuts you’d find on the desks of DC’s Police Department, although I admit police know their breakfast pastries. These doughnuts have more of a boutique filling and are similar to the flavors that ignited Georgetown’s cupcake craze. Some doughnuts, like Vanilla Glazed and Maple Bacon (it really has bacon on it!), are available every weekday. If you’d like to try the more novel flavors like Grapefruit and Creamsicle, you’ll have to visit the website to check their baked goods schedule. But be sure to come early because Astro closes when they run out, and they run out quickly! Doughnut prices range from $2.50 to $2.85.

DELICIOUS DEBUTS
Dirty Bird To-Go Expands to Tribeca

Fans of Dirty Bird To-Go can breathe happy now that the West Village eatery has opened its second location in Tribeca. This larger location offers up fried and rotisserie chicken in three different ways - dipped in buttermilk and fried, slow-roasted, and fried chicken tenders. All the chicken is sustainable, free-range and locally sourced for the best quality meat. Chef Justin Crooks of North End Grill heads up the premises with additional signature menu items such as mac n cheese, sauteed garlic kale and plenty of daily specials. Specialty drinks such as The Dirty Palmer (lemonade, peach supreme iced tea), La Colombe coffee and more are all available at the new location.

RESTAURANT 101
Peruvian Cuisine Heats Up in Hell's Kitchen

Last night I checked out the Pio Pio on 10th avenue for some quality Peruvian fare. This was my first time at this location, and my lack of prior research caused me to be quite surprised by the stylish and trendy décor since the Pio Pios that I know and love are pretty dive-y. The atmosphere was young and suitable for a large group, much like the one that I went out with last night. The acoustics in the main dining room however leave much to be desired as I was practically yelling in the ear of the person next to me in order to be heard. Although it might have been the fact that I was with a group of 15 reunited sorority girls, which is slightly reminiscent of a pack of hyenas on speed.

CHEAP EATS
A Cheap & Tasty Deal

Money has never been tighter and we are always looking for new ways to pinch pennies and still eat great. If you have yet to experience the mouthwatering taste of a banh mi (aka Vietnamese sandwich), you are missing out on one great experience. Not only is the banh mi an excellent twist on the old sub sandwich, it won’t break the bank. Sandwiches range from $2.00-$4.50.

The bread of a banh mi is as important as the filling. Little Vietnam Café always delivers with it's crusty baguettes, full of flavor. Sandwiches are offered with chicken, pork or tofu. Each banh mi is filled with pickled vegetables and every bite leaves your mouth burning from the kick. All sandwiches cost $4.50. Want to pick up something besides a tasty sandwich? Try their vermicelli or Vegetarian Pho. 309 6th Avenue (at Clement St), San Francisco, CA 94118, (415) 876-0283.

ENTERTAINING(ISH)
Recipe: A Cheap Pasta and Chicken Dish

When trying to watch your wallet, it can be a struggle to create tasty meals much outside of Ramen noodles or macaroni and cheese. The next time you want to cook something that doesn’t come with a seasoning packet, try this cheap, yet oh-so-delicious pasta dish that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds and your bank account.

A slightly healthier twist on traditional Chicken Parmesan, this meal for two people costs about $10 total, and the great leftovers stretch your dollar further.

Ingredients:

CHEAP EATS
Welcome to Brooklyn's Best Kept Secret: Waterfalls Cafe

Deep within the heart of Brooklyn Heights lies Waterfalls Cafe: a retreat for all New Yorkers fervently seeking a divine sense of euphoria, refreshment and exquisite taste from their food, without exhausting their wallet.

Waterfalls consistently defies all rules:

-it's fast, but good

-It's good, but cheap

-It's cheap, but delicious and

-it's delicious, but nutritious!

Enriched with grains, chickpeas, lentils and leafy greens, Waterfalls' cuisine liberates that boundlessly energetic and healthy person in all of us who's been encased in a vat of cookies and pasta since the December holidays.

ENTERTAINING ISH
Meatsicles

Meat on a stick is one of those fundamental rights of every person on the planet. Whether it's corn dogs or popsicles there is a singular brand of magic when mundane food stuff is impaled with bamboo and enjoyed portability like any cell phone on the market. Well my food infatuated friends I bring you... KEBABS (courtesy epicurious.com). What's so special about kebabs? Well aside from the aforementioned practicality of stick mounted food, these particular kebabs are armed with their own minted yogurt and black pepper dipping sauce. The chicken (or beef) itself is impregnated with the flavor of garlic, herbs, citrus, and all the flavors known to bring grown men to their feet.

ENTERTAINING ISH
Wangs an' Thangs

Do you ever get tired of those same old buffalo wings that haven't changed in years? No? Neither have I, but that doesn't mean there aren't new ways to spruce up the most delicious digits of our poultry pals. Try adding a new touch with this Herb Buffalo Wing recipe from Sandra Lee.

1 1.6oz package garlic and herb buffalo wings seasoning mix
1/4 vegetable oil
1 tsp hot sauce
16 whole chicken wings (3lbs)

Put seasoning mix, vegetable oil, and hot sauce into a ziploc bag with the chicken wings and shake until everything is mixed evenly and the wings are evenly coated. Let the wings marinate for ten minutes then place on a wire rack and sheet pan. bake at 375 degrees for twenty minutes with the skin down then increase temperature to 425 degrees and turn wings over to bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. Once the wings are done shove liberally into face.