Staff Picks: Meals Under $10…Famished and Low on Funds? Here Are Some Suggestions from Your Favorite Journalists

Although this may come as a shock, not everyone has a lot of money. Gasp, am I right? When you’re short on funds, one of the best things out there is the comfort of a great meal. Corvallis has more fantastic options in the under $10 bracket than you can shake a sausage link at – here are just a few of those that some of our staff members can’t get enough of!

mealsunder10Tom Baker – Nearly Normals
109 NW 15th St.

Even when I’m not short on cash and looking for a delicious meal, I head straight to Nearly Normals to devour one of their weekday specials. My personal favorite, Munchie Mondays, features a Sunburger—one of the best veggie burgers of all time – for only $5 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays feature the epic Nasty Burrito, Wednesday is the Falafel conglomeration (as I call it), and Thursdays offer an egg, home fries, and toast breakfast—also each for only $5.

Joel Southall – La Rockita
370 SW Western Blvd. (two other locations, too!)

La Rockita boasts possibly the best inexpensive quality Mexican food in Corvallis and Philomath, with three locations in Corvallis. If you’re a vegetarian, I recommend the super veggie burrito. Nothing disappointing about a healthy helping of rice, black beans, sour cream, guac, lettuce, cheese and salsa, all stuffed to the brink in a tortilla, all for under $7. You will probably save some for later. Top it off with a margarita or a good microbrew.

Amy Rose Simpson – Delicias Valley Cafe
933 NW Circle Blvd.

When looking for a good place to eat I love to indulge in some local, family-owned, vegetarian bliss on the cheap. Delicias Valley Cafe caters to veggie and meat eaters alike with an authentic Mexican menu that spans breakfast to dinner. It takes work to find a menu item over $10, and with generous portion sizes you’ll either be sauntering out with a full belly or packing some leftovers home for later.

Bridget Egan – Al-Jebal
2240 SW 3rd St.

Facing busy 3rd Street and located at the back of a grocery store, the Al-Jebal is an easy to miss gem. The menu has the normal Middle Eastern and Mediterranean offerings, and that’s a good thing. The place is no frills and $10 can buy you a lunch entree or two dinner sides. You can also opt for a Turkish coffee and a nice snack at the grocery store. One menu favorite is the lamb schwarma. If you have the cash to order a hefty dose of sides, you might think they’ve added a brick to your meal when you heft the takeout container.

Ygal Kaufman – Magenta
137 SW 2nd St.

When I have about $8 to $10 for lunch, I either get a preposterously overpriced “value meal” at Taco Time, or I go to this design monstrosity that looks like Don Johnson’s sex den. The dim sum menu here is darn good. For $8 to $10 you can get two items that are surprisingly big, and they come out in a hurry. I especially like the fried tilapia and the veggie crepe.

Johnny Beaver – US Market 145 / Union 76 Fuel
1450 NW 9th St.

There are a ton of great under $10 meal options in Corvallis, but what if you’re a fast-moving, man-about-town editor on the go? That’s right folks, you stop at the gas station: $4 for two Red Bulls of varying flavors, $2 or so for a mini can of Cheez-Ums Pringles and then another $4 in gas, which gets me to my meeting and back. It’s quick, it’s dirty, but it gets the job done. Very friendly staff; so awesome that they have their own Facebook page:

Rob Goffins – Market of Choice
922 NW Circle Blvd.

Heft and freshness all wrapped in a just slightly browned warm tortilla with drink for only about $7 or $8, depending on what you’re drinking. Arguably worth more than they ask, the made-to-order burritos here offer choices of everything: tortilla, protein, beans, veggies, and more. Want tofu? It’s yours. Grab a drink out of the cold case on your way to check out and that post workout hunger pang gets answered with typical Market of Choice taste and quality, all on the cheap. By the way, it takes only a tad more time than fast food and it’s way quicker than a sit-down place.