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Beach Gourmet: Ten-Dollar Dining in Santa Monica

In this day and age, many readers are rethinking their dining options, and where, until quite recently, many of us would think nothing of spending 15 to 20 bucks on a plate, we now take a more thrifty approach to dining out. Thankfully, Santa Monica is well endowed with a plethora of dining options that allow us to choose a variety of great meals for less than 10 dollars. This week we will take a look at just some of these budget options, and wish you all, enjoyable and cheap eats!Norm’s Restaurant 1601 Lincoln Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90404. 310.450.6889A very good meal for fewer than 10 bucks is always available at Norm’s, and whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can always expect to leave with a full stomach. Try the hotcakes stack (three hotcakes, two eggs, and four bacon strips or four link sausages), $6.69 for breakfast, or Norm’s Classic Hamburger (served with onion rings, French fries, or fruit), $7.29 for lunch, and for dinner their New York steak and eggs, just coming in the under 10 rule at $9.79.Gilbert’s El Indio2526 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405 310.450.8057Mexican food is readily available from many Santa Monica establishments, and Gilbert’s El Indio offers bargains galore. Chile verde (pieces of pork in a chile sauce) $9.40, Super Special Burrito (beef, chicken, or pork, beans, avocado, and lettuce burrito, topped with melted cheese and tasty verde sauce) $6.95, and tostada (crisp flat corn tortilla, with beef, chicken, or pork, beans, lettuce, cheese, tomato, and avocado) at $6.95 are just some of the dishes on offer. Most entrees are $6-8, and the chips and salsa are complimentary.Tandoor India2622 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405 310.581.9964This cool Indian eatery offers a great “all you can eat” buffet lunch for just $7.95. The buffet consists of tandoor chicken, a chicken curry, three vegetable dishes, rice, naan bread, condiments and a dessert. Great value if you are famished.Rae’s Restaurant 2901 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405 310.828.7937This cute and traditional family diner has a menu filled with cheap eats, and patrons can choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Rae’s. Try the dinner specials that come replete with a choice of mixed green salad, cup of soup du jour or chilled tomato juice, and range in price from $6.95 – $8.95. One example is the breaded veal steak at just $6.95, and don’t forget to sample their daily specials, again all less than $10.Ocean Park Omelet Parlor 2732 Main Street, Santa Monica CA 90405 310.399.7892Ocean Park Omelet Parlor has been a local breakfast communal center for over 25 years, and it’s reputation as an affordable omelet heaven has been maintained by serving great omelets with original recipes, like the Chili Hernandez (mild chili con carne with beans, cheddar, and chopped onion, $9.82, and the Renters Rights (bacon and potato filling with sour cream on the side, $9.81). With a great many other inexpensive breakfast dishes available, as well as excellent coffee, the Omelet Parlor is a “must-do” on Main Street!

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