By Mandy Major
Chefs' Favorite Cheap Restaurant Eats
These days, chefs and food personalities seem larger than life-they're on TV, they're publishing memoirs and continually mastering dishes we could only hope to recreate. But away from the spotlight, it turns out they're just like us-or, at least, they eat like us, seeking comforting, quick and affordable take-out. Read on to discover the secret (and surprising!) favorite noshes of noted foodies. Photo credit: Culver's, Roscoe's House of Chicken' N Waffles, Popeyes, Chipotle, Rita's
Butterburgers from Culver's
For Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, the Midwestern burger chain Culver's takes the cake. "My family and I love it so much that we've even spent a few Valentine's Days there. Their custard ice cream is legendary, the meat is fresh, burgers are cooked to order and their concrete malts are amazing. But they specialize in a regional superfood called a Butterburger. Don't ask-just enjoy."
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Chicken and Waffles from Roscoe's House of Chicken' N Waffles
In Los Angeles, Candice Kumai, cookbook author of Pretty Delicious and Iron Chef America judge, heads to just one place: Roscoe's House of Chicken' N Waffles, where she digs into the 1/4 chicken platter prepared Southern-style with two waffles. As for New York City, her favorite affordable spot is Xian Foods, where she orders the $3 spicy cumin lamb burger. "I absolutely love this place for its authentic ingredients, handmade noodles and cheap eats," she says.
For Katzie Guy-Hamilton, Manhattan pastry chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts contender, the guacamole and chips at the West Village's Empellón Taqueria is tops. Even better: the cashew salsa it comes with.Indulge in these snacks under 100 calories.
Fried Chicken from Popeyes
When in search of cheap eats, Dale Talde, former Top Chef contestant and owner of Talde restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, goes straight for comfort food. "I love fried chicken, and Popeyes is my favorite for something quick. My usual order is a three-piece spicy with mac and cheese, dirty rice and a side of ranch. I love ranch dressing."
Sarabeth Levine, jam guru and owner of Sarabeth's Kitchen restaurants in New York City, is a fan of takeout from Upper West Side eatery Chirping Chicken. "My husband and I each have half of a rotisserie chicken with tomato salsa, pita and a nice garden salad. It's fresh and delicious. With tax and tip it's only $22 for two people, and there's leftover chicken for a sandwich the next day."
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Burrito Bowl from Chipotle
Cesare Casella, co-owner and chef of Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto in New York City, can't get enough of Chipotle. "I love the burrito bowl with pork and extra guacamole," he says. Another Manhattan favorite: Papaya Dog, where he gets a hot dog with mustard, ketchup and onions.
It's a simple sweet that does it for Dana Herbert, custom cake designer and winner of TLC's Next Great Baker: Rita's Banana Italian Ice. "I love water ice and gelato-anything nice and cool. I can eat it all year long. It makes me think of being on vacation."Make cooking easier with these 8 kitchen gadgets.
Tacos from El Paso
Tacos are the favorite food of Julian Medina, chef and owner of Toloache, Yerba Buena and Coppelia restaurants in New York City. And the best ones, he says, are to be had at El Paso, a small taqueria in East Harlem.Chicken Pozole from Mas Malo
Downtown L.A. restaurant Màs Malo's chicken pozole always keeps Ashley James of the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills coming back for more. "It's authentic and a steal for only $7." She likes to pair it with another great bargain: the restaurant's $5 margarita.
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Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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