Can Somebody Help This (Literally) Poor Girl

Hey, I don’t set the prices for these celebrity chef dinners, I just report them. Moments after I posted about the dinner at Stephan Pyles, this little diddy dropped into my inbox:

Who in the hell can afford to pay $175 for a dinner these days. That is $350 for a couple. That is just crazy. People are losing their homes and starving all over the world. It just makes me sick. I can’t even afford a babysitter to go out and people are going on like there is no tomorrow.

Hmm. Sick is a little strong and there may not be a tomorrow which is all the more reason to either find a cheap babysitter or take the rugrat with you the next time you go out to eat. I suppose it is time for the Dish Nation to help this poor gal find some cheap eats. I, for one, had a nice night out at Dunston’s last night: a six-ounce, bacon-wrapped Prime tenderloin with an all-you-can-eat salad bar and a vegetable for around $18.


  • allison

    Maybe she should check her Valpak mailing and keep the buy one burger, get one free Jake’s coupon.

  • jb

    even though i love (and have dined) in all sorts food places from holes in the walls to alinea, le bernardin, french laundry, etc, i have to side with the girl. $18 itself is not what i’d consider anywhere near cheap but realize that may not have been the intention. sick i dont think was strong at all especially when the last food bank i volunteered at in chicago had an increased attendence of 50% vs. year ago.

  • Nate

    Good, cheap eats…always a challenge anywhere, unless you default to fast food.

    But fresh ingredients prepared for an actual meal while good and cheap, that’s even harder. With these preferences, I have to default to Asian restaurants in Richardson, Plano, Garland and some in Dallas. You will likely need to order a specific vegetable dish, but overall, you can eat a freshly made meal that is relatively healthy.

    Thai and Vietnamese foods tend to be healthier than Chinese foods, but you cannot do much healthier than non-sushi Japanese like udon, ramen (not the grocery store variety) or soba noodles.

  • yhc

    Ok, not to belabor the point…it’s a fundraiser and not Mandatory for anyone to atted. it was just offered and the money goes to fund culinary scholarships……Yikes !!

  • DTD

    NO, NO, NO. The first three responses are not addressing the point!

    What she needs to know is that these “Celebrity Chef Dinners” are all for CHARITY. The Pyles dinner is “to fund culinary scholarships and provide support for education and research in the culinary and viticulture arts.”

    Similarly, the March of Dimes Signature Chef Event raises thousands of dollars each year to fight premature birth and assist families with tough pregnancies.

    She absolutely needs to realize that $175/person is not headed into Stephan Pyles’ pocket, and the attendees are not paying that money for ‘a meal.’

    Finally, these charity events are for people that can afford to donate.

    With people “losing their homes and starving all over the world,” thank God there are charities working to make the world better.

  • Margaret

    Well said DTD.

  • DGirl

    Ditto DTD. And don’t worry, Poor Girl, once Obama becomes president you, too, will be able to eat fancy dinners because of the wealth sharing that will go on.

    I think Cowboy Chicken and Roti Grill both deliver very high quality food for the price.

  • RB

    I like Roti Grill, and I frequent it, but I’ve always thought it was kinda high for what it is. You think it’s a great value?

  • RB

    love cowboy chicken too

  • DGirl

    I do because the quality is so good and the portions are large. My 13-yr-old son and I share the large Chicken Masala and get an extra order of rice for $1.50 or something. That works out to about $7 per person for us.

  • Laura

    Ditto on Roti Grill. It’s good food, but it isn’t all that cheap.

  • JB

    Well said DTD. It is up to us private citizens to do the “wealth redistibuting” not the government. I bought a $20 Entertainment Book that is chalk full of 2 for 1 coupons and when we can’t think of where we want to eat, we often pull out the book for ideas. Some of the places print their full menu and prices. IThe book has paid for itself several times over.

  • DJ

    I love to eat — and Dallas has such great restaurants but yes it is nice to be able to dine out and it not be too expensive. Try State & Allen in Uptown — you can’t beat half price pizza on Monday nights. And Tuesday through Fridays, they also have a daily food special for $7.95 (plus a coke or tea). They range from fish & chips on Fridays to grilled fish tacos on Wednesdays — and wine by the glass or bottle is 25% off on Wednesdays, too. Also love 1/2 price food at Barley House on Wednesdays.

  • Herb Ziev

    There are a number of good dining options in Dallas without spending $175 for dinner. As to Nancy Nichols response, there is a long distance between Dunstons $18 steak and $175 per person for dinner just as there is a long between a snooty, elitist defensive remark and a reasonable response to her comment.

  • auguste

    6 oz “prime” tenderloin [with all the trimmin’s]…only $18…oopsie, must be a misprint

    check with DTD regarding truth-in-menus laws

  • DGirl

    And then there’s Buzz Brews.

  • Lori

    I live in the Denton area and there are plenty of cheap places to eat. Of course, I prefer home, first I like the location and of course I don’t have to tip. If you really want to get a good deal, check the college publications. Everyone realizes that students crave a discount, and there are plenty of great places to eat around a college town.

    The upcoming fundraiser for Artreach Dallas is charging $250 for their top tier. All this and you get to see Delbert McClinton at the historic Lakewood Theater.

  • kYle

    Chuy’s is very affordable. On Tuedays, All Good Cafe has a buy 2 Entrees & get the less expensive one free.

  • Christopher

    I find this ‘Dishers call to be rather snooty also. Are you really “literally poor” if you can’t imagine easily spending $350 dollars plus babysitter money on a random Saturday night? And does someone expressing that really imply that we all need to find her the cheapest plate in Dallas? Charity or not, the cheapest entree on SP’s normal dinner menu is $28 and for some that’s hard to justify, even the middle class. I would have appreciated a simple call out to try to find the best meals given the economy, without the email and the “poor” label. Any cheap plate I suggest, even if I regularly enjoy it myself, feels like a potential put-down or extreme. This dampers the fun of this blog, at least for me.

  • Nancy Nichols

    Christopher, it’s not a put down. We usually run a request as “Somebody Help This Poor Girl.” I popped in “literally” because she was complaining about not having enough money to go to the Pyles dinner. We trade ideas on value dining here all the time. No put-downs.

  • Christopher

    Nancy, I meant to write “thread” instead of “blog” and didn’t mean to convey the idea that I felt all “Somebody Help This Poor Girl”s were put-downs or necessarily snooty. I don’t. Go Sidedish! Really. In this particular case, however, ‘Dishers are asked to find restaurants for someone who can’t afford regular $350 SP dinners + babysitters (well…that covers alot) and someone who didn’t ask for help or seem to expect help back in the first place (at least in the excerpt I was shown). In trying to post on this thread I find myself making a lot of awkward assumptions about this person’s socio-economic status that could be avoided if it was presented in another way. I’m not complaining to complain, just honest feedback. But then again, I may be in the minority and if so, disregard.

  • Ciao Bella

    If you like Roti Grill, not bad but I prefer some of the many Indian option in Richardson. Try the chaat bar on weekends inside Taj Mahal Imports. Not only is it excellent vegetarian Indian food, but the ladies who work there are angels if you haven’t tried the dishes before. A great cultural experience for about $7 or $8. Now if I could only get out the door without loading up on my teabags, basmati rice and English staples like Ribena, I’d be set!!

  • Ciao Bella

    Oops, forgot to mention as you would expect in a grocery store, not a dinner option, but you can do what I do and eat too much at lunch. Lovely!