Friday, March 20, 2009

Frugal Fridays: Oriental Mart Kitchenette

I had to run an errand today at the Pike Place Market, so I decided I'd seek out a Frugal Friday lunch spot in that area. I didn't have anything in mind, but was sure I'd stumble on something. After checking out the menus of several places (and being surprised by what they charge tourists for a bowl of soup these days!) I spotted a handmade sign on the wall, amidst the post alley shops across from the market, that read "Combo 2 - Pancit Bihon & Steamed Rice $3.50 + tax". To be honest, I had no idea what Pancit Bihon was, or why it was so inexpensive, but I decided that part of doing Frugal Fridays is being adventurous - so I sat down at the counter and ordered Combo 2.

The staff were really nice, and the friendly Hawaiian woman that helped me told me to eat first before paying when I pulled out my wallet. She brought me over a big plate piled with steamed white rice, and loaded up with stir fried noodles, mixed with a little cabbage, carrot, and some bits of egg and chicken.

I wouldn't say it was the most well-rounded meal I've had (carbs on carbs, with almost no veggies or protein), but it was certainly filling and inexpensive. And the atmosphere was great. Plus, now I know what Pancit Bihon means... sort of.

The Oriental Mart Kitchenette also features Chicken & Pork Adobo, Chili Beef, and a 'Gourmet Chicken' dish. Somehow, I missed the note at the bottom of the sign about the 'Special of the Day' - and now I wonder if I missed out on an even better frugal Fridays lunch. I guess I'll just have to check it out the next time I'm in the market.

To get there, head to the main entrance of the Pike Place Market - where the guys throw fish and tourists sit on the big bronze pig - but as you pass the florist and Left Bank Books on the North side of the street, take a right into the shops. There will be a butcher on your right, and the Oriental Mart Kitchenette is on your left. The address is 1506 Pike Place Market, but you might get lost in the cacophony of the market.

(Frugal Fridays is a weekly series dedicated to finding Seattle lunch spots where you can walk in with a $5 bill and walk out with a fulfilling, preferably healthy, lunch. If you have suggestions of places in the Seattle area with a great lunch for under $5 after tax, post a comment - I'd love the help.)

Oriental Mart on Urbanspoon

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