Friday, April 10, 2009

Frugal Fridays: Tourist Lunch

I headed out today for my Frugal Friday adventure with, initially, no plan. Then my coworker (who turned 30 yesterday - Happy Birthday Marta!) suggested Ivar's. I wasn't sure they'd have anything under $5 - but it sounded like a direction to head, at the very least.

I made my way down to Ivar's, enjoying a sunny Spring day along the waterfront. Unfortunately, the only under $5 menu item that could even be considered a lunch was a cup of Salmon Chowder, which just didn't sound that good today.

So I kept walking.

A sign led me into a shopping center, promising various restaurants, but many were closed and those that weren't were definitely charging tourist prices. I got to the back of the center, and found the beautiful carousel spinning around and around.

But I kept walking.

I wandered past the Aquarium, up the steps behind the market, past the Bug Zoo, through the market a bit, and popped up by the infamous fish throwers. I headed North from there, toward the cheap fried chicken place I found the last time I was here... but then suddenly remembered something.

So I turned around, and kept walking.

Right over to the Wonder Freeze, across from the newsstand. I remembered when I was still vegetarian (the first time) and visiting Seattle during breaks from college, I would get tofu corn dogs at Danny's Wonder Freeze. They're dipped in batter and fried right there, while you wait - which allows them to make corn dogs out of any of the dogs they serve in buns. Today, I went for a Hot Link corndog, for a little spice, which ran me exactly $2.50 with tax. I enjoyed it while standing on the corner, just outside the entrance to the Pike Place Market, looking across at the Starbucks where the Fantasy Unlimited used to be. I heard a boy point to it and tell his Mother that he thought that must be the first Starbucks, which made me smile as I thought of getting my nipples pierced in that building over a decade ago. Definitely wasn't a Starbucks then.

After finishing off my corndog (and daydreaming), I figured I better make use of the extra cash left over to make my lunch a little more well balanced, so I crossed over to the fruit stand and picked up a huge Pacific Rose apple for $1.95, and ate it on the walk back to work.

Even though it wasn't where I planned to end up, my tourist lunch and my walk around the waterfront and the market were a nice way to spend a lunch hour. And a corndog and apple were a decent way to spend $4.45.

(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.)

Danny's Wonder Freeze on Urbanspoon

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