Budget Crunch: 9 delicious deals to try now

Got $10 and a friend? Then Kevin Korinek has 9 delicious deals to try now. 

1. Yemanja Brasil in Benton Park is one of the few places in The Lou where you can sample authentic Brazilian cuisine. The flavors are intense, and during happy hour, you can enjoy a plate full of its famous Brazilian-style chicken wings for $9. Fried in a Brazilian hot sauce and served with a side of blue cheese, they’re crispy, spicy and satisfying.

2. 1818 Chophouse in Edwardsville offers an assortment of Budget Crunch-friendly snacks during happy hour. Indulge in the lobster salad sliders and the grilled beef tenderloin kabobs for $4 each. Or load up on the $2 tomato-avocado bruschetta, made with fresh pico de gallo, avocado and balsamic vinegar. Combined with $5 martinis on Thursdays, you’ve got yourself a fine first-date spot.

3. Try your luck at Sanctuaria Wild Tapas’ Thursday night cocktail roulette. Five bucks gets you a randomly selected cocktail from Sanctuaria’s heavily curated list of 150 libations. Just head to the bar and let President Lincoln do the rest. You may lose money at the casino, but everyone’s a winner here.

buffalo sauce-inspired bratwurst at brasserie // photo courtesy of brasserie

4. Why grill at home during the week when Gerard Craft and his crew will do it for you? Each week Brasserie by Niche elevates a basic brat and fries for $8. A recent special featured a raging, Buffalo sauce-inspired bratwurst topped with Frank’s Red Hot aioli, blue cheese and celery. They’re available every day except Saturday – but you were probably going to do your own cookout then anyway.

5. Dine in at Stir Crazy for an all-you-can-eat vegetarian feast at its $10 market bar. Fill your bowl with fresh crisp veggies, pick your sauces and base (noodles, rice or soup), then hand it to the staff who prepare and deliver it to your table with a hot bao bun. If it’s protein you’re after, add tofu or meat for an additional cost.

photo courtesy hendricks bbq

6. At Hendricks BBQ in St. Charles, Thursday is $5 nachos. All. Day. And if you’re sporting 10 bucks, that's dos orders of crispy cheesy nachos, my friends. Smothered in barbecue queso, pulled pork, baked beans and jalapenos, these are a meal and a snack all wrapped up in one.

7. St. Louis’ home for Cuban-inspired eats, Boogaloo in Maplewood offers a slightly earlier happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., where you can get 25 percent off tapas and wine by the glass. Try the Cigarro Cubanos –braised, flash-fried flank steak served with an avocado-ranch dipping sauce for around $7 and change. Get there early to get a swing at the bar (yes, they have those).

the buzz's hawaiian grill team // photo courtesy buzz's hawaiian grill

8. No better way to beat the summer heat than with some seriously cheap eats at Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill, a new food truck that makes scheduled stops all over St. Louis. A standout is the traditional Hawaiian plate lunch: two fish tacos with a macaroni side salad and a side of creamy slaw for $7. Check out Buzz’s Twitter feed for locations and don’t forget to say mahalo.

9. Aside from the occasional Steve Ewing performance, Kirkwood Brewing Station hosts a wicked early weekday happy hour that kicks off at 2 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Enjoy $4 draft beer and half off apps, like $7 nachos or hot pretzels for $4.50.  You might even be able to make this happy hour on a late lunch break. It probably won’t make you more productive, but you’ll be happier.

Kevin Korinek is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for making homemade pie.