The 10 Best $10-and-Under Dishes of 2011
4. Devil's Food Cake at the Dutch: This was a tough one, because the Dutch's $5 little oyster sandwiches were pretty damn delicious, but in terms of bang for your buck, I've got to go with pastry chef Kierin Baldwin's $10 hunkering slice of devil's food cake with black pepper boiled icing (with a side of White Russian ice cream). Perfectly chocolaty and with a great crumb, it's the ideal chocolate cake. 131 Sullivan Street, 212-677-6200
3. Chicharrónes at Calyer: Calyer specializes in Latin American small plates, and one of my favorite eats here was the chicharrónes, priced at only $7. The puffed-up pig skin comes in a bowl smeared with white-bean puree, while an anchovy vinaigrette helps cut the richness. Brussels sprout leaves are scattered on top for a really unique and delicious dish. 92 Calyer Street, Brooklyn, 347-899-6323
Lauren Shockey Don't hold back on the chiles.
2. Pla Goong at Zabb Elee: This steamed-shrimp salad is coated with a gentle lime dressing and lashed with lemongrass and sliced red chilies. It's spicy, tangy, and sweet, and it has a refreshing herbal kick, illustrating the way in which Thai food captures so many flavors at once. And it makes for a full meal for only $9! 75 Second Avenue, 212-505-9533