Recession Dining: $1 Frankfurter at Yapa

The first time I walked into Yapa Kitchen Café in the shopping center at Buffalo Speedway and Bellaire a couple of years ago, I turned around and walked out again. There wasn't anything wrong with the prepared foods in the refrigerator case -- in fact, they looked fantastic. It was the prices I couldn't stomach. $13 for a King Ranch Casserole? $7 for a bag of chips, a soda and a pre-made tuna or chicken salad sandwich on regular whole wheat bread? No thanks.

But yesterday I was really hungry, and after turning up my nose at the cellophane-wrapped sandwich selection, I noticed a bowl full of frankfurters on top of the marinated baby back ribs. "How do you serve the hot dogs?" I asked the lady behind the counter. She pointed to some buns and mustard, relish and onions. When I asked how much, she said, "One dollar."

What a shock. I got a hot dog, a bag of chips and a Dr. Brown's Cream soda at the upscale Yapa Kitchen for $3.40. This recession must be worse than I thought.

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