Sake Gumi
Preface: $100/5 Days/NYC/Tourist

I woke up this morning with a feeling of doom- Judson commented yesterday on my Facebook, "$20 a day? Impossible. Why even try?" He is so right.

Met up with two really good friends last night at a sorta fancy tapas/wine bar thinking I would just get a glass of wine and split a few apps. Ended up being pricier than I had hoped- DUH. For all the eating I've done in this city, I'm clearly such an amateur.

Here's all I ate and drank yesterday.

Coffee in the morning.

Didn't feel like going out so had lunch at home. Rice balls I stole from a party the previous night- I shamelessly wrapped them in foil and put them in my bag. CLASSY. Orange I found in the fridge, the egg pancake things I bought last week at the Korean market. I was super wasted that night.

Had an impromptu wine party with a few friends. Figured it would be cheaper than going out for happy hour. Walked to Trader Joe's where I got two bottles of the lovely Charles Shaw for $2.99 each (price went up- I was not cc'd on that memo). Everyone thought it tasted great and couldn't believe it was such cheap wine (they had surprisingly never heard of "Two Buck Chuck" before!).

Again, more egg pancakes to nibble on, as well as some wings I had brought home from Smoke Joint the other night. Rule of thumb- always take your leftovers home!

Here's when my budget took a nosedive. Met up with some other friends at a REAL wine bar in Chelsea, El Quinto Pino.

I had been dying to try their uni panini, and figured we could just split it. I showed up late, and they had already ordered a bunch of stuff along with the panini- totally understandable. Cod fritters, pork belly chips, shrimp in garlic sauce- all excellent. The dishes range from $6-9, not overpriced, but they add up.

I had the cheapest glass of red. I literally said to the bartender, "I'll have the cheapest glass of red." I balked when she told me it was $8.50. She was like, dude, that's hella cheap, get a hold of yourself. Funny how totally clueless I've become by just living in California for 4 months.

The uni panini is the most expensive, at $15. It was delicious, but not something you could eat everyday. They put wasabi in there, which Larilyn liked but I thought it was too overpowering, and masked the sweetness of the uni. Two thumbs up for the concept though.

Ok so this is tricky- the bill comes and they refuse to let me look at it. They're like don't worry about it, we ordered all this food, we had more to drink, blah blah. I'm not down with that, and besides, the rules are the rules- no one can take me out to eat. So they just tell me to put in $25. I still don't know how much the bill was, but I'm sure it was much more than $25 each. All I can say is, Thanks Ladies!!! But still, I feel like I cheated and I should have put in more. I'll take them out soon.

DAY 1 TAB (including tax and tip):

2 Bottles Charles Shaw wine: $6.48
Night out at El Quinto Pino: $25

TOTAL: $31.48



  • on first day, you already went over $11? It will get even tougher as the week goes.. St. Patty’s today, pre and post wedding celebration.. Good luck.

    Yamahomo on

  • Uni panini?!?!?! Swoon.

    ayagwa on

  • i hate this.. I say just ditch this concept and eat all you want. you’re in NY for god’s sake!!!! it is really painful to watch refusal of food in NY. we won’t be mad if you bail, just more pics of uni panini-ish treats please :)

    tomotron on

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