You'd think that Thrillist's reckless investment in Crystal Pepsi, along with our inability to forsake alcohol, would have reduced us to a frugal diet of free smoothie samples and refuse. Thrillist, however, isn't just about surviving; we're about thriving no matter what. This is why we lunch at El Castillo de Jagua, an incomprehensibly cheap and impossibly good Latin American/Caribbean diner on the Lower East Side.
El Castillo has plenty of tables, but we prefer the long service bar, where you can down a few Dominican-brewed Presidentes, then order the best Cuban sandwich in town for a mere $3.50 (less than you owe in late fees for Sister Act II: Back in the Habit.)
Entree prices are similarly ridiculous. Thrillist's favorite item, the pepper steak, rings up at only $7.50 for an enormous portion of beef, sauteed onions, salad, fried plantains, rice and beans. With deals like that, you might be tempted to bring dates here, skimping on dinner so you can afford those expensive lambskin condoms* you grew accustomed to while pilfering the belongings of your fantastically wealthy college roommate.
This is fine, if your date enjoys eating at what looks like a cafeteria in a hospital you wouldn't want to be treated in. It would also help if she doesn't mind a place that often inspires hideous, uncontrollable gorging. But never fear: if, by some fluke, the evening goes far too well, there's a storefront advertising "rapid divorces" just around the corner - which will come in handy once she realizes the only reason you discovered this amazing restaurant is that blowing every cent to your name on illicit gambling and booze is very hungry work.