Going out to eat for under $10? Normally I'd guess fast food is all you can afford on such a short budget. I recently ventured into Halfway Cafe on Washington Street in Canton and discovered my dollar could be stretched far past the typical drive-thru dollar menu.
With specials for $7, and several entrees for under $9, eating here didn't blow my budget. The casual dining restaurant served typical pub grub, including burgers, fries and steak tips. They also offered pasta dishes, salads, sandwiches and dessert.
The Halfway Cafe, a chain with six locations around Massachusetts, has been in Canton since 2005 in the Cobb Corner Shopping Plaza. With plenty of free parking and friendly service (and free popcorn while you wait) we didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes for a seat in the dining room on a weekday night. The bar was also packed with sports fans checking out the games on on the cafe's various flatscreen TVs.
In a comfy booth, we dined on a Farmstand Salad, Chicken Tips, Halfway Fries and Halfway Sliders.
The salad, which we ordered with grilled chicken, came brimming with mixed greens and was topped with sunflower seeds, cranberries, almonds and a variety of colorful vegetables. It could have been a meal by itself.
The Chicken Tips, grilled and served with mashed potatoes, were tender and spicy with a hint of barbecue sauce. My fellow diner described them as "phenomenal" and "delish."
The Halfway Fries were crispy and thick, with a perfect texture for dipping. My diet could wait. These were devilishly delicious fries.
The Halfway Sliders should be called burgers. They were so large, I could only finish one of the three burgers. (Maybe I had one too many fries before.) The not-so-mini burgers came with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. The burgers were fresh and large enough to take home leftovers for a second, or third, meal.
For under $40 for two, with sodas, salad and dinner, we were able to have a casual dinner out during the week. Not a bad deal considering you could easily spend $20 at a chain, fast food place on a meal for two.
The sports-themed Halfway Cafe provides ample food for your dollar and offers a quick, casual dining spot for locals and holiday shoppers. (In the summer time, they have a large outdoor patio in the front of the restaurant.)
The Halfway, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, is offering a special every month to keep the celebrating going all year. December's special is a $7.99 Chicken, Broccoli and Ziti entree. In January, the chain is offering a $8.99 Steak Tip entree. Halfway also offers daily lunch specials for $7.
For more information go to their homepage at www.thehalfwaycafe.com.