Pinching pennies? Next time you’re getting a hot-stone massage at Marie Antoinette’s or a $150 Western-style shirt at Leddy’s Ranch, pick up one of those slick Insider newsletters that Sundance Square (the management company, not the parking lot) produces.

You can say you’re reading it for the articles on downtown retailers and events, but for Chow, Baby, it’s all about the coupons. In November, smart shoppers can take a Classic Carriage ride ($10 off) to the Circle Theatre (50 percent off select performances), along the way dropping off UPS packages ($3 off shipping) and picking up kitsch at Earth Bones and Retro Cowboy (each 20 percent off a single item).

Of course, it has restaurant coupons too (or else why bring it up). Unfortunately, “buy one, get one free” at Marble Slab Creamery is still not a deal in Chow, Baby’s book. And even at 20 percent off, Chow, Baby can’t afford another Chophouse pepper-crusted filet mignon this year (retail $33.95, but it’s really, really good). Ah, this one’s more like it: Friday-night buffet at City Streets (425 Commerce St.), free! with coupon (normally $3). Chow, Baby, who hadn’t been in a disco since “Brick House” wasn’t an oldie, didn’t understand most of City Streets’ extensive dress code (“No urban clothing”???) but was waved right in. Disco door standards ain’t what they used to be. Down the stairs (posted “Don’t stand on the stairs” – boy, this place has a lot of rules) to a big room with few people, loud oldies music, 13 disco balls … and there’s the 30-foot buffet! It wasn’t gourmet – macaroni salad, mini carrots, make-your-own-tacos – but it was definitely worth free.


Chow, Baby hadn’t been to Daddy Jack’s (353 Throckmorton St.) in a while, and 15 percent off was a great inducement to renew its acquaintance with that fabulous lobster bisque (bowl $5). With warm bread for sopping, the thick, rich, no-base bisque (“East Coast queso,” the hostess calls it) is nearly a meal in itself, though name-the-ingredient players will find it disappears too fast to identify all the wonderful blended flavors. Chow, Baby will spot you one: tarragon. (Oopsie: Chow, Baby’s visit was in late October; unfortunately, Daddy Jack’s doesn’t have a coupon in the November Insider. But Chili’s has one for free chips and queso with purchase of two entrées. Sarcastic whoo-hoo!)

And let’s see what’s going on at 6.4 (111 E. 3rd St.) – get it, that’s 8.0 at 20 percent off. Chow, Baby cracks itself up. Well, they have new shirts: “I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Giddy Up.” That’s funny, too. So Chow, Baby was in a good mood even before Jeff and his pumpkin (Chow, Baby didn’t ask) delivered a Be-a-Ritz Burger ($7.29), a small but medium-rare-as-requested burger on a toasted ciabatta bun, topped with Swiss and blue cheeses and bottomed with a bacon and onion (mainly onion) compote. Most tasty. The curried tuna salad ($7.99) could have used some curry, but it was beautifully presented even in its to-go box, resting on a bed of vinaigretted greens with ornaments of hard-boiled egg, grape tomatoes, and cukes. And Chow, Baby gobbled it all, except the dressing-drenched bits that escaped onto its shirt. But the Insider has that covered, too: Upper West Cleaners, $3 off a $10 order.

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