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The List: Recession special

This week is all about eating on the cheap. First, I wrote about the Columbine Steak House and its ten-dollar steaks. Then Cowbobas, with its equally inexpensive beef (and corn dogs and boba tea and grilled cheese sandwiches). And finally, Andrew Schutt's awesome Tin Star Cafe barbecue-and-donut restaurant--a place that's both brilliant and easy on the wallet.

And thus, this week's list: a conglomeration of other joints in town still serving meals that are cheap, tasty and (in many cases) throwbacks to the days when a nice steak dinner out didn't require a second mortgage.  So loosen that belt, sharpen up those knives and make some plans this weekend, because here are Denver's best beef bargains:

1) Bastien's, 3503 East Colfax.  Not quite as cheap as the Columbine, but certainly more budget-friendly than all those downtown beef palaces. The real killer here is the sugar steak, a historic classic. And with full steak dinners starting at under twenty bucks, Bastiens is a historic bargain, too.

2) Club 404, 404 Broadway. A Denver institution with more than sixty years in the rearview mirror. Yeah, it's a bit of a dive, but that's what gives it its charm. And even if it did recently lose its 25-year veteran cook (RIP, Steve Clark), Club 404 is still the perfect place to kick back over big plates of beef (or fried chicken) and a few cold beers.

3) Teddy T's, 6635 East Evans. To be honest, I've never been to Teddy T's -- but my friend Curt says these dirt-cheap T-bones are "like eating steaks at the Circus Circus."  Sign me up.

4) Morton's, 1710 Wynkoop Street. Okay, this is not a cheap steakhouse at all. But during its happy hour (which runs from 4:45 until 7 p.m.), the bar offers free filet sandwiches. That makes for a very happy hour (or two) indeed.

5) Mickey's Top Sirloin, 6950 North Broadway.  A big, giant warehouse filled with steaks, steaks, steaks and beer -- that's Mickey's. But with the namesake top sirloin coming in at just $13.99 (and that's served with soup or salad, baked potato, steak fries or spaghetti and dinner rolls), no one's coming here for the brilliant decor or old-world charm.

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