Budget Beat

Two Hippies Beach House: Lunch $10 and Under

Two Hippies Beach House gives fresh meaning to a paper bag lunch. One newish installment of peace, love, and tacos, residing in the chartreuse building with the wrap-around porch at the corner of 16fh Street and Earll, packs up lunch in the brown sacks just like mom did, but in place of the PB&J, cold cuts or mystery meat, you can pick and choose tacos, burritos or hot dogs - all for less than $10.

Or create your own taco three-pack for $5 and choose from fillings like fish, carne asada, green beef, chicken, pork or cactus topped off with rice, beans, cheese, lettuce onion and tomato. If you're looking for a tortilla with a little more heft, pick a protein and grab a burrito for $5.

Quarter-pound, all beef hot dogs weigh in on the other side of the menu, served up plain ($3.50) or topped with anything from the standard mustard, ketchup, onion and pickle to the more exotic like bacon, feta, guac, jalapenos and shrooms - in various combinations, of course (topping out at $5). All dogs come with potato chips.

Be sure to check the chalkboard menu for the day's special or be prepared to miss out on a great deal like $4 Macho Nachos.

Click through for more taco tips.

We assembled a taco trifecta with two cactus and one black bean on a recent visit, and damn, it was a tasty mess! There's no ladylike way to eat one of these bad boys, so check your dignity at the door and prepare to dive in mouth first. Taco-eating tip: repurpose your paper bag as a placemat and use the foil as a taco holder to catch all the excess fillings - just peel back and eat.

The cactus resembles a cross between a green bean and a slice of jalepeno but tastes more like the latter, probably thanks to some pickling. Pintos and rice balance out some of the heat and lettuce, tomato and cheese add a welcome cool freshness. These guys are best unadulterated or sauced up with some of the Two Hippies green salsa.

The black bean taco lacked the kick of the cactus but was just as messy and filling. Beware: the warm tortillas get a little slippery in their foil wrapping. Add some heat with the requisite Cholula or give it a tinge of smokiness by pouring on the red salsa (pouring, rather than dipping, will ensure the contents of your taco stay in the tortilla rather than on the table).

Wash down your meal with a flavored lemonade for $3. The girl behind the counter helped us out with our choice between the 16 flavors and endless combinations by recommending kiwi or watermelon. The watermelon flavor, lemonade and ice were blending together to make a sweet slushy concoction that we sucked down, luckily avoiding a brain freeze. The cherry on top? A neon straw and pink drink umbrella.

Know before you go: Two Hippies is still sticking it to the man and doesn't accept credit cards, so make sure you have cash on you or be ready to blow a taco's worth ($2) on the ATM fee. Walk in with a Hamilton and walk out with a full stomach and change.

Two Hippies Beach House 3102 N. 16th Street Phoenix 602.776.9000

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Hannah E Williams