Editor's note: In "Apps Only," Ben Fishner will be eating his way through New York's appetizer, bar, and lounge menus as your guide to fine dining on a budget. He blogs at Ben Cooks Everything.

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Baby back ribs with honey and beer from Edi & the Wolf. [Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

Edi & the Wolf is a recently opened Austrian wine bar on Avenue C. Inspired by the casual Austrian taverns called heuringers, the restaurant has a selection of small plates as well as more substantial fare. Would it be a good place to dine on the cheap?

On the small plates section of the menu, the Liptauer and Herb Gervais ($5) consists of two types of farmers cheese, one flavored with pine nuts and topped with pumpkin seeds, the other flavored with paprika which gives it a bright red hue. This was tasty, and there was a ton of it. There weren't quite enough pieces of bread, but our bartender was eager to fill our plate back up each time we depleted it. An order of the Landjager ($9), a cured dried sausage, reminded me of a Slim Jim, only a really delicious Slim Jim that you're not embarrassed to eat. The dish was rounded out with strong Dijon mustard and house made pickles, but nine bucks seemed a bit steep for four sticks of sausage. Still, it was one of the best bites, if not the best, of the meal.

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Liptauer and herb gervais. [Photo: Ben Fishner]

The Freekah Salad ($11), a warm grain salad, also had parsnips, carrots, beets and greens along with thinly sliced radishes, pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkinseed oil. Two big hunks of bucheron cheese were a bonus. As far as I could tell, there was no acid in this salad, just oil. On paper, I know that this looks like a real mess: too many ingredients and no acid in the dressing. But in practice this salad is a smash, somehow coalescing into a cohesive plate of food. And for $11, it could easily be a main course in a light dinner.

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Freekah Salad. [Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

Finally we had an order of the Baby Back Ribs ($13), meaty ribs glazed in a combination of honey and beer. These were tender and very meaty, with hunks of tender pork falling off the bone. Best of all, they weren't too sweet; the beer tempered the sweetness in the glaze. Like the landjager, these came served with pickles and mustard in addition to a homemade ketchup.

Everything we ate at Edi & the Wolf was tasty, and most of it was reasonably priced. We ended up over budget, spending $38 between the two of us, although if we'd just skipped the sausage we'd have been sated and satisfied. (I, for one, would rather be over budget than ever skip a sausage). The kitchen is successful at putting a new twist on some usual bar snacks, and at serving more traditional Austrian fare. I'd definitely go back to Edi & the Wolf.

Edi & the Wolf

102 Avenue C, New York NY 10009 (map)
212-598-1040
ediandthewolf.com

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