$5 and Under: Back Forty

Pork jowls are a cheeky, irresistible cheap eat

Think of Back Forty—the year-old Avenue B spot from restaurateur Peter Hoffman—as the casual kid sister to Savoy, his locavore-friendly SoHo institution. Back Forty embodies the same sensibility, but it's a little more fun and a lot cheaper, especially when you compose a meal from its rotating menu of seasonal snacks and sides. Our favorite: the $4 fried pork jowls with jalapeño jam.

After curing the fatty cheeks in salt and sugar, chef Shanna Pacifico braises them in stout, cuts them into bite-size chunks, coats them in bread crumbs and deep-fries them. Their succulent fattiness finds a perfect foil in the spicy spicy-sweet tang of house-made jalapeño jam.

Eat them on the massive back patio, washed down with a craft beer, alongside a few of Back Forty's seasonal small plates—heirloom tomato and pancetta BLTs, say, or chile-spiked parsnips—which are the real deal steal here. And don't worry, says Pacifico: Those jowls will be on the menu all year.

Back Forty, 190 Avenue B; 212-388-1990 or backfortynyc.com