Coquette Bistro knocked oysters down to a buck. London Grill has $3 mini burgers. Which brings us to Chick's Cafe & Wine Bar, where they've started featuring "Recession Proof $5 Paninis" to bring in trade on slow Tuesdays. The paninis are basically fancy grilled cheese sandwiches, toasted to a delicate, buttery crisp on Metropolitan's thin Pullman bread - our favorite of the ones we tried was a diced dried fig, dulce gorgonzola and caramelized onion (with a dash of balsamic) job that toggled nicely tangy and sweet. (The truffled wild mushroom and taleggio number was decent, but a bit skimpy). For $3 extra you can add a mug of soup, a salad or fries. But watch the wine: A nice glass of pinot noir might take your mind off the red ink, but it can quickly more than double your check.
Grilled cheese Tuesdays, $5, at Chick's Cafe & Wine Bar, 614 S. Seventh Street (at Bainbridge), 215-625-3700, www.chickscafe.com.