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Finding a New York Burger Bargain

Chappy Hardy, a.k.a. the Man from Hunger, has been forced by Hurricane Katrina to leave his beloved New Orleans for the time being. But his search for good, economical eating continues, this time in New York.

A hamburger craving led Hardy to a small, colorfully decorated spot called Paul's Palace, which promises the best burgers in the East Village. Hardy concurs: "[It's] maybe the best burger I've ever had in my life," he says. "And believe me, I've had a lot of them."

Owner Paul Kovalevich says the secret to the burgers is the butcher, who chops fresh sirloin and delivers it daily. The burgers sit under metal cups on the grill, so they stay juicy.

For Hardy, however, a good meal doesn't make the cut if it isn't a bargain -- and he measures the cost by the bite. His burger at Paul's, which was accompanied by a generous selection of fries and onion rings, came to a total of $7.35 and 89 bites. That averages out to about $.08 per mouthful, making it a rare Manhattan bargain.

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As NPR's senior national correspondent, Linda Wertheimer travels the country and the globe for NPR News, bringing her unique insights and wealth of experience to bear on the day's top news stories.