For a food lover, there aren't many better cities to live in than New York.

But for a student on a tight budget, four-star restaurants like Per Se, Masa or Daniel are out of question. Fortunately, New York offers something for everyone's pocket book.

A few times a year, however, a number of respected restaurants participate in Restaurant Week. These weeks usually take place during slower months (like January and August) and allow diners to take advantage of affordable prix fixe options.

So far I've made it to Chinatown Brasserie and Fig & Olive in the past week. The brasserie was fun but the food didn't excite me; I'd rather go to Chinatown for cheap dumplings. While Fig & Olive's atmosphere was engaging, the food wasn't anything special - lamb kebabs with couscous?

I think Restaurant Week is a great way to sample restaurants. But on the flip side, some of my friends think restaurants become lazy on the Restaurant Week offerings because they know those diners aren't spending as much.

I'm sure this is easier said than done, but if I had the power and know how, I say, why not give Restaurant Week diners as tasty and creative options as those ordering from the main menu? It'd bring me back to a restaurant and regular customers are the ones that make a restaurant profitable.

In New York - with or without Restaurant Week - the dining scene is always competitive and something new is always popping up. It's all these options that make dining in the Big Apple a food lover's dream.