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Looking for a deal? We've got you covered on everything from breakfast to barbeque, burgers, tacos and more.
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Most of us have tightened our belts during the past few years in response to a wobbly and uncertain economy. For the region’s diners, that often has meant a shift to more economical restaurant meals. Happily, there’s a world of inexpensive dishes out there that deliver just as much (and, in some cases, more) flavor and variety than fancier fare. Here are 50 cheap eats that show just how delicious thrifty dining can be.
BBQ Pork Báhn Mì $2.75 (above)
If you’re seeking a sandwich with some zing, make your way to HUONG LAN SANDWICHES in South Sac. Food lovers flock to this busy restaurant and market for its delectable Vietnamese báhn mì sandwiches. One of the most popular is the barbecued pork báhn mì, composed on a soft French bun and partnered with pickled daikon and carrot, fresh cilantro, slivers of cucumber and jalapeño peppers. This captivating sandwich is exuberantly flavorful and delivers a spicy smack to the palate for less than 3 bucks.
6930 65th St.; (916) 429-9999
Chango Chicken Melt $6.99
At SERRANO'S CAFE, this hefty sandwich is the perfect choice for a cold, blustery day. Prepared on rye bread, it contains thick chunks of moist chicken breast smothered in melted Swiss cheese, bolstered with bacon strips and roasted green chilies. Almost too thick to bite into, it’s some serious comfort food.
3021 W. Capitol Ave., West Sacramento; (916) 376-0860; serranoscafe.net
Tuna Wasabi Sandwich $7
Bored with your traditional tuna fish sandwich? Make a trip to LITTLE BELGUIN DELI & BEER BAR, which in addition to offering a dazzling selection of draft beers also plates up some yummy sandwiches. The vivacious tuna wasabi sandwich is an enticing nosh: White albacore tuna is mixed with a kicky wasabi mayonnaise, and the sandwich is constructed on sturdy multigrain bread spread with cream cheese and stacked with lettuce, cucumber and avocado.
780 Lincoln Way, Auburn; (530) 820-3056
The Rat Trap Sandwich $6.99
It may not have the most appealing name, but this ’wich served at NEWCASTLE CHEESE SHOP delivers in spades when it comes to flavor and value. Crammed with four meats (turkey, ham, roast beef and pastrami) and three cheeses (Jack, pepper Jack and cheddar), plus all of the regular fixin’s (lettuce, tomato, red onion and peperoncinis), this spectacular sandwich is guaranteed to fill you up for the rest of the day.
455 Main St., Newcastle; (916) 663-3704
The Angie $6.25
Downtown workers love THE LEAVEN & EARTH SANDWICH FOOD TRUCK, which has been parked at the same corner for nearly 10 years. The innovative, made-to-order sandwiches are terrific, especially The Angie, whose delicious addition of garlic herb sauce may require a brisk tooth brushing back at the office. Filled with pulled roasted chicken, artichoke hearts, provolone cheese and a thin slice of prosciutto, it’s an elegant and savory lunch treat.
Ninth and G streets; (916) 613-4493
Chile Verde Crispy Taco $1.85
A crispy outer shell, fragrant chile verde, chopped lettuce, and dollops of guacamole and sour cream
505 ½ L St., Davis; (530) 758-8453; taqueriadavis.info
Fish Taco $3.75
Moist fish, crispy lettuce, a judicious addition of queso fresco and a frisky dose of salsa
EL SOMBRERO TAQUERIA
4060 Douglas Blvd., Granite Bay; (916) 772-7770; elsombrerotaqueria.com
Pork Adobada Taco $1.50
The quintessential Mexican street taco
97A Natoma St., Folsom; (916) 402-1748
Lengua Taco $1.25
Beef tongue topped with spicy tomatillo salsa, chopped white onion and lots of cilantro
EL PAISANO TACO TRUCK
1460 E. Main St., Woodland; (530) 661-1040
Shrimp Taco $3.50
A messy and scrumptious treat
8121 Madison Ave., Fair Oaks; (916) 863-0535
Meatball Calzone $8.95
At DOMINICK'S ITALIAN MARKET & DELI, this halfmoon- shaped, beautifully crafted calzone is a real bargain for Italian-food fans. Baked in a stone oven, the plump, nicely browned pastry is filled with sliced meatballs laid atop layers of intense tomato sauce and melted mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. It’ll take two to finish this substantial dish, so bring a friend.
8621 Auburn-Folsom Road, Granite Bay; (916) 786-3355; www.dominicksmarketdeli.com
Pesto Veggie Combo Slice $6.50
Pieces Pizza by the Slice offers a fun and creative selection of (huge) pizza slices. One of the most electrifyingly delicious is the garlicky pesto pizza, loaded with a raft of vegetables: eggplant, spinach, tomato, zucchini and red onions. When you order, make sure to ask for an addition of feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes—they’re the perfect embellishment.
1309 21st St.; (916) 441-1949
Pepperoni Pizza Slice $2.50
VILLAGE BAKERY'S enormous slices of fresh pizza are an enduring favorite of Davis’ student population. The delicious pepperoni slices seem to sell out as fast as they come out of the oven, so call ahead for availability. Packed up in a cute triangular box, the pizza can be enjoyed on Village Bakery’s casual outdoor dining patio or taken to go.
814 Second St., Davis; (530) 750-2255
Individual Pizza Lunch Special $8.50
LINDA'S CHICAGO STYLE PIZZAERIA offers this tasty lunch bargain—an individual three-topping pizza with a side salad and a large drink— seven days a week. There’s an array of topping options; my favorite combo is artichoke, Canadian bacon and olive. The pizza is generously sized, and the salad is crisp and fresh. All in all, a great deal.
7815 Greenback Lane, Citrus Heights; (916) 722-2700; letseat.at/lindas
7-Inch Maui Wowie Pizza $7.59
Be prepared to wait a good while for your order at FAT MIKE'S PIZZA, a bustling, familyfriendly pizzeria. But it’s well worth your time, especially for the Maui Wowie, a fantastic combination of ham chunks, red onion, tomato wedges, bacon and pineapple. You’ll love the sweet-salty, crunchy-soft circus of flavors and textures, and the thick, pillowy crust is terrific.
8970 Grant Line Road, Elk Grove; (916) 686-8543; fatmikespizza.com