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The Dollar-Wise Gourmet: $20, Tops


Posted on August 30

Pastitsio meal at Greek Village Inn
Pastitsio meal at Greek Village Inn Photography by Gabriel Teague

Fins Market & Grill Four locations (Fair Oaks, Sacramento and two in Roseville)

Buffalo prawns appetizer.........................$8.95
Halibut sandwich with coleslaw.................$8.95
Total.....................................................$17.90

The prawns are lightly breaded and deep-fried, then tossed in a spicy sauce. The halibut sandwich, a fresh fillet brushed lightly with butter, garlic and dill, comes grilled and is served on toasted sourdough with housemade dill tartar sauce. Crisp Caribbean coleslaw comes on the side.


Bella Bru Cafe & Catering 5038 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael

Marinated grilled steak salad................$11.95
Grand Marnier chocolate cake...............$5.95
Coffee...............................................$1.65
Total................................................$19.55
 
The steak salad, with tender sliced beef, mixed grilled vegetables and crumbled blue cheese on a bed of organic baby lettuce, comes with a complimentary basket of Bella Bru bread. For dessert, executive chef David Boswell recommends the “not overly sweet” Grand Marnier chocolate cake.


Cafe Vinoteca 3535 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento

Three-course pasta special (pasta, salad, dessert).....$16
Glass of Chianti......................................................$4
Total....................................................................$20

Hit this charming Italian bistro on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday and you can get a three-course pasta dinner for $16; add a glass of wine and your tab runs a cool $20. The deal offers a choice of three pastas and three sauces, a tre colori (mixed green) salad and vanilla or spumoni gelato.


Greek Village Inn 65 University Ave., Sacramento

Pastitsio, served with soup and mixed greens..........$14.95
Rizogalo (rice pudding).........................................$3.95
Total.................................................................$18.90

I’m fussy about my pastitsio (aka Greek lasagna), but this is the real deal: dense layers of ground beef and macaroni topped by a thick, creamy béchamel. The avgolemono (egg and lemon soup) is soothingly good, and if you have room for dessert, the cinnamony rice pudding is lovely.


Fat City Bar & Cafe 1001 Front St., Old Sacramento

Chicken pot stickers..................................$8.95
Mixed green salad.....................................$6.25
Iced tea...................................................$2.95
Total.......................................................$18.15

For a light bite, you can’t go wrong with Fat’s chicken pot stickers. Says general manager Michael Triglia, “The Fats have been in business for 75 years, and this has been on their menu for that long.” Add a mixed green salad with herb vinaigrette house dressing and you’re good to go.


Tazzina Bistro & Vintage Lounge 614 Main St., Woodland

Three-course prix-fixe supper (gazpacho, chicken cacciatore and affogato)...............$18
Total................................................................................................................$18

From 5 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday or 4 to 5 p.m. Sunday, you can snag a three-course meal for only $18. The cacciatore is made with chicken thighs, herbs, capers and roasted peppers. If you can’t decide between coffee and dessert, end your meal with affogato (vanilla bean ice cream topped with a shot of espresso).

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St. Francis Revelry 2014

St. Francis Revelry 2014

Published: Saturday, October 18, 2014 carlcostas.com