Dollar-Wise Gourmet: Cooking Teachers' Cheap Eats

  • Paulette Bruce, Good Eats Cooking Classes—“For a quick lunch with great prices and friendly service, one of my favorites is Lalo’s,” says Bruce. “It’s small and colorful and reminds me of some of the older restaurants I’ve enjoyed in Mexico—nothing fancy.” Bruce’s menu picks include the al pastor tacos ($1.50 each), molcajete ($12) and quesadilla de huitlacoche ($5.75). 5063 24th St. 
  • Terese and Dionisio Esperas, A Healthy Kitchen—“Les Baux is our go-to lunch date spot,” says Terese. “We love the traditional French ham sandwich on baguette. The warm bread is filled with French ham, butter and Gruyère, and it’s served with a perfect little salad.” Price: $8. 5090 Folsom Blvd.; 
  • Ross Interrante, Learning Exchange— “I go to Corti Brothers for the Corti special sandwich. It’s only $4.99, and they put the kitchen sink on it,” says Interrante. “It’s usually got three sliced meats and two or three cheeses, and I get everything on it, piled high with peppers, lettuce, tomato and onions. I eat half for lunch and save the other half for lunch the next day.” 5810 Folsom Blvd.; 
  • Roxanne O’Brien, American River College—“I live on Riverside Boulevard, by the cemetery, and there are a couple of neighborhood places I like, especially Iron,” says O’Brien. At happy hour, she orders carnitas tacos (two for $4), a wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese ($6) and a glass of the house red ($5.50). “I’m not breaking the bank, and it’s always fresh and tasty.” 2422 13th St.; 
  • Mayumi Tavalero, Fork & Knife Creations—“Since I live in West Sacramento, I like to support businesses in town,” Tavalero says. “Serrano’s Cafe has the best-tasting and most reasonable breakfasts in town, and they offer it all day. Plus, for lunch they have more than 30 delicious sandwiches to choose from. The Roastrami is one of my top choices. It’s piled high with roast beef, pastrami and cheese, accompanied by your choice of side, and is a great value at $7.99.”