5 Faves: Cheap Eats

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Is your wallet feeling depressingly light? Here are five food establishments that will serve you up some tasty fare – and leave you with some cash to spare.

Taqueria Garibaldi
If you’re in the Arden area and craving a sloppy, delicious Mexican torta sandwich or burrito, Taqueria Garibaldi is a great choice. This upbeat establishment, located next door to Cost Plus World Market, offers a number of yummy (and affordable) dishes, like the popular super taco (with meat, cheese, guacamole, salsa and lettuce) and a hefty seafood tostada.
1841 Howe Avenue, Sacramento, (916) 924-0108

Cornerstone Restaurant
You can’t beat Cornerstone’s generous portions of hot, no-frills breakfast fare. Shabby, crowded, and very family-friendly, this midtown favorite has been filling bellies with items like the thigh-thickening California omelette (stuffed with turkey, mushrooms, zucchini and chunks of tomato, then covered with Hollandaise sauce) and New York Steak and eggs for years.
2330 J Street, Sacramento; (916) 441-0948

Cookie’s Drive-In
Got a case of the hungries? Cookie’s greasy-but-delicious beef burgers are sure to satisfy that grumbly tummy. This casual mom and pop establishment also offers ostrich and buffalo burgers (touted to be healthier than beef) in addition to an indulgent selection of sandwiches (don’t miss the tender Philly cheese steak). On swelteringly hot days, you’ll love the diner’s “slushies” and “frosties” – refreshing, icy beverages whose flavors range from coconut and cherry to oreo and blackberry.
5640 H Street, Sacramento, (916) 457-8353

Maalouf’s Taste of Lebanon

You can’t help but feel virtuous after plowing through this friendly restaurant’s chicken shawarma sandwich (strips of marinated, grilled garlic chicken, pickles and tomatoes stuffed into pita bread), served with a vivacious tabouli salad; or the homemade spinach pie. If you’ve got a demanding sweet tooth, try Maalouf’s excellent, rose-scented baklava. (Note: Visit at lunch time to get the best value).
1433 Fulton Avenue, Suite G, Sacramento, (916) 972-8768; http://maaloufs.com

Fog Mountain Café
If the economy’s got you feeling blue, order up one of Fog Mountain’s comforting housemade soups (there are several to choose from daily) or rib-sticking sandwiches – I recommend the “not your mom’s” meatloaf sandwich and the hearty NYC hot pastrami (with Dijon mustard and melted Swiss cheese).
1000 I Street, Sacramento, (916) 444-0144; www.fogmountaincafe.com