At Lina’s Italian Mercato, my challenge isn’t finding a tasty dish for about $10. It’s choosing which of many bargain items to order.
Consider just some of my lunchtime options: Veal parm on a bun ($11), a half dozen types of eight-inch pizza (starting at $10) and nine sorts of paninis (starting at $9), all of high quality.
I’ve been working my way through some of these bargain items, including a wild boar pizza, a stuffed porchetta meal and a ridiculously humungous breakfast sandwich. I’ve written about these great deals to honour the recent opening of this third Lina’s Calgary location, along Britannia’s Elbow Drive.
But there’s still plenty of room for yet another offering to squeeze into this cheap-eats lunch series. It’s a fabulous three-meatball hero sandwich, in a house-made focaccia bun—with tomato sauce, a balsamic glaze and a sprinkling of baby arugula—for only $10.
Update: I must note that in the nine months since I last had this sandwich, the price has gone up about $1 and the number of meatballs has shrunk from three to two (see photos below). Now, I don’t mind paying more as costs go up, especially during this pandemic.
But I’ve always been of the view that it’s better to increase prices than reduce the size of the meal (Unless it’s one of those monster meals fueling the obesity crisis). Your thoughts?
Lina’s Italian Mercato
5108 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary
Daily 9 am-7 pm
Increasing prices and reduced content are arriving not only in the restaurants but also the grocery shelves in these consumer-unfriendly times!