Four great deals for lunch

Four great deals for lunch

A brown-bag lunch may be economical, but it’s not often interesting. Luckily, at many area restaurants you can sample a lunch-size portion of a chef’s food at a lower price point than you would pay at dinner. Here are four eateries where the lunch menus offer a respite from your daily cold turkey sandwich.

1. Lucca: Diners seeking a three-course feast can visit Lucca at dinner, where the nightly prix fixe menu includes antipasti, primi piatti and secondi for $38. But at lunch, this spot special izing in “simple Italian” cuisine offers different options, most under $10. For the price of fast food, diners munch on a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups and pastas while enjoying the restaurant’s elegant, minimalist atmosphere. Find it: 420 E Locust St. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Info: 515-243-1115.

2. Red China Bistro: The lunch menu at Red China Bistro is a pared down version of its dinner menu, featuring staples like Mongolian beef, pineapple chicken and lo mein. Smaller-sized lunch portions range from $10-$12, about $5-$7 less than at dinner. There are also plenty of soups and salads available for lunch. Find it: 2925 Ingersoll Ave. Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-11:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 5-11:30 p.m. Sunday. Info: 515-274-0097.

3. Waterfront Seafood Market: For a deal on seafood, visit Waterfront at lunch, when baskets of fried fish and chips, walleye, clams, rock shrimp and more run from $7.95-$14.95. In addition to sandwiches, soups and salads, the lunch menu offers versions of a couple house specialties. The Halibut royale, with dinner pricing of $27.95, costs nearly half that for lunch at $14.95, where the portion size is slightly smaller and the entrée comes with one less side dish. Find it: 2900 University Ave., West Des Moines (there’s also an Ankeny location) Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Info: 515-223-5106.

4. Django: The lunch menu at this French bistro is packed with favor ites like burgers, sandwiches, pastas and salads. Each week day features a special for $9.99, such as a steak au poivre or French dip sandwich, served with a side. At lunch diners can also try grilled salmon for $14.99 ($23.99 at dinner), with roasted potatoes, house vegetables and Bearnaise sauce. Find it: 210 10th St. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 4-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Info: 515-288-0268.

About the Author

Laura is contributor to Juice Magazine.

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