5 p.m., May 26
I was drawn in to Andiamo! in Tierrasanta by a sign in the window advertising "Express Lunch and Early Bird Specials." I decided to take a risk and ask for a table before I had a chance to look at their menu or visit their website. It turned out to be a good choice; all items on the special menu (available Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.) are $10.99.
For that price, along with your entrée, you get a bit of rosemary focaccia bread and a tomato-basil dipping sauce.
Entrée options include angel hair primavera, baked ziti, or a Caesar salad and soup combo, among others. I chose the linguini puttanesca (crushed tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, and “a touch of anchovies”). I have a soft spot for anchovies, but I’ve never been able to use them in my own cooking without them taking over the whole dish. And in other restaurants, more than once, I've seen anchovies in the description but didn't quite taste them. In this particular puttanesca sauce, however, the balance was just right.
Believe it or not, this $10 lunch also includes a glass of table wine – the house Chablis or paisano.
On a beautiful day, a table on this lovely patio makes the deal even sweeter.