Day 1 of Cheap Eats: Gyros, Flying Pizza and Frugal Fish

Posted April 28, 2008 6:58 a.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2008 7:36 a.m. EDT

With the pinch of rising gas and food prices, getting a great meal cheap can be tough.

WRAL reporter Kim Dean went in search of the best inexpensive meals in the area. The entree, drink and tax all have to be less than $10.

She began at Saladelia in Durham. The restaurant is known for home-style food with a Mediterranean flair. Owner Robert Ghanem said he buys local products and organic when available.

“If it’s local and it’s in season, it’s less expensive,” he said.

Ghanem also saves money by not having a wait staff. At Saladelia, customers order from the counter. But there are no short cuts – everything is done by hand.

Most entrees on the menu are under $10. Dean ordered a gyro platter, with fresh veggies and a homemade black bean salad. With a drink and tax, the total was $9.91.

Dean’s next stop was Pepper's Pizza in the heart of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. A mural on the wall painted by a local artist shows North Carolina musicians. Outside, people line up to get in the restaurant.

Regular Jay Fitzgerald said he's mesmerized by the flying pizza dough.

“It’s a little more than doing the drive-thru. It’s a little more entertaining,” he said.

For her order, Dean picked the spinach and cheese calzone. It wasn’t the prettiest to eat, but with a drink and tax, it was $9.61

She then moved on to Skipper's Fish Fry and Market in Apex, where most menu items are under $10. It's inexpensive, but that doesn't mean they skimp on fish.

Fish, plus homemade onion rings and a drink, cost Dean $9.56.

Tune in Tuesday to the WRAL Morning News at 6 for Cheap Eats at area establishments.