$13 at Original Napoli Flying Pizza on Beechnut

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: Original Napoli Flying Pizza, 5266 Beechnut, 713-726-1166

What $13 gets you: No-nonsense Italian food.

The wait staff at Original Napoli is as refreshingly unpretentious as the restaurant itself, a neighborhood favorite for families, cops and retirees. The place is airy and comfortable though somewhat kitschy with its murals of Italy and artificial Gerber daisies in Perrier bottles on every table.

Original Napoli offers your typical red-sauce fare. The pizzas, which you can also get by the slice ($1.85 for cheese, $3.25 for supreme), calzones ($4.25-$7.95) and pastas ($7.50-$13.95) are good, not great, so I went with the calamari salad ($8.50) and an iced tea ($1.25).

Recommended? Sure.

The nicely seasoned fried calamari mixed surprisingly well with the large bowl of salad, which included romaine hearts, cucumbers, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, red onions, black olives and goat cheese, tossed with Italian dressing. It’s a big meal made bigger by the complimentary basket of warm garlic knots.

Bonus point: Named a top-ten favorite for 2007 by the late Marvin Zindler. - Todd Spivak

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