$7 at Chicago Pizza

Where? Chicago Pizza, 1777 Airline, 713-862-2828.

What $7 gets you: There are two sandwiches that will run you about $7: an Italian deli meat option and an Eggplant Parmesan. The price includes a hearty helping of your choice of side: fries, soup or salad. I selected the eggplant sandwich with a side salad.

Though it has the name "pizza" in its title, Chicago Pizza (1777 Airline) actually serves up way more than your typical pizzeria. They have waffles and eggs for breakfast and tons of pastas, and sandwiches. The menu is so extensive, in fact, that it took nearly ten minutes to navigate my way through the whole thing and settle on an option.

The salad came out first and, though fairly standard, was tasty. Leafy romaine, crisp iceberg, sliced red tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and mozzarella cheese were heaped into a large bowl with an accompanying side of creamy ranch dressing. The sandwich was shockingly big.

Chicago Pizza bakes its own bread daily, and you can taste the freshness. The bun was nearly a foot long and a few inches high, topped with ample slices of thickly breaded purple eggplant, zesty marinara sauce, and gooey mozzarella cheese. It was a beast of a sandwich, and I could easily have shared the meal with a friend.

Recommended? Yes. Big portions, bold flavors and a tiny price tag ensured that I will soon be visiting Chicago Pizza for a repeat performance.

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