Flat wallet, round tummy? Try these great cheap eats

LEO’s Eats with Louisville HotBytes

Okay, we’re into 2008 now. The holidays are over. Your wallet is flat but your tummy is not. Fine dining and wretched excess are not in the picture, but we’re not really ready for a diet of raw carrots and soda water.

Let’s scout out some great cheap eats, the kind of fare that offers a quick and tasty meal that may not be diet food but isn’t a multi-course banquet, either.

To celebrate the New Year (if in fact there’s much to celebrate about a bleak Ohio Valley January), let’s take a quick look at a potpourri of recent quick and affordable discoveries on the local dining scene.

Oak Street Pizza, a tiny storefront in Old Louisville, has been getting great reviews from the foodies on the LouisvilleHotBytes.com forum. We stopped in to check it out for lunch and found a tiny, walk-in spot – neat as a pin if still somewhat under construction, with a lot of hammering coming out of a side room with the pizza ovens.

There are no tables for dining in and no place to put them, but the friendly guys behind the counter – Adam at the pizza station, demonstrating what looked like a mighty practiced hand at pizza tossing and spinning, and Prentice at the cash register – seemed happy to see us, introduced themselves and forked over a menu. A good selection of pizzas is available from $7 for a small cheese-only pie to $16.95 for a five-topping rectangular, thick-crust Sicilian slab. Calzones are $2 more, and there’s also a selection of subs and pasta dishes.

As noted, it’s takeout only, but hey, pizza at home seemed like a fine idea. We signed on for a large with sausage, green peppers and onions ($12.95) and came away with a big cardboard box that did a fine job of keeping the pie warm – even on a brisk January day in the teens – until we rushed it back to Crescent Hill. It’s close to a New York City pizza in style, sliced into eight large, foldable wedges with a very thin crust and a puffy, bread-like rim, baked to high, crust-charring heat with well-made, discreetly applied toppings – tangy, herby tomato sauce, melted mozzarella and long julienne strips of peppers and onions plus thick rounds sliced from a good, mild Italian sausage.

Oak Street Pizza
125 E. Oak St.