Welcome aboard the Cheap Eats Express, where an economy class ticket takes you all over the world this month with stops in India, Italy, Peru and Main Street USA.
Hot Breads Café
1901-103 NW Cary Pkwy., Morrisville
In a nutshell: Torn between the lunch buffet at your favorite Indian eatery and just grabbing a quick sandwich? Problem solved at Hot Breads Café, which specializes in panini and other sandwiches with an Indian accent.
Try: Chicken tikka panini, Bombay sandwich (potatoes, beet, onion, tomato, cucumber and chutney on white bread), grilled paneer on wheat; for dessert, treat yourself to one of the colorful house-baked cakes.
Main Street Grille
1318 S. Main St., Wake Forest
In a nutshell: When your sandwich is brought to your table, it comes with a stack of napkins. Youll need them all. Unless you opt instead for one of the lunch specials, that is, in which case youll be provided with suitable flatware for tackling the likes of Guinness lamb stew and grit cakes with spinach and fresh corn. Regardless of your choice, its a good bet you wont be able to resist topping it off with something from a display case filled with house-baked pastries.
Try: Reuben, fried catfish sandwich, breakfast biscuit, lunch specials, apple cider donuts.
Pollo a la Brasa
4614 Capital Blvd., Raleigh
In a nutshell: Bags of hardwood charcoal, stacked in the corners of the dining room, leave no doubt as to what fuels the flames that transform row after rotating row of skewered, tropical juice- and spice-marinated whole chickens into succulent, golden-brown-skinned works of art.
Try: Rotisserie chicken (quarter, half, or whole) with choice of sides (black beans, sweet plantains and chicken soup especially recommended).
2428 SW Cary Pkwy., Cary
In a nutshell: Lots of pizzerias claim to serve up the real New York-style deal. Salvios pies available whole or by the slice, on a crust thats thin and just crisp enough comes closer than most.
Try: Lunch special, two featured slices and a beverage for $5.75 but only if youre very hungry; otherwise, a single ginormous slice ought to do you for $2-$2.75, depending on toppings.