Food & Drink

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BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT (CHEAP) Minneapolis 1998 -

Readers' Choice: (tie) Buca di Beppo and Olive Garden

At Cossetta's, where they've been making sausages since 1911, you can easily fill up and eat well for less than $5 per person by stuffing yourself with pizza and hoagies. If you raise the stakes toward $8 apiece, you can get the whole ball of wax: salad (the antipasto salad, for instance, generously covered with cubed Genoa salami, tangy provolone, slices of peperoncini, and wrinkled, savory oil-cured olives), an entrée (glorious Italian hero, or fork-and-knife veal parmigiana?), and dessert (chocolate cannoli, say, luscious with mascarpone cheese). If you check under the couch, you might even find enough to add a glass of wine ($3 and up) or a beer. At these prices, when you're nuzzled up under the papier-mâché salamis on the sort-of-romantic second floor, who needs waiters anyway?

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