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Want hearty, inexpensive Italian meal? Try Bacino's

Dinner plans fell through earlier this week. Sometimes things just don't go the way you intended. Good thing I've learned that's when happy accidents tend to drop in your lap.

Those are the times when you stumble on something that may be even better than what you'd planned.

I ran across Bacino's Deli & Bakery on State Street in Sandy the other night looking for some food to review. If I came in feeling desperate, I certainly didn't leave that way. I left with spicy Italian deli food in my tummy.

Bacino's has a slogan, "We're #2 . . . YOU are #1!" It's so cute I want to cry, but they really are sincere at Bacino's and you feel it in the service and in the food.

Anyone can cook a meal . . . many can cook a good one. But it takes someone special to cook with real heart. I'd say that's the way they do it at Bacino's. And I love the prices.

Bacino's real prowess is the bakery and catering, but it does have a small menu and dine-in area for lunch and dinner.

I sampled the lasagna, spaghetti, three sandwiches and a Greek salad. Grab your antacid, you'll need it just to read the rest. (But oh, man, was it worth it!)

The lasagna was the best. My husband observes that the ratio of cheese to pasta to sauce in a lasagna must be just right. Otherwise, he says, it's either too cheesy, too noodley or too meaty. And though it may seem obvious, when I think about it, he's right.

Well, Bacino's lasagna is none of those. It's just right and plenty spicy but not overpowering.

If you like a mix of spicy and fresh, try the Greek salad. It's rather humble, really, but it's a good value. It's loaded down with crumbled feta, chopped tomatoes and red onion and lightly dressed over all with vinaigrette.

I loved the meatball on the spaghetti. That entre is hearty-good value.

Sandwiches are a good choice at Bacino's. It has a full case of meats and cheeses.

I tried a margherita-type sandwich with fresh basil and fresh mozarella. There's nothing like the mild, clean flavor of fresh mozarella. The sandwich is subtle, and although I wish the roll were a little more sour and interesting, it's still a good choice.

I also tried the sausage sandwich, which was surprisingly mild, and the house classic, a mixed-meat number called The Bacino. It's fun when you get sandwiches wrapped up to go because they put a big olive and a pepperoncini in the paper halfway through. It's a little delight, like a fortune cookie or a mint on your pillow.

Shop a little for specialty imports while you're there for a meal, or order some cold cuts or baked treats for later on. Bacino's can set you up nicely.

Bacino's bakes all its cookies and desserts, which you will want to try, from cannolis and eclairs and napoleons to baklava, fruit tarts and cookies — they are all luscious and fresh.

I'm glad I bumped into Bacino's. It's a great place for inexpensive, hearty Italian. The catering menu is a mouthwatering read. I'll be keeping that in mind. If you don't object to a smallish menu and that's what you're in the mood for, Bacino's really hits the spot.

Prices for sandwiches, $5.45-6.49; salads $5.99-6.29; entrees $5.59-6.29; desserts $3.50.


Bacino's Deli & Bakery

*** (out of five)

Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 11-7

Location: 8916 S. State, Sandy, 562-0707; fax 566-6459

Payment: checks, major credit cards

Reservations: none needed

Other services: take-out, catering, gift baskets, special occasion & wedding cakes

Web: www.bacinosdeli.com


Stephanie Tanner-Brown is a free-lance writer and designer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret Morning News. E-MAIL: stephanie@desnews.com