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Corner eatery combines fast food and good food

October 27, 2011

By Chrissy Niehaus

Nestled between a collection of graffiti-ridden walls and streets of newly renovated condominiums lies Latitude 41, a unique restaurant with a certain flair that only it can muster. When you walk in, pay no mind to the cozy tables and booths spread out before you. Before you do anything, head on over to the counter, grab a menu, and start reading.

I’m not going to lie. There are certainly items on the menu which are far from frugally priced. We could do without the $16.50 price tagged onto the seafood pasta bake, for example. But my goal here isn’t to send you to a fast food joint or a cheap eatery with even cheaper looking food. My objective is to introduce you to a great place to eat where you can do so for a somewhat paltry sum. No, every item on the menu won’t be entirely inexpensive. But you will get the skinny on what is affordable and at the same time tasty.

Cheesy bake pasta dishAfter much deliberation, I chose the $8.50 pasta bake, which arrived sizzling and gooey, nearly pouring over the edge of the bowl in cheesy goodness. I opted out of additional ingredients, and instead went for the “more cheese, please” option, costing me $2 more but worth every penny. Under the blanket of cheese lay a plethora of different pastas, from shells to penne, creating a dish that I was certainly not capable of ingesting all on my own.

Even with a little help, this dish had to be wrapped up to go. The garlic bread didn’t hurt either, but maybe it was that with the accompanying side salad that fills up the eater so quickly. Either way, it’s quite a meal for a mere $10.50.

The cheeses atop the bake remained fresh and warm; the kind of cheese you have to yank your bite from or your fork will be strung along for miles. I could’ve done with a bit more sauce inside, however, and a little more seasoning never killed anybody.

Latitude 41 sure can serve up unique dishes in the most generous of ways. A few lessons in smiling could serve the staff well, but how can I complain when I got stuffed and didn’t even have to break the bank?

Try your luck at this one in the Gordon Square Arts District at 5712 Detroit Ave. Sundays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays to Thursdays 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.