In honor of the Cheap Issue, I give you my favorite cheap lunch: Toarmina’s three buck lunch.

To be clear, the three buck lunch is not on the menu. It’s the name I gave to my favorite lunch combination from the Michigan Avenue pizza joint. The three buck lunch comprises three $1 items: a slice of pizza and a samosa from the self-serve hot bar, paired with a can of soda. Let’s break this down by item.

Pizza: There are almost always pepperoni slices and some sort of veggie pizza with peppers and olives. Sometimes there are ham slices, other times sausage, and, on a few lucky days, supreme slices. Is this the best pizza I’ve had? No. But its just $1 a slice and it definitely beats that $5 garbage pizza from the tiny Roman dictator’s pizza chain.

Samosa: These delightful little fried triangles, popular in South Asia and the Middle East, are packed with potato, carrot and peas and seasoned with yellow curry. You can think of it as an Indian version of a pastie. Why does an Italian-themed eatery have samosas on its hot bar? I have no idea. But I’m not complaining.

Soda: I usually opt for a Faygo Moon Mist, but Toarmina’s recently stopped carrying the Detroit-made beverages. On my most recent trip, I opted for an orange Crush, but Toarmina’s also carries Pepsi products. I try to limit my high fructose corn syrup intake, but I make an exception for the three buck lunch.

Tax and deposit are built into the prices, so it’s $3 out the door. No fishing for change, no receipt, just grab and go.

The hot bar also has breadsticks — for, no surprise here, $1 — so you can experiment and make your own three buck lunch. But definitely try the samosas. They’re worth every penny.

Toarmina’s Pizza

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday- Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday 2011 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing (517) 374-1022, toarminas. com

What’s your favorite dish/drink?

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