Why do we always end up at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto when we’re in San Diego’s Little Italy? Probably because it’s consistently good Italian American fare at a reasonable price.

The fact that I can always count on a really good veal parm dinner served with pasta, salad and garlic bread for around $15 always makes good dining sense to me…especially in a region where eating out for under $50 a couple is practically unheard of.  And guess what — we can stay within that price range and still enjoy a nice glass of chianti with our meal.

On a recent stop at Filippi’s with the whole family while on Thanksgiving holiday, the entire group — there were 6 of us — ate and drank for under $150. Really!! And mind you, we can eat. Not only that, we all walked out the door with packed up leftovers.

We started out by sharing a pizza, which is the cheesiest pizza you’ll ever find, seriously. Nothing earth shattering here, but good solid pizza with a nice chewey crust. Several of us moved on to the tried and true veal parm entree, while others had ravioli or shrimp & pasta entrees. Let me begin by saying that the garlic bread served with each entree is an entire small loaf of bread. That and the accompanying soup or salad was a meal in itself!

The red sauce was on point — which to me, is always the bar I set when eating at an Italian restaurant. If you can’t make a good sauce, chances are all else will follow. Dessert? I’m always tempted to try but there is just way too much food on your plate at Filippi’s. Besides when in a Little Italy, not matter where its location, I prefer to take an after dinner stroll and mosey on over to the nearest Espresso Cafe.