Budget Beat

Lunch Under $10 at Leo's Island BBQ

Sometimes, we just want a cheap lunch, we want it quick, and we want to stray from our weekly burrito bowl at Chipotle. Thankfully, if you're on the westside around 75th Ave. and Bell Road, this won't be a problem. Around here, non-chain spaces are sparse, so when Leo's Island BBQ popped up, we quickly added them to our list of lunch stops.

The small tropical-themed restaurant welcomes patrons with dishes like Kalua Pork with Cabbage and the Island Loco Moco, or hamburger meat with gravy and eggs. The prices were inexpensively spot-on (nothing is over $9), but if we had wanted to order the lunch special - $5 for any one entrée, two large scoops of rice, cabbage, and a small drink - we missed it when we blinked; it was written on a sign discreetly shoved behind the garbage.

But we were hungry, so for a few dollars more ($9 each), we ordered the Maui Pineapple Chicken and the Curry BBQ Chicken. Entrées arrive with macaroni salad, steamed cabbage and sticky rice. The rice was moist, the macaroni salad was tangy and the sauce was decent but sugary.

The Curry Chicken was a better experience than the BBQ: It was light and mild, and the steamed potatoes, carrots and onions layered beneath it were a welcome break in both taste and texture.

A quick, filling lunch it was, but the most flavorful experience we've had with Hawaiian BBQ it wasn't. What we liked best: The place was clean and the food was cheap, and we might go back to try the Island Loco Moco. 

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Hannah Hayes