TNT Diner

Five-buck lunch - Marvel Food and Deli in Parkland

Cheap, filling, no more than five bucks. That's my must-have list for a cheap weekday lunch. Today's report took me to Marvel Food and Deli, a Parkland neighborhood grocery store and deli specializing in Eastern European ingredients and take-out food. Food finds of the day: Cabbage rolls and baked piroshky.

What: Marvel Food and DeliWhere: 301 133rd St. S., Tacoma; 253-537-1008 (just off Pacific and 133rd); Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.What: Deli with seating for about 20 inside; another half dozen seats at an outdoor patioBuy: At the deli take-out counter up front, get cabbage rolls, which will cost you about $1.90 for three rolls; and a baked piroshky with cabbage is just 99 cents. With a soda from the extensive soda selection, you're still under $5 for lunch. Bargain.The eats: Cabbage rolls are smaller than at Bruno's, the closest competition for Eastern European eats in that part of Pierce County, but just as tasty with a rice-and-ground-meat filling. Rolls at Marvel are topped with a tangy tomato sauce. Baked piroshky come in a few different configurations; I prefer the cabbage piroshky to the pork. They're all priced under a buck.Also in the deli case: Fried pork patties, potato dishes, cabbage dishes, borscht and fresh salads.Save room for dessert: They've got rum balls, filled cakes, pastries and cookies - all fairly priced.Also find: Groceries aplenty - with a full selection of bakery goods; chocolate candies filled with liqueur; a frozen food section with the biggest selection of frozen pierogi I've seen in the South Sound. Also, check out the selection of meats, cheeses and fish in the back of the store.Nearby: Saars Marketplace, a grocery store chain with locations throughout South Sound. I love that coffee syrups are bargain priced.Other Eastern European stores in South Sound: Kusher Bakery in Fife; Friendly Foods in Tacoma and Hess Bakery in Lakewood.

Marvel Food and Deli - a mini photo gallery

Sue Kidd dines anonymously and The News Tribune pays for all meals.