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Cheap Eats Trina's plentiful, delicious dishes come with retro prices

The motto on Trina's Family Restaurant's menu is "May all who enter as guests leave as friends." As always, we kept a pretty low profile during our Saturday morning visit, so we didn't make any real friendships, but the service was so welcoming that we got the sense that that could change the next time we stop in.

Trina's is located in a partly industrial neighborhood a few blocks from the Clinton-Bailey Market, and the family that operates the restaurant knows its customer base. The menu leans toward filling breakfasts and home-style lunches and dinners, and the prices are beyond reasonable; they are a flashback to a long-gone era. A fried bologna and onion sandwich is $3.50, liverwurst and onions, a quarter less. A ham and cheese club is $4.95; a 16-ounce bowl of homemade chili -- a house specialty -- is $3.35.

The restaurant is a long room, with booths along the walls, a set of tables in the middle and an old-fashioned counter with low stools facing the serving area. It's got a few nice touches that brighten the room's decor without making it too fussy.

If you can't find anything appealing on this menu, you're not looking too hard. It offers many kinds of breakfasts and lunches ranging from sandwiches to subs to burgers, dogs, wraps, salads, appetizers and wings. The dinners, which look good, too, are served on Fridays only.

Trina's prides itself on its bread selection. The servers rattle off the options: white, wheat, rye, Italian, raisin and sourdough, and if you don't want bread, they have English muffins, bagels and hard rolls.

We started with a cup of the home-style cheddar-broccoli soup, and immediately realized that a "cup" is a very loose definition here. We're used to a cup of soup that would fit in the palm of the hand, more a taste than a real dish. This broad-rimmed bowl held a full 8 ounces of rich soup full of broccoli. We were glad we hadn't impulsively ordered the "bowl," which is 16 ounces and could be a lunch in itself. The soup was delicious.

Next out was the Breakfast Deluxe ($5.99). Two eggs, two bacon slices, two sausage links, a pile of home fries and toast took up the main plate, and two medium-sized pancakes occupied a large saucer. The pancakes were exceptional, served hot off the griddle, slightly crispy on the edges, with a tender, steaming interior and a slightly sweet flavor. The rest of the breakfast was just as good.

Grandma's Wrap ($4.59) was described as a 16-inch flour burrito, filled with eggs, smoked Polish sausage, fried potatoes, onions, green peppers and mushrooms.

Because the kitchen was out of 16-inch wraps, the cook filled two smaller wraps, each cut in half, which made eating much easier.

Although they looked plain on the platter, the delicious concoction provided plenty of tasty interest. The eggs were moist, the smoked sausage plentiful and delicious, and the onions, peppers and mushrooms a great addition.

email: aneville@buffnews.com

> TRINA'S FAMILY RESTAURANT

Review: 3 1/2 pennies (Out of 4)

"Good food, great prices"

WHERE: 1373 Clinton St. 783-8373

HOURS: Summer hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: There is a ramp in the back, but it is not flush with the ground.

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