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Gia's Deli and Grill

A couple of blocks from the entertainment anchors of Davis Square - Johnny D's and the Somerville Theater - is Gia's, which can be best described as unpretentious townie food, paper plates and all.
It's the kind of spot that makes you wonder two things: why is it so empty, and how does it stay in business? Leave those questions to the owner. What matters is that the food is solid and cheap. Gia's offers 37 meals, ranging from the Italian sloppy-joe sandwich to the eggplant parmigian, at $4 or less. (Combine that with the Somerville Theater's $2.50 movie and you've got a night of serious cheapness.)

As for food quality, Gia's isn't going to put Redbones or even the Rosebud out of business, but it's not going to send you down the street for a cruller at Dunkin D's either. The broccoli, chicken, and ziti plate ($3.95) is tasty, though you might want to ask them to take it easy on the cream sauce. A chicken-and-peppers sandwich ($3.75), like a grilled cheese sandwich, is hard to screw up - and Gia's doesn't. There's nothing exotic on this menu, unless meatloaf and potatoes ($4.95) is your idea of zaniness. The most surprising treat is an order of the steak fries ($1.25 small or $1.75 large), which have a strong, peppery taste and seem strangely free of the oil in which they must have been born.
Gia's Deli and Grill, located at 195 Elm Street, in Somerville, is open six days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sundays. Call 623-3354.

- Geoff Edgers


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