Fine food shouldn't have to cost an arm and leg, and it doesn't at Charleston Bistro, located off Savannah Highway in John Ashley Livingston Plaza. Owner and head chef Mike Pappas strives to provide an inexpensive, casual dining experience with skillfully prepared gourmet cuisine. You might say he's perfected this plan, offering guests a banquet-style meal for only $6.99. The spread boasts a diverse selection of Italian, French, and American dishes, and a taste of Lowcountry favorites. "I think people will simply love the food they eat here. Our customers can enjoy a great meal in a casual and comfortable setting without the hoity-toity nonsense you find at other places," he says. Charleston Bistro is open Mon.-Fri. from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Visit them on the web at www.charlestonbistro.com. –Laura Kelly
NO BONES ABOUT IT
"Give Your Dog a Bone and Help a Dog in Need" is a new program at The Good Dog Bakery, located in the Avondale Shops in West Ashley. Owner Kristian French started the program to help local pet charities. Customers buy a large bone (and we mean large) – 9" for $7 and 17" for $12 – and $3 of the sale goes to a deserving pet charity. This month's charity is the SPCA's Eat for Pete program. The charity for Sept. is Grateful Goldens, which is the Golden Retriever rescue group. Each month supports a breed-specific charity, so "give your dog a bone and help a dog in need." –LK
You don't have to go South of the border for great-tasting Mexican cuisine. Just head to Folly Road, where things are quickly heating up. Hugo Villaaleado, owner of La Carreta Mexican Restaurant in Summerville, is opening a new La Carreta at 335 Folly Road (specific date TBA). Partnering with his father Roger, Villaaleado promises the same great atmosphere and quality food you'll find at his restaurant in Summerville, except now you won't have to drive so far. Enjoy margarita specials and spicy Mexican dishes until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. –LK
OH MY, PIZZA PIE!
Just open this week, Zappo's Pizza brings new life to upper King Street. Located at 708 King St., which is the corner of Race and King, Zappo's is one of the many newly renovated spaces brightening up this side of town. Partners and friends Zane Powell and Tim Fox hope to offer a unique pizza restaurant. The menu offers New York-style pizza and other delicious items like strombolis and salads. Delivery, pick-up, and dine-in available. –LK