No personal checks or credit cards. Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight daily; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Accessible to the handicapped.
Aphrodite Greek Imports, 5886 Leesburg Pike. 931-5055. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Sunday. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Magnifico Pizza Parlor in Falls Church has become one of the old standbys for our family when we have forgotten to defrost the meat for dinner or haven't made it to the store at all.
There are no frills at Magnifico's. Just a few formica tables and chairs and some booths next to a long serving counter. Behind it, a row of men in white manage to juggle several orders and still not step on each other in the small working space. They are usually busy, because Magnifico's is usually crowded.
The reason for the crowds, we've found since we've become regular customers, is that there is a variety of good meals in addition to pizza, the portions are generous, and the price is low. We have fed our family of three there often on less than $8.
Among the dinners are a shishkebab, heavily seasoned with oregano and thyme, a hearty mousaka, tomato - sauced stuffed peppers and several Italian dishes like spaghetti, lasagne and eggplant parmigiana. The average dinner is about $3.50, although there is a special dinner served each day at a reduced price.
In addition there is of course Magnifico's speciality - pizza. It is a thick - crusted version with a tasty sauce and heaped with the topping of the customer's choice. The prices for a large pizza range from $4.95 for a plain to $6.50 with three or more toppings.
Also on the menu are a large number of sandwiches including hamburgers, steaks and submarines of souvlaki, veal cutlet and ham and cheese, among others. All items are available on carry - out.
Boosters and high chairs are available
On a recent visit my husband and I sampled two dishes we hadn't tried before: the shishburger, at $3.45, and veal parmigiana with spaghetti, $4. Both dinners included a small Greek salad - fresh iceberg lettuce, a sprinkling of feta cheese, Greek olives and tomatoes - and warm buttered bread. Both were passable for the price. They were brought to the table just after we ordered, along with iced teas for us and a homemade - tasting lemonade for our 2 - year - old.
During the short wait for dinner, our son was entertained by watching one of the cooks mold the pizza dough, then spin it into the air and catch it.
The shishburger was really two fairly large beef patties seasoned with oregano and thyme and charbroiled. With them came an ample serving of rice pilaf. A tomato sauce spooned next to the rice added nothing to the flavor. The veal cutlet was nicely breaded with a slice of cheese melted on top. A large serving of spaghetti with it was bland, but salvageable by spicing it from the jars of oregano, red peppers and cheese on the table.
Magnifico's has baklava and rice pudding for dessert, but for the more exotic sweet tooth there is Aphrodite Greek Imports a few doors down. The grocery can be a small journey into the mysteries of Greek cooking. There are coffees, cheeses, spices, fresh Syrian bread and a pastry counter with slices of honey cake, a buttery cookie dipped in powdered sugar and pistachio delight, among others.
The cost for the evening, ince, was $10.87.