Bono's Italian Takeout is quick, easy and veggie-friendly

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With holiday preparations filling the calendar, who has time to sit in a restaurant and linger over a meal? For that matter, who has time to cook a meal? Right now, takeout is looking pretty good -- and there are several good reasons to try Bono's Italian Takeout. The takeout/lunch menu at this family-run restaurant is notably cheaper than the eat-in menu; the food is ready in ten to fifteen minutes; and there are several veggie-friendly options on the menu.

See also: - The vegan pizza at the Marquis Theater is a show-stopper - Cafe Jordano serves up authentic Italian - Halloween Harvest Week at Parisi features a vegetarian, multi-course meal

Bono's is located in a strip mall just off Sixth Avenue and Indiana Street. As you walk in, you get to gaze at a glass display case full of dessert pastries in precise rows; chalkboards on the wall display the takeout menu. There are usually one or two patrons in the lobby waiting for food to go or to pay up during peak hours. And if you decide to eat in, the small dining room is open enough that it seems cozy and intimate instead of cramped. But if you want to take your food home, it travels well.

The pasta aglio e olio (pictured above) is simple enough: spaghetti tossed with sauteed fresh garlic, roma tomatoes and Italian parsley in olive oil (strict vegans will want to opt out of the grated Romano cheese on top). But the ingredients are so fresh and perfectly balanced that this dish is more than than the sum of its parts. The two components for which the menu item is named -- garlic and olive oil -- are the stars, as they should be. There are also several more vegetarian-friendly pasta dishes at Bono's.

The lasagna at Bono's comes smothered in a tangy-sweet sauce. It's a six-cheese variety, so it's vegetarian (although clearly not vegan-friendly).You can order it as part of a family dinner, which feeds four and includes bread and a side salad; there's also a stuffed-shell option that's vegetarian-friendly. The to-go menu also has a handful of vegetarian-friendly (and, if modified, potentially vegan-friendly) sandwiches served hot or cold on baguette-style bread. The eggplant parmigiana, pictured above, is the typical breaded, grilled eggplant layered with cheese and red sauce, only in sandwich form.

Whether you eat in or take your food to go, Bono's delivers. It's open Monday through Saturday and offers takeout every day; call 303-278-1068 or visit http://bonositalian.com.

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