La Trattoria will never win any beauty contests. The early luncheonette ambiance is very much like that of the "Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger" diner on "Saturday Night Live."
That doesn't deter customers from flocking to this Old City restaurant for well-prepared down-home Italian food at prices that are very low for Center City. Nearly all the pasta dishes are under $6; the most expensive thing on the menu - grilled shrimp in garlic-lemon sauce - is $8.95.
At these prices, you have do some work yourself. Ask for a corkscrew, and it's left on the table so you can open your own wine and pour it into soda glasses. With the salad come bottles of red wine vinegar and quality olive oil to pour over as you see fit. If you order the salad with shrimp - or a dish with shrimp in it - you'll have to peel them.