Best Lunch Counter


Don't be afraid. Yes, you had trouble finding a parking spot. Yes, that line looks awfully long. Yes, the menu looks delicious, but, like that of every other dining establishment on the Hill, it seems to be replete with Provel cheese. But just wait. Not too long. Maybe five minutes. When you reach the counter, ask the cheerful woman at the register if you can have your sandwich with mozzarella instead. "That's the way to do it, hon!" she'll say. "You're not from here, are you? It's OK, there are a few places without Provel. But with the pizza, you gotta be careful. Do you want a six-inch sandwich with soup or salad, or the twelve-inch?" Somehow her approval of your choice of the twelve-inch feels gratifying, despite your nagging sense that she would have been happy if you'd opted for the salad, too. You turn around; magically, a table has just opened up. It's like the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. Already you're feeling happy, and they haven't even called your number. And when you finally crank your mouth open and bite into that crusty bread and salsiccia? Heaven!

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