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BEST DOWNTOWN LUNCH Phoenix 2004 - Calabria Italian Grocery and Deli

It's always a treat for us to do lunch at Calabria Italian Grocery and Deli. There are larger, busier places to go for lunch in downtown, but then that's the point of visiting Calabria, which only has a couple of tables, and mostly deals in takeout orders. Our favorite thing to do is take a late lunch and hide at the table wedged between a window and a tall steel shelf of Italian dry goods. Perhaps we'll order an array of Italian olives and pickled mushrooms as a starter, and one of Calabria's superb subs, like the Sicilian, made with mortadella, sopressata and prosciutto, for the main course. There are also calzones, and arancini -- rice balls with ground beef centers -- and, for dessert, a variety of Italian ice creams to choose from. Sure, Calabria is great for ordering to-go, but just give us that Sicilian sub, a lime San Pellegrino, and a good book, and we may even forget we have a job to go back to. Readers' Choice: Zoë's Kitchen

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