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Lunchtime on the Westside

I know, I know. We’re on a spending freeze, and I am supposed to be bringing my lunch made from the fridge. I’ve accepted that every so often that means white bread or meal replacement shakes have to do. But sometimes, just sometimes, I cannot resist the taste bud temptations that make up this cozy little West Midtown district I call home to my part-time job.

My top choice for a quick, take back to the studio lunch is Toscano & Sons. Okay, okay yes this might be deep-rooted in my new obsession with being Italian, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s my favorite. They make paninis on the spot. They wrap them in wax paper and keep up with orders using pencil and a checklist. They’ve got pizza dough in the fridge and all the pasta and fixings you could need to fake it-bake it at home. Oh, and wine tastings every Saturday, ready-to-eat gourmet dips and salads and they just whipped out a Dark Chocolate Gelato tasting today, which officially nudged them into the top-notch lunch spot.

Today’s selection (okay and pretty much every time I go) is the Manzo (no relation to THE Manzos… as far as I know). A mosh of thinly sliced Roast Beef coated in Asiago and Parmesan Cheese and greened up with fresh arugula gets stuffed between two slices of must-be-straight-from-Italy (even though the sign says it’s from Alon’s) Ciabatta and slathered with spicy aioli. YUM. I mean, just YUM, guys. I never want it to be over with. Is it strange that I feel like a blog post that could only just barely do them justice would justify the need to buy lunch on a Saturday? I hope so. Plus, one more and I get a FREE one. See? Spend to save.

Worth mentioning – 5 Seasons I’ve never been a fan of. And by never been a fan of, I mean that Mike ate there a couple times for work and said it wasn’t very good. I wrote it off. Because we’re married now and what he says goes. Just kidding. But, they catered an event for the studio recently and MAN, I was immediately impressed. And then my dad ate there and actually claimed he had THE BEST wedge salad EVER, in his life. This is big. My interns order from there a lot. It’s quick, reasonably cheap and they brew their own beer.

Working on it – (This is starting to feel like my movie-rating system) The newly established Swit has some pretty good grub. Fried egg sammies, zesty homemade soups and decadent hand-made desserts. Oh, and they make these Belgian fries that are a worthy afternoon snack-time indulgence. But, if you’re popping in, make sure you’ve got some time to spare. To say that their teeny, ill-experienced staff is slow is an understatement. And the owner may or may not have a social complex. BUT, if you can wait, it’s no disappointment.

Worthy Staples – Cheeseburger and fries from Bocado… Daily specials from Tiny Bistro and a Cinnamon Twist (pretty sure I’ve mentioned that before) paired with a cup of joe from Octane.

Eat up!

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