Looking for a new lunch spot downtown? The friendly folks here offer New York-style sandwiches with some spot-on twists. Hone in on the Hudge Pudge pork, a glorious concoction of in-house roasted pork with surprisingly not-too-strong Muenster cheese and kraut on grilled pumpernickel. Try the Turkey Timothy with cranberry relish as a primer to Thanksgiving.
111 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 404-523-0109.
Grouchy's: A New York Deli
If the flip-flopping weather has you down with a cold, send someone to Grouchy's to retrieve the body-and-soul-nourishing matzoh ball soup. Sandwiches here run the gamut from chopped liver to Tuscan veggie and Philly cheese steak. Carb-loading? Go for the homemade potato-cheddar knishes. FYI: There's no 'tude beyond the name (this is the suburbs, after all).
11525 Haynes Bridge Road, Alpharetta, 770-667-6933.
La Churreria Bakery & Deli
A bounty of baked goods tempts you in this cozy Columbian eatery. The real finds here, though, are the caliente items displayed in the case at the counter. Nary a word of English is spoken here, so come armed with a choice list of vocabulary words. Pan de bono is the South American cousin to France's gougere: a hot puff of satiny, cheesy bread. Sublime empanadas, golden and crispy, are stuffed with a cumin-tinged mixture of beef and potato. And don't miss the bakery's namesake: churros rellenos -- warm, braided doughnuts slicked with melty glaze.
5730 Buford Highway, Norcross, 678-646-0641.La Piccolina
This wholesale bakery, tucked behind a Waffle House, has but three tables to accommodate lunchers. Don't be deterred. The toasty smells of freshly baked bread alone will have you in the palm of this tiny gem's hand. Grilled panini ooze traditional ingredients like Fior di Latte mozzarella, artichoke pate and roasted red peppers. Stop in on Fridays for the stellar lasagna, made the authentic way with supple bechamella sauce.
2834 Franklin St., Avondale Estates, 404-296-1624.The New Yorker Marketplace and Delicatessen
Wow, the menu is dauntingly lengthy here. But it's hard to go wrong, so let your cravings lead you. The Dagwood-esque Reuben is a jaw workout. Blue cheese and horseradish mayo lend the Long Island steak sandwich gourmet cred. The Cobb salad has a nice sense of composition: The chicken, bacon, avocado and egg are all in their own separate piles so you can mix-and-match each bite. Parking can be a challenge, but you'll be grateful for the walk back to your car after you down the huge portions.
322 Pharr Road, 404-240-0260, www.newyorkerdeli.com.
St. Charles Deli
Easygoing, familiar fare and a cute waitstaff make both these delis accessible choices for weekday meals on the go. The Hot Turkey Supreme with avocado, tomatoes and bacon stands out among the sandwiches. For a guilty indulgence, pair the patty melt with an order of crispy waffle fries slathered in gooey cheddar cheese.
2470 Briarcliff Road, 404-636-5201; 22 Fifth St., 404-249-7733. www.stcharlesdeli.com.
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