Readers' Choice: (Tie) Cafe Express, 5600 W. Lovers Lane, 214-252-2211 Lovers Egg Roll, Various locations Terilli's, 2815 Greenville Ave., 214-827-3993
Whenever we take jaded locals to Jimmy's, which is across the street from Mai's and Hall's Hobby Shop (two more local landmarks), they're always shocked at the treats and treasures this place holds. They take it for granted that it's one more quickie convenience store, one more neighborhood stop-and-rob on an urban corner; they've driven by it a hundred times and never given it a second glance. It's their loss, and our job to correct their mistaken impressions: This place, owned and operated by fourth-generation Sicilians, is a veritable gastric paradise, a repository of exotica. One aisle overflows with olive oils from the homeland; another is drenched with fine Italian wines available at the nicest price. From capers to crackers, from coffee (Café Bustelo, that dark Miami nectar, is our favorite) to cheeses (including bufala mozzarella, the Tom Hicks of cheese), Jimmy's is your one-stop shopping for a day of nibbling or a night of culinary get-down. The nerve center of Jimmy's is its meat market, located at the back and packed to the brine with some of the finest olives, cheeses and meats in town (the prosciutto is primo). And it's back there they concoct the Cuban sandwich, a spicy mélange of pickles and pork, ham and Swiss cheese, mustard and butter (and, likely, so much more; one bite makes our taste buds do the masticatin' mambo). Call ahead--it takes a good 15 minutes to prepare this delicacy--but stop by and pick up one. Or five. At $4.99, it's a real bargain--the lunch that keeps on giving, if you know what we mean.