One hot Italian
At a hole in the wall called Pasto just east of City Hall you will find arguably the best Italian roasted vegetable sandwich in the city. It is called the Capriciosa. The owner Paola Chiavatti, a child of Abruzzi, bakes the rolls herself - miraculously airy, crisp-crusted ciabatta. She slices boiled russett potatoes and warms them in olive oil with sauteed onion. On goes toothsome broccoli rabe. And thin slices of eggplant, delicately egg-battered and fried. Then roasted peppers. She suggests a dab of marinara on the bread, and fresh shavings of sharp provolone. Heated, it is a sandwich masterpiece, the bread light, the eggplant meaty, the potato filling. (Order ahead. It's slow food.)
Capriciosa sandwich, $7.50, Pasto, 11 N. Juniper St. (near Marriott Courtyard), 215-751-0777.
- Rick Nichols