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Hot Plate

When is a muffuletta not a muffuletta? When it's a hot Paisano ($4) at Mandola's Deli and Sandwich Shop [4105 Leeland, (713)223-5186], served well within striking distance of downtown or the University of Houston main campus. Mandola's goes the garden-variety muffuletta one better by toasting the long French roll and melting a thick, gooey layer of mozzarella over slabs of ham and salami sprinkled with briny olive salad. Fill out your lunch plate with delectable deviled eggs (45 cents each), mustardy and slightly sweet, and a "Hello Dolly!" bar cookie ($1.30), chewy with coconut and studded with chocolate chips and pecans.


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