Hot Plate

Houston's most basic food unit has got to be the Antone's poor boy. These bullet-shaped subs, wrapped in distinctive color-coded paper, can be found in briefcases and backpacks all over town, from boardrooms to ball games to the beach. Antone's assembles nine different types of poor boys, including tuna, smoked turkey and roast beef, but my personal favorite is the Regular or "green wrap" ($2.75). Thinly sliced ham and salami are neatly folded with provolone cheese and topped with pickles, mayo and Antone's own red chow-chow; the freshly baked buns leave a trademark trail of crisp, flaky crumbs wherever you dine. To date, an Antone's sandwich hasn't yet been shot into space, but if you laid the 65 million poor boys they've sold since 1962 end to end, they'd reach Fairbanks, Alaska, and back again.

Antone's Import Company and Antone's Famous Po' Boys & Deli, 807 Taft, 526-1046, and 18 other locations.

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