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Eat This: Duck Confit Sandwich at Local Foods

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Planning some holiday shopping in Rice Village this weekend? Something tells me you won't be alone. To fuel your retail binge as well as restore your faith in humanity after another crazy shopper snatches that last model on the shelf just as you were obviously about to grab it, take a breath and take a break at Local Foods.

It's within walking distance of the main shopping streets but sufficiently set apart from the high-traffic areas so that you don't have to wade through the slow-walking, unwashed masses to get inside.

This is not to say, however, that Local Foods won't be busy, for their solid selection of regionally-sourced dishes have attracted a loyal following, particularly among residents of the neighboring apartment buildings.

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But the interior bustle is friendly and invigorating (unlike clogged Baby GAP's soul-sucking atmosphere) and the jolly servers will probably get you to grin. You'll smile even broader if you order the duck confit sandwich, a truly stunning collaboration of fatty fowl and fromage.

A generous mound of succulent but not greasy duck is heaped onto thick slices of grainy wheat bread then topped with brie, arugula, and cranberry jelly. The ambient heat from the confit further softens the tender brie, whose pleasantly pungent flavor pairs well with the tart fruit preserves.

As in the case of all of Local Foods' splendiferous sammies, the duck confit comes with your choice of sides. They're all good (seriously), but if you demand a best-to-"worst" hierarchy, here goes: tuscan kale, cabbage slaw, acorn squash, quinoa, olives, couscous, and house-made chips.

The duck confit sandwich is $15, not inexpensive, but the holidays are all about indulgence, yes? And remember how much you saved on Black Friday, anyway.

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