But inside, it was business as usual—a refrigerated glass case filled with deep-pink cold cuts and yellow logs of provolone. A few employees behind the counter showered shredded iceberg onto splayed-open hero rolls from Sarcone's Bakery, dousing them with oil and vinegar.

Excited as I was by it all, it was clear to the young guy at the register, with his slick of black hair, that I was a rookie, struggling to get my order right. But like so many of the folks whose doors I knocked on, he was patient with me, plenty friendly.

Read the rest at Bon Appetit.