On one plate...

The quality of a sandwich is contingent on its bread. Sorry Boar's Head, Land-O-Lakes, Jennie-O, your deli slices are only as good as what you slap 'em between. So don't be surprised if you hear the meat companies shouting for joy when their sales reps make the deliveries to Zeppole in downtown Boise.

A while back, the bread company opened its deli to boost its scrumptious flagship product. Here are three things you should know about this 8th Street joint, in order of importance: Tasty, hasty and money is not wastey. This trio is most significant when one is seeking lunching holes.

One lunch break, circa last week, the tiny place was full of people ordering soups, sandwiches, salads and pastries. I ordered the soup and sandwich combo-Wednesday is the Zeppolese word for cream of mushroom. Each day represents a different soup, in addition to the standard minestrone. A tab of $4.95 includes all the fresh bread I need to sop up my soup.

Lots of traditional lunch meat sandwiches are already made, with various dressings to add if desired, so folks are in and out of Zeppole in minutes. In fact, I felt bad taking up time to reach for loose change at the bottom of my purse, but the kindly redheaded sales associate was très patient.

In line, I debated the benefits of the chicken salad on challah vs. turkey and provolone on village loaf. Turkey won and it was good-though I had to unload some of the many slices of cheese to get my big mouth around the mass.

I aimed to finish my meal that day, despite the amount. When I did, I was full; I probably could have had a half sandwich (which is a Zeppole option) and called it good, but in the name of journalistic integrity, I also wolfed two hunks of bread with my soup and, damn, I didn't even dent the wealth of variety they offer. Soup was creamy and mushroomy and so good that I will go back every Wednesday from now on to get more. In fact, it's entirely possible I may never lunch at another restaurant again.

-Jennifer Gelband's dog Gloria fancies organic kalamata ciabatta whilst Paris's Tinkerbell gnaws on the stale buns of Carl's Jr.

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