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'Meaty Sandwich Perfection' at Coppa; Half Star for Barrio

Photo: Cal Bingham

Coppa's Italian grinder is a "beast of a sandwich that reiterates all that is right with the world," according to Richard Chudy in his "Man Food" column for Boston Magazine. While there's "nothing dainty or clean" about it, it's still "a slightly more refined version than the equally gratifying and meat-packed sandwich you'll find throughout the North End." Chudy finds every bite to be a "salty, briny adventure," and ultimately it's one of the "better sandwiches in town." [BM]

Barrio, Michael Schlow's quick replacement for Happy's, disappoints Devra First immensely in her latest Globe review. She admits early on that she doesn't understand fajitas and she doesn't like them, "but if fajitas must exist in this world (and apparently they must)," they need to sizzle. "So when, at Barrio Cantina, the fajitas arrive silent, room temperature, no tantalizing smell of cooking onions wafting from the dish, we fall silent, too. The bad news has announced itself." More damning words for the tostados topped with tuna ceviche: "Tuna needn't die for this dish." First ends with some advice for Schlow, who has lots of other projects going on as well. "If Barrio hasn't been a priority, it's time to make it one, lest it follow in Happy's forlorn footsteps." [BG]

First also provides a small overview of Jamaica Plain's new Centre Street Sanctuary for the Globe's "Quick Bite" series. She finds the scene to be diverse, comprised of "young lesbians on a double date, a group of Latina friends with one guy pal, skaters wearing T-shirts celebrating metal bands, hipsters, an older husband and wife." The menu has some "fancy-sounding" options, "but sometimes simple is best, as with an order of bacon-cheeseburger sliders. There are three per plate, just right for sharing." [BG]

Puritan & Co. gets another review, this time by Nell Porter Brown for Harvard Magazine. Brown appreciates the clean and airy interior, and the vibe extends to the food. "Clean and thoughtful also sum up the food: morsels of meat (think duck egg and pork belly) are doted over, and a range of vegetables arrives unadulterated by sauces—or even much cooking." And details like the bread aren't overlooked. "The house-made potato Parker House rolls were warm, spongy mouthfuls of comfort, easily pulled apart." [HM]

Unassuming Nepalese and Indian restaurant Annapurna has rebranded itself as Third Eye, and Ellen Bhang paid a visit for the Globe's "Cheap Eats" column. It's a positive start with relish that is "head-and-shoulders above the watered-down versions we've had at other Indian spots." The rest of the meal proceeds well: "This is unusually good food; we wonder why the dining room is barely half-full." By Bhang's third visit, the dining room was finally full. "Perhaps it simply took some time for folks to catch on. It looks like they have." [BG]


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