Today's culinary triumphs are the product of thousands of years of experimentation. The staff at Annona Gourmet doesn’t see any reason why that march of innovation should end, so they fill the shop’s shelves with exotic twists on staples such as pasta, sea salt, and vinegar. 20 varieties of olive oil pour from large stainless-steel tanks called fusti, their straw-hued droplets hinting at everything from Sicilian sunshine to Persian limes. After tasting balsamic vinegar infused with cinnamon and pears or figs, patrons peruse the inventory of pastas beneath coastal murals that give one the feeling of being at a beach free of sailors with boring albatross stories. Jars of sauces and dressings hint at a spectrum of flavors with earth-tone hues, and sea salts take on the flavor of black truffles or ghost peppers in an escape from seasoning conventions.
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C. McGee’s focuses its kitchen skills on building from-scratch sandwiches and soups that are also easy on the arteries. The staff paints a vivid palette with meaty works of art in bread-bookended sandwich form. The deli’s box-lunch combos hark back to the ease of a childhood midday meal, alleviating adult dining anxiety in the form of a half sandwich with either a cup of soup or a half-pint salad ($7.75), or the premium box lunch of a sandwich, chips, soup, and dessert ($11.75).