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[Cheap Eats]

Deli King
Royal feasts for less-than-princely sums

on the cheap
Faneuil Hall food court Steve’s Kitchen Caesar’s Pizza & Subs El Rancho Grande Restaurant 608

Eggs with lobster sauce and pheasant sausages with fennel-roasted potatoes are all well and good, but every now and then you want a breakfast that doesn’t cost more than the crockery it’s served on. This might be easier said than done in Boston, but it’s not impossible: fans of hearty, no-nonsense grub need look no further than Deli King. The only problem is, you have to look pretty hard to find it.

Deli King has been in the same spot for 20 years — tucked away on the first floor of the YWCA building in the Back Bay — but you’d hardly know it. " When I came here looking for a job, " says griddle-master Xeno, " I couldn’t find the damn place, either. " Even so, the diner has a large, devoted following, and for good reason. The food is cheap — breakfast sandwiches are $2; two eggs with meat, home fries, and toast are $2.95 — and, more important, good.

Deli King also serves lunch, offering such no-frills fare as a pastrami plate ($6.50), a bowl of chicken-rice soup ($3.50), and a selection of submarine sandwiches ($3.75–$4.25). Though the décor is not what you’d call upscale, the service is fast, friendly, and personal. " Most of our customers are regulars, " says Xeno. " You walk in, we know what you want. "

Deli King, located at 140 Clarendon Street, in Boston, is open daily from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (617) 262-1572.

Issue Date: January 10-17, 2002

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