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B&B Grocery, Meat and Deli

Next time you're craving a sandwich… or a burger… or bacon anything, do yourself a favor: skip the chains.

Why? B&B Grocery.

It may look like a gas station on the outside, but inside awaits pure local goodness. The fourth generation, family-owned deli serves everything from crispy tenderloin sandwiches to fresh cuts -- all from within a 40-mile radius. Even the seasoning, Doug's Last Wish, is local.

The customers, however, come from all over the world. (Seriously, check out their guest book.) Owner John Brooks says they get nearly 1400 visitors in a week. And with 1200 patties made weekly, you can only guess what the crowd fave is. If you're feeling monstrously hungry, you can order the "Quadzilla" -- four ⅓ pound burgers piled high on a toasted bun ($8.09).

I went in a different direction. For starters, the hot cheese balls -- a spicy twist on original curds made with pepper Jack cheese ($2.99). Dunked in (must-have) ranch dressing, the juicy bites packed a punch that hit the spot.

Next up: Dad's Killer Sandwich featuring smoked ham, turkey, roast beef, corned beef, pepper cheese, Swiss cheese, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, Kosher pickles, mustard, mayo, and Italian dressing on an Italian hoagie roll ($6.99). It's a mouthful -- literally. I got mine the chef-approved way: toasted. The ingredients were savory and well-balanced, with none overpowering the other. I washed it all down with an old-fashioned bottle of Coke. (They were out of the ever-popular IBC Root Beer.)

B + B Grocery is more than just a killer sandwich joint, though. It's about family, food and kindness. Between raising money for people in need to starting up a South Side disc golf team ("The Sunday Drivers"), they lend more than a hand to the community.

And with every order you make, Owner John will also toss in a light-hearted joke and a free side of wisdom: "Just be nice to people." Plain and simple.

B & B Grocery, Meat and Deli

Find it: 2001 SE 6th St.

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday