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Bites Nearby: Russo's

Best known for its fresh produce, Russo's also has lots of prepared foods, from sandwiches and Italian dishes to a salad bar and a bakery.

, at 560 Pleasant St. in Watertown, is known throughout the area for its bins filled with all kinds of fresh produce — everything from greens, potatoes and tomatoes, to apples, peaches and mangoes.

Russo's, however, also has coolers filled with hummus, baba ganoush, tabouli, olives and prepared dishes like Brazilian chicken salad. That's just the beginning. There are several large deli counters, where one can order fresh sandwiches, subs, soups, cheeses, meats and prepared dishes. There's also a salad bar ($4.98/lb.) and a bakery with lots of pastries and cookies.

What to eat: The roasted chicken is good, as are most of the daily specials, such as potato-turkey pie ($3.98), porcheta (boneless pork), and capese, a roll filled with mozarella, basil, tomato, and other Italian necessities.

For beverages, there's a cooler with Nantucket Nectars ($1.29), teas and sodas. For dessert, one can go for either the macaroons, chocolate cookies and biscotti or the fresh apples, pears and dates.  

The vibe: An international market with all kinds of people choosing their favorite vegetables, breads, meats, cheeses, cookies and pastries. It can get crowded on weekends.

Cool factor no. 1: The pies are substantial, fresh and a bargain at around $10.98. If you need one for Thanksgiving dinner, Russo's is usually open and there will be a dozen different kinds right near the door.

Cool factor no. 2: There are lots of registers always open and staffed by well-trained workers.

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