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CHEAP EATS

Old Editions Book Shop & Cafe

74 E. Huron St.

842-1734

2 1/2 pennies

"Lunch, literally"

Old Editions, a cafe-within-a book-shop, has a nice view and a nice city feel.

During our wait for lunch, the shelves of old books and framed 1897 story about Buffalo's grain elevators magnified the sensation. There is a Wonder Woman comic and the vintage paperbacks. By the time Jane Austen's "Northhanger Abbey" and Lawrence Durrell's "Prospero's Cell" were in hand, our food was ready and we were called over to eat.

We'd chosen from a standard variety of turkey, ham, roast beef on white, wheat or rye, and ordered soup and sandwich combos for $6.95.

The tuna on wheat with tomato and leaf lettuce was just the kind someone would whip up at home.

The day's featured hot sandwich was a dry roast beef on a nice roll with lettuce, a pale tomato and standard-issue yellow mustard. The sandwich was fine but nothing to seek out.

The white bean soup, served in a styrofoam cup, was thick with bits of ham and a hint of fennel. It was rich but could have done with a bit of thinning to seem more like soup and less like dip.

The tranquil atmosphere of the place was spoiled by a loud TV program droning on about weight loss.

We managed to block the noise eventually and focus on two happy surprises: The chicken soup made my friend declare it was the best she'd ever had in a restaurant.

"Look at the big slabs of chicken," she cooed. The rich broth with green beans, celery and carrot wasn't oversalted. She'd make a meal of this alone. "This is a tremendous deal," she said. "Go downtown, for a couple of bucks, get this."

From the cookies and cake supplied in the dessert case by the Lake Effect Diner, we chose the apple crisp for $1.50. The soft apple slices had lots of cinnamon, slight sugar and a buttery oatmeal crumble on top. They had that exactly right.

Store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Soup and coffee is available until closing, but sandwiches stop at 3 p.m. Wheelchair-accessible.