Best Takeout Counter (Gourmet Division) - 2006
The Pitted Olive
Business has proved so booming at the Pitted Olive, it's not just for carry-out anymore; sit-down table service has been offered since the summer. But the Pitted Olive's original raison d'etre was to offer top-shelf take-away meals at reasonable prices, and at this the Pitted Olive excels above all others. A sandwich ain't just a sandwich when it's a classically done muffaletta or a modernly conjured hot-goat-cheese-and-chicken on herb foccaccia. In fact, nothing is executed on a pedestrian level here, from the salads (try the Chinese chicken, absolutely delish) to the meat loaf (way better than even Mom made) to the vegetarian entr?es (a "portabella stack," including eggplant, roasted peppers and balsamic-grilled zucchini, assembled like lasagnaor just try the vegetable lasagna). Most everything was made that morning, then heated to order and packaged with utmost care. It's enough to make us contemplate using our oven for storage.