Editors' pick

Nickell's & Sheffler

$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

Louis Nickell and Susan Scheffler met and fell in love at the Culinary Institute of America. Their love child is Nickell's & Scheffler, a small cafe and takeout in Old Town. The front of the business is dominated by a case filled with main courses and side dishes and by the kitchen, where sandwiches are assembled from the meats roasted in-house, including beef, ham and turkey. There are also soups (at least one vegetarian daily), panini and salads. This is the place to put together a gourmet dinner that needs just a few minutes of reheating. Mini crab cakes are mostly pure lump crab (and no shell) and served with a slightly piquant red pepper sauce. Nickell advises adding a tablespoon of water to rice so it will steam while reheating. Shrimp etouffee takes just a few minutes in the microwave to rival any New Orleans version, and the grilled vegetables and asparagus are ready in just seconds. Bread pudding for dessert, also reheated in the microwave, is hot enough to melt the hard sauce that accompanies it. You wouldn't have to tell anyone you didn't cook everything yourself.