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Call this "filling in time." Waiting for the Blue Line, here at 12th and Imperial.

I know it's gonna be another ten minutes. Starved, as usual, just after midday. Sun's beating down. Head for the shade in the trolley HQ. Hmm.

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Trolley HQ's famous - and famously inaccurate - clocktower

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Trolley HQ

Behind the snack shop, there's this eatery, Pacific Star Deli.

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Place is pretty packed. MTS staffers, I guess.

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First thing you notice inside is the front of an old-fashioned trolley car, green and cream, bursting through the wall. "Away We Go, to San Diego," says its logo.

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Also, they have a patio out where the Orange Line ends its journey.

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I go straight to the counter. Join the line. Ask the lady, Wasan, if they have something quick, cheap? Turns out they have, like, a full-on restaurant. And daily specials. Today, Thursday, it's Italian. Lasagna or mostaccioli ("little mustache," in Italian, a kind of penne pasta) with veggies for $5.99.

"Tuesdays, we have ribs, $6.99 with two sides," she says.

Wow. That is a deal. See from the wall menu you can fill up good any day on around five, six buckeroos.

Wasan and her husband Walter have owned this business for two years, but they say it has been around for eighteen.

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Walter seems serious. Then he cracks a joke...

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Oh man. You can always trust a place where the owners like each other.

What's rich is, as many times as I've been tearing thru this depot, wondering where da heck to eat, opportunity was knocking, right here.

Double irony: By the time I get up to Walter at the cash register to give my order, a Blue Line hauls in. Dang. Better catch it.

But I'll be back.

On a Tuesday, probably.

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