Now that spring has finally massacred the bitter cold winter and we’re beginning to see sunlight and green grass, I decided to spend some quality time with myself and go out for a stroll. I hopped on our not-so-on-time RTS 72 bus line toward Eastman and got off Park Avenue. Walking the stretch from Park down to Culver, I started reminiscing on how exciting summer is going to be with the Park Avenue Festival and the sea of humans flocking for the goodies. With my iPod blasting Sufjan Stevens and my coveted Prada sunglasses on, I found myself strutting down the famous avenue in Rochester.

Halfway through my journey, on the corner of Oxford and Park, I spotted an eatery I had forgotten all about – the magnificent Magnolia’s Deli and Caf.

A family restaurant owned by Sue and Tony Palermo, Magnolia’s offers a plethora of food selections whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Glancing at the menu for the first time might be a tad overwhelming. From salads to their famous hearty soups to their amazing sandwiches and their beautifully presented whole pizzas, Magnolia’s is sure to please anyone who walks in, be it for a quick grab to eat or a full-blown meal.

The overall layout is quite intriguing, as well, due to its ability to please customers who want to sit down and eat and those who are in a hurry. The funky dcor adds charm and character to the locale, while the smiling and well-kept waitresses were a delight to encounter.

On this particular spring day, I decided to keep with the theme and order a primavera pizza topped with some chicken as my entre for lunch. Not fully understanding how large the pizza would be, I also delved into an antipasto easily for three people to enjoy. The mixture of Italian cold cuts, cheeses, olives, peppers and freshly baked bread was satisfying in every sense of the word. Before I could even finish my appetizer, in less than 10 minutes, I had in front of me a freshly baked whole pizza pie topped with stripped chicken, slices of tomatoes, peppers and my all-time favorite vegetable – artichokes.

What was I thinking? This was another classic case of my eyes being far bigger than my stomach. Taking my first bite into a slice of the pie was heavenly. The combinations of vegetables, olive oil and the freshly baked dough, the sun peering through the window, and chatter around me reminded me how utterly amazing Rochester really is. Having enough food left over to feed my math class, I asked to take the remaining food with me. Three styrofoam boxes later, I found myself continuing my strut down Park Avenue, enjoying the company of happy folk. Check out Magnolia’s at

Buitrago is a member of the class of 2007.

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