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IDEAL’S SANDWICH AND GROCERY It was love at first sight for Ideal’s co-owner Ian Bracken. “As soon as I saw 2108 Angier in East Durham, I knew it was the place,” Ian says. He and Culinary Institute of America classmate Paul Chirico turned their sandwich shop and neighborhood grocery into one of Durham’s most talked-about restaurants. All of the bread at Ideal’s is baked fresh daily, and the menu reads like a love letter to the Northeastern delis the pair grew up loving. There’s a Philly roast pork sandwich, an egg-and-cheese on a homemade English muffin (classic corner store offering) and one of the most true-to-form Italian subs available in the Triangle. The Harlem chopped cheese sandwich, with ground beef, onions, sharp provolone cheese and housemade chop sauce, might be the closest thing to an original found south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The small grocery section offers frozen meals (hello, lasagna!), fresh local veggies, ice cream, dry goods like pasta and even wine, creating a sort of small Italian market that really doesn’t exist elsewhere in Durham. Ideal’s has joined its neighbors like Sofia’s Pizza, Cates Hot Dogs and Rofhiwa Book Café in transforming East Durham’s little downtown into a dining destination in its own right. “The neighborhood has been incredibly kind and welcoming to us, and we look forward to continuing to grow as a community with everyone,” Ian says.