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G W North

Dining in Rochester - A Canadian perspective

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The Rochester edge

When in America, deviate from the eaten track for Puerto Rican and soul food restaurants

JENNIFER BAIN

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- There's at least two sides to every good story. This tale, a hunt for delicious, cross-border food, begins on the north side. For outsiders, that's code for the "poor" part of town.

North Clinton Ave. Friday afternoon about 1 p.m.

Fresh off the thruway from mild-mannered Toronto and famished, the vibe is foreign.

Scattered clutches of men linger along the desolate street. Storefronts that are alternately open, boarded up and burned out. Houses with boards nailed over street-level windows. Cars slink down the street with plastic tarps covering smashed-out back windows and Latin music pulsating from souped-up speakers.

"Tired and afraid because someone you love gambles?" billboards proclaim.

"R.I.P. Pucho," graffiti shouts, lamenting a burned-out grocery.

Then, a beacon: Chimos Sandwich Shop (1038 North Clinton Ave. at Avenue A, 585-266-1405). Flags flutter outside the earth-toned storefront

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