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Feeding students for a living boils down to convenience, price, and speed. Within a block of UC Berkeley's North Gate, Vinnie's also soothes student nostalgia, affording that flash of recognition, that flush of gratitude, that flicker of identity and pride as patrons, feeling very far from home, order chopped steak on a soft roll with Cheez Whiz. The result is juicy, salty, oozy, chewy, a culinary social-class mash-up as the humble, Philly-made hoagie roll in its nearly flavorless neutrality embraces Niman Ranch beef. Abundant, tasty tofu and Portobello mushroom cheese "steaks" are also served here, and other hoagies and sandwiches round out the menu, as do huge, delicious, heart-attack-in-a-basket heaps of garlic fries. Vinnie's onion rings, super-satisfying standouts, are crisp golden circlets as big as dog collars and almost as weighty.

— Anneli Star Josselin Rufus

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

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Price: $

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