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The first take? Mount Pleasant’s Federal Store, with its $3.75 boxes of Annie’s bunny pasta, its $1 pencils and its ironic selling of Fun Dip, is peak Vancouver 2017: a gathering place for people paying way too much for a “curated” collection of commonplace goods while complaining about how expensive the city is. But take a breath. Realize that everyone is actually talking about happy things and reading books to their kids. Above all, let them make you a simple ham and cheese sandwich ($5.50/half) on bread they baked that morning with thick-cut aged white cheddar and a generous layering of hand-cut ham resting on a thick spread of butter. Pair it with a house-made blondie ($3.75) with a hard caramel shell drizzled on top and your only gripe will be “Why isn’t this near my home?”

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