Review Category : Lunch Bunch

Indulge in custom coffee and crepes at Habersham’s Lazy Susan’s Cafe & Creperie

By Pamela Brownstein

There are few things better than to meet up with a group of friends at a cozy, adorably decorated cafe to enjoy good coffee and amazing crepes. This was how the Lunch Bunch spent last Friday afternoon at the new Lazy Susan’s Cafe & Creperie located in Habersham.

A luscious latte

A luscious latte

The restaurant, which opened in July, features a large variety of coffee — from the house blend coffee bar to the french press options to the expertly made espresso drinks. I ordered a non-fat latte and it was served in a cute little red mug and saucer and matching spoon, with a perfect swirl on top (as a former barista myself, I appreciate the craft). Drinking it just made me sit back in my chair and relax; Elizabeth ordered one too and we agreed the lattes were excellent.

The menu is divided up into “Savory Crepes” and “Sweet Crepes,” and they even have Kids Crepes available.

Kim ordered the French Englishman filled with tomato, bacon, egg and cream cheese and it looked amazing. Nikki tried the James Bond — a crepe with bacon, mushroom, onion, spinach and Feta cheese and she said it was so good.

The French Englishman crepe

The French Englishman crepe

Irene’s Huevos Rancheros crepe had sausage and peppers inside and was topped with avocado slices, a fried egg, and pico sauce. It looked very tasty. I also enjoyed The Old Forge, a crepe made with bacon, egg and cheese, then has pico on top, which is similar to salsa.

We split the Sweet Crepes, and couldn’t decide which one we liked best because they were all fabulous. Half of the table was bananas over the Bananas Foster crepe, and the rest of us adored the Graham Cracker Cheesecake crepe topped with strawberries and cherries. Seriously, wow, words can’t describe the goodness. Just go taste for yourself.

Lazy Susan’s Cafe & Creperie is located 31A Market Street, Beaufort, SC, 29906. They are open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. everyday except for Wednesday. Call 843-466-0735, visit www.lazysusanscafe.com or like them on Facebook.

The James Bond crepe

The James Bond crepe

Huevos Rancheros crepe, topped with avocado, egg and pico.

Huevos Rancheros crepe, topped with avocado, egg and pico.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graham cracker cheesecake crepe topped with strawberries and cherries.

Graham cracker cheesecake crepe topped with strawberries and cherries.

Sweet berries crepe filled with blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and topped with whip cream.

Sweet berries crepe filled with blueberries, blackberries and strawberries and topped with whip cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barista and server Micah behind the adorably decorated counter.

Barista and server Micah behind the adorably decorated counter.

The sign for Lazy Susan's, located in Habersham Marketplace.

The sign for Lazy Susan’s, located in Habersham Marketplace.

 

 

 

 

 

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Southern cooking that’s good for your soul served at the new MJ’s Soul Food Restaurant

By Pamela Brownstein

MJ’s Soul Food recently opened on June 26, bringing new life to the building that once housed the Sand Dollar Tavern on St. Helena Island. (Don’t let the sign that still says “Sand Dollar Tavern” fool you!) Even I didn’t know that it was a new restaurant until Lunch Bunch had the pleasure to eat there last week.

Crab balls

Crab balls

Our friendly server brought us a plate of Crab balls as an appetizer. Even though there were only three of us at our booth, the four balls on the plate quickly disappeared. It was impossible to resist the warm little nuggets of goodness — almost like a cross between a crab cake and a hush puppy with a little bit of cheese — and when our server asked us if we wanted more, I didn’t even hesitate to say yes.

Irene ordered the Shrimp and Fish special that came with fried shrimp and a large piece of fried whiting, and she said it was really good. She also liked the sides of red rice and collard greens.

Elizabeth only had to look at the menu once and she knew she wanted the fried chicken with a side of collard greens. There was no deterring her from the big, juicy, perfectly cooked piece of chicken — she almost left

Shrimp and fish special with red rice.

Shrimp and fish special with red rice.

only bones on her plate it was so tasty.

I tried the Smothered Pork chop special, not exactly the healthiest choice, but I ate it all because it was so awesome, the definition of Southern comfort food. Served with fabulous collard greens and yummy shrimp and crab rice, this meal was mouth-watering.

Other highlights on the menu include hamburgers, ribs and seafood, as well as a variety of sides such as fried okra and mac n’ cheese. I would recommend the restaurant to anyone hungry for authentic homemade food that lives up to its name.

MJ’s Soul Food is located at 1634 Sea Island Parkway on St. Helena Island. Lunch and dinner served 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; breakfast available dine in or take out on Saturday. Call 843-838-2009.

Fried chicken with collard greens

Fried chicken with collard greens

Smothered pork chop with collard greens and shrimp and crab rice.

Smothered pork chop with collard greens and shrimp and crab rice.

 

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Join The Breakfast Club and watch the sun rise over the water with Vintage Voyages

By Pamela Brownstein

The instructions to be at the Beaufort downtown marina at 6:30 a.m. sharp seemed daunting. But it was totally worth it to see the sun rise over the river and spend a relaxing morning on a boat meandering through local waterways.

The view from the boat as morning begins to break and the sun peeks over the horizon.

The view from the boat as morning begins to break and the sun peeks over the horizon.

The Lunch Bunch — or maybe The Breakfast Bunch in this case — met up with Captain Tim Deckard and his wife Mare, owners of Vintage Voyages, who welcomed them aboard The Annalee. This beautifully restored, 1930 classic wooden yacht has a state-of-the-art, custom designed hybrid engine, with whisper quiet electric drive, that is non-polluting and friendly to the environment.

Mare made delicious homemade muffins and a special coffee cake that was her grandmother’s recipe. She also served coffee, which everyone enjoyed.

Kim Harding said she liked that Mare and the captain were very entertaining, dancing and blowing the boat horn, even so early in the morning.

One of the best things about being outside and on the water is the opportunity to observe nature greet the new day. The group spotted dolphins, as well as many different kinds of birds. Elizabeth said there was a huge flock of egrets that flew overhead toward downtown and it was a gorgeous sight.

The cruise starts at the Beaufort downtown marina, goes to the Port Royal Marina and back. It lasts about an

The spread of coffee, fruit and pastries

The spread of coffee, fruit and pastries

hour and a half.

Mare says, “Join us at dawn, and watch the dark horizon slowly ignite with that magnificent and bright orange; such a beautiful scene! Delight as the sun makes its presence known by setting the entire world aglow. Sunrise brings with it a different kind of beauty, signifying the promise of a new beginning.”

The Breakfast Club holds six guests maximum. The cost is $69. For more information about Vintages Voyages visit www.beaufortvintagevoyages.com or call 1-855-ANNALEE (266-2533).

Kim Turner and Nikki Hardison toast their coffee mugs to the beginning of a glorious new day.

Kim Turner and Nikki Hardison toast their coffee mugs to the beginning of a glorious new day.

A view of the bridge.

A view of the bridge.

 

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A plentiful Chinese buffet delights senses (and fills bellies) at Jade Garden

By Pamela Brownstein

The appeal of the Chinese buffet at Jade Garden lies in the sheer variety of food available to hungry diners. The Lunch Bunch was eager to join the bustling crowd last week at the restaurant on Boundary Street.

Coconut shrimp appetizer

Coconut shrimp appetizer

Crawfish appetizer

Crawfish appetizer

Truly, the buffet offers such a selection — from sushi to stir fry to fried bananas — there is something for everyone. And the glory of it is that you can return as many times as you like to fill up your plate and try something new.

With so many choices, we each tried to narrow down our favorite dishes.

The crawfish appetizer was a plate piled high with the red crustaceans. Laura, who had never tried crawfish before, said they were delicious.

Elizabeth said her favorite is always the Crab Rangoon. She also liked the crunchy garlic green beans.

Nikki thought the Fried Flounder appetizer was really good, and she was also a fan of the clams at the buffet.

Kim Turner declared the rice noodles were fabulous as well as the mushrooms in a surprising sweet sauce.

A plate from the buffet filled with garlic green beans, an egg roll, chicken and broccoli, rice noodles and sushi.

A plate from the buffet filled with garlic green beans, an egg roll, chicken and broccoli, rice noodles and sushi.

I enjoyed the Coconut Shrimp appetizer, the variety of sushi rolls and the shrimp and broccoli.

The warm sugar donuts received rave reviews as the top pick for dessert by everyone, even baby Selah.

We also got a kick out of our fortunes, some were either funny or a little bizarre. Laura’s had one word on it: “Relationships,” which she jokingly took to be a foreboding sign. Then Irene’s fortune was pretty much the best one I’ve ever heard: “As you slide down the banister of life, make sure the splinters don’t point your way.” Words to live by! We all thought it was hilarious. Reading fortune cookies is always a great way to end a delicious meal.

Jade Garden is located at 2317 Boundary Street, Beaufort, SC, 29902. Open for lunch and dinner, takeout available. Call 843-522-8883.

A plate from the buffet with vegetables, clams, and lo mein noodles.

A plate from the buffet with vegetables, clams, and lo mein noodles.

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‘Quality is the most important ingredient in a sandwich’ at Groucho’s Deli

By Pamela Brownstein

The Lunch Bunch was excited to once again dine at Groucho’s Deli on Lady’s Island. After eating here right after it opened in March, we wanted to make sure the sandwiches and salads that make the franchise so popular throughout

Grilled chicken salad

Grilled chicken salad

the state were as good as we remembered. (And the verdict? They were just as good, maybe even better!)

Reuben variation

Reuben variation

Nikki chose the Apollo Dipper — a fat sub roll stuffed with hot ham, turkey and Swiss cheese melted together — and she said it was out of this world.

Kim Harding was really pleased with her Reuben Variation, which includes extra lean pastrami, melted Muenster cheese, heated Sauerkraut and German mustard on rye bread.

Elizabeth and Irene both ordered the Mid East Special, and it looked pretty awesome, piled high with bologna, provolone cheese, salami and lean pastrami on top, with oil and vinegar dressing and served hot. All the sandwiches at Groucho’s come in a little red basket, and I’m pretty sure both ladies had empty baskets by the end of the meal because it was so tasty.

Kim Turner tried the Baby Sub, the “original” Groucho’s sub served hot with salami, bologna, provolone cheese

The Baby Sub

The Baby Sub

melted, a herb slaw center topped by a generous portion of lean ham on a sub roll. She said this “baby” was yummy.

Mid East Special

Mid East Special

When you’re hungry, like I was, all the sandwiches sound good — I felt like a kid in a candy store staring at all the options — so at the server’s suggestion, I ordered the STP Dipper. This special blend of roast beef, turkey and real bacon crumbs is served on a sub roll with Swiss cheese melted on top and your choice of Formula 45 or Danish Bleu sauce. The roll was so soft, and all the meat and cheese was warm and melty, it was easy to see why this is one of their most popular sandwiches.

For those counting calories or looking for fewer carbs, Groucho’s features more than 10 kinds of salad. April made a healthy choice with the grilled chicken salad — chopped lettuce, tomato and cucumber topped with grilled chicken strips marinated in Groucho’s Famous 95 Dressing.

Kudos to local owner Patrick Ragsdale for the success of his Beaufort location.

Groucho’s Deli in Beaufort is located at 81 Sea Island Parkway, Beaufort, SC 29907. Call 843-524-4545 for takeout and catering or visit www.grouchos.com.

STP Dipper

STP Dipper

Welcome to Groucho's Deli on Lady's Island!

Welcome to Groucho’s Deli on Lady’s Island!

 

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No, don’t tell me you’ve never experienced the authentic Thai food at Yes! Thai Indeed

By Pamela Brownstein

No, I am not lying, it is such a pleasure to dine at the little locally owned restaurant, Yes! Thai Indeed. And, yes, perhaps I am biased because I love food that is expertly prepared and beautifully presented. I also

Thai iced tea

Thai iced tea

appreciate the friendly staff and the lovely atmosphere and that every time I eat here the meal is awesome. And this time was no exception.

Seafood Basil

Seafood Basil

The wonderful owner Narissara Saardwong brought a variety of dishes for The Lunch Bunch to share and sample. Each one was so flavorful and delicious, it was hard to choose which one was the best.

Nikki called dibs on the Pineapple Fried Rice because it is her favorite. It’s hard not to load your plate up with the tasty combination of stir-fried jasmine rice, vegetables, chicken and pineapple.

Kim Harding was impressed with the Seafood Basil, or Chao-lay. This entree features a sauteed combination of seafood with shrimp, green mussels, calamari and sea scallops with fresh chili pepper garlic in Thai creamy basil sauce. It had a slight kick, but not too hot, and we all agreed it was fantastic.

Pineapple fried rice

Pineapple fried rice

This was the first time Kim Turner, our new sales rep, had eaten at Yes! Thai Indeed, and she was so

Mango shrimp

Mango shrimp

enthusiastic about the excellent fare. She especially enjoyed the Mango Shrimp, a colorful dish that tastes as good as it looks with peppers, onions, shrimp and big pieces of mango in an amazing sauce.

Irene said she really liked the Siam Chicken — sauteed crispy fried chicken with cashews, mushroom, peppers, pineapple, onion and celery with Thai spicy herb sauce. The crunch of the cashew with the sweet pineapple will delight your taste buds.

My personal favorite is the Massaman Curry made with Thai spices blended in mild chili paste with potato and white onion and topped with cashews and avocado. It’s seriously so good. I also had to order a glass of the Thai iced tea, it’s not too sweet, but very refreshing.

Yes! Thai Indeed is located at 911 Boundary Street, Beaufort, SC, 29902. It is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and dinner on Saturday. For take out orders, call 843-986-1185.

Massaman curry

Massaman curry

Siam chicken with pineapple

Siam chicken with pineapple

 

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Feeling at home in the traditional atmosphere at Red Roster Café

By Wendy Pollitzer

A few weeks ago, I came to the counter at Red Roster Café to pick up my to-go order. The lovely and pleasant Ashley Robinson Buckley (newly wed) asked if I still wrote the lunch bunch column, and I sadly said no. When asked to fill in for Pamela Brownstein this week while she takes a well-deserved vacation as Editor of The Island News, I happily said yes.  And what a nice surprise it was to be asked to write the Lunch Bunch column about one of my favorite restaurants in town, The Red Rooster Café.

Southern fried green tomatoes on top of baby spinach greens

Southern fried green tomatoes on top of baby spinach greens

The eclectic and humorous Brendon Smalls, a familiar face at Red Rooster, served us first our drinks…all delivered in the classic southern staple, a mason jar. Joining me were Elizabeth Newberry, Nikki Hardison and Irene Goodnight. Irene ordered an Arnold Palmer and was delighted that Brendon offered the mixed berry honey lemonade as an alternative to the standard summer favorite. In fact, he told us that Red Rooster changes its lemonade options three times per week. It’s details like that that really sets the restaurant apart from others.

Ashley and Brendan were kind enough to bring us some starters that included their infamous crispy potato chips and four perfectly battered southern fried green tomatoes, served with a yummy guava sauce and topped with roasted red peppers and brie cheese on top of baby spinach greens.

Choosing from the menu for our entrees was the hardest part. Red Rooster offers a selection of breakfast items (as meals and a la carte), salads, sandwiches, Panini’s and burgers. As diverse as our choices were, our palettes were equally pleased with our plated works of art. Irene chose the Special for the day…an oven roasted chicken breast covered and smothered with pepper jack cheese, crispy bacon and an Italian drizzle squeezed between a toasted hoagie roll. Nikki opted for the Yo Adrian, a toasted ciabatta sandwich with ham, pepperoni, salami, provolone cheese, banana peppers and condiments paired with a classic Italian dressing. Elizabeth ordered

Pepper Jack Skip Jack

Pepper Jack Skip Jack

from the Panini selections and decided on the Pepper Jack Skip Jack, a sourdough Panini with tuna salad, the obvious namesake…pepper jack cheese and a fresh Lowcountry tomato. I was craving a burger this particular day and thoroughly enjoyed my Kissin’ Kate, a patty topped with roasted red peppers, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and finished with a melted brie cheese.

Stuffed and satisfied, we politely asked Brendan for our to-go boxes when he surprised us with yet another treat…four tasty root beer floats. We toasted to a fun summer and drank the delightful, youthful dessert beverage as Brendan brought us even more sugar. He presented a plate of cookies…white macadamia nut, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, rocky road and peanut butter.  I had to take some home to my daughters, Abbie and Julia, who subsequently devoured them in 30 seconds flat after dinner.

Root beer floats

Root beer floats

We had such a delightful experience at Red Rooster as always. It’s a timeless institution in Beaufort, though not very old. Owner, Courtney Keith has figured out a way to create a relaxed atmosphere with traditional ambiance and deliver delicious Southern cooking with a progressive, flavorful twist. Influenced by American, French and Hawaiian cuisine, Red Rooster Café has the comfort of a meat and three diner with the sophistication of a world-class bistro.

Red Roster Café is located at 1210 Ribaut Road and is open Mon.-Sat. from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. They can be reached at 843-379-2253.

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Everybody loves Beaufort Water Festival’s Thursday night tradition: Lowcountry Supper

By Pamela Brownstein

During the 10 days of Water Festival, Thursday night’s combination of delicious food and live music draws large crowds each year.

Volunteers serve the contents of a traditional Lowcountry Boil — steamed shrimp, corn on the cob, sausage — under a tent as folks shuffle through in three lines.

Many thanks to all of those who helped prepare, cook and serve the amazing food for this giant community picnic. This year, more than 1,200 pounds of shrimp was boiled in anticipation of the more than 3,000 hungry attendees.

And a big personal thank you to the Pirettes. I saw the girls assist a woman in a wheelchair in line, and came to throw away our plates after our meal was done. But Ashely Chance, a rising junior at Whale Branch Early College High School, was so helpful to our family. She pushed our daughter in her stroller so my husband and I could have our hands free to get plates of food and wrangle our toddler, Wolfe, through the crowds. She followed us all the way through the park and to our seats in the grass, and was very sweet, and we were grateful.

Once our family of four was settled, we all enjoyed the yummy food. Our 11-month-old daughter tried her first piece of shrimp, and Wolfe, 2, ate several pieces of watermelon. My husband’s plate was piled high with the shells of peeled shrimp, and the tasty sausage was my favorite, and better than I remembered.

It was a warm evening, but tolerable in the shade, and all around us families and friends ate together and kids played and listened to the tunes of the local band, the Blue Dots. Then everyone was entertained by The World Famous Whistlers, and it was a wonderful way to end a lovely evening that highlighted the food and fun that makes Beaufort great.

Alex, Bowen, Danielle Troutman, Jack and Henry enjoy shrimp, sausage, corn, cole slaw, watermelon and lemonade during Water Festival last Thursday in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

Alex, Bowen, Danielle Troutman, Jack and Henry enjoy shrimp, sausage, corn, cole slaw, watermelon and lemonade during Water Festival last Thursday in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

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Italian favorites such as pizza, pasta and salad draw families to The Upper Crust

By Pamela Brownstein

At this bustling pizzeria on Lady’s Island, hungry patrons stream in and out. The Upper Crust attracts families and groups with big tables and booths and an extensive menu that serves stellar pizza, pasta, salad and sandwiches.

Dave's favorite pizza

Dave’s favorite pizza

The Lunch Bunch started with a hot cheese pizza, which our friendly server dubbed “Chef Dave’s favorite.” It was so good, we each ate two pieces.

Nikki tried the Antipasto Salad that comes with onions, black olives, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, pepperoni, salami, ham, capicolla, balls of fresh mozzarella, and feta cheese sprinkled on top. She said this large, colorful salad was delicious.

Irene opted for the Low Country’s Best Shrimp Salad (as it’s called on the menu) and she really enjoyed the fresh local shrimp tossed in a creamy dill dressing piled high on a large salad.

April, who is a big fan of Upper Crust and dines here often, wanted her favorite: the Notorious Grilled

Anitpasto salad

Anitpasto salad

Chicken Salad. The tossed salad has green peppers, onions, cucumbers, black olives, tomatoes and grilled chicken. (It usually comes with seasoned french fries and cheese on top, but April opted out.)

Elizabeth said she recently had a dream about alfredo so she had to get the Cajun Alfredo — a creamy Parmesan sauce “Cajun Style” tossed with fettuccine pasta and grilled chicken.

I ordered the Chicken Wrap, but this is no ordinary wrap made with a thin, tortilla-like wrap. It is stuffed with grilled chicken, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, special sauce and mozzarella and rolled in homemade dough then baked to perfection. The result is a giant sandwich that is irresistible. I also got a side of the signature sour cream and chive fries and Elizabeth and I

Chicken wrap with sour cream and chive fries

Chicken wrap with sour cream and chive fries

couldn’t stop eating them.

Although we were all full from the plentiful portions, we did share some cannolis and they were amazing.

The Upper Crust is located at 97 Sea Island Parkway, Suite 201, Hamilton Village, Lady’s Island. Open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. Call 843-521-1999 or visit www.theuppercrustli.com.

 

Cajun alfredo

Cajun alfredo

 

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Visit Dataw Island for fabulous salads and sandwiches at The Outpost

By Pamela Brownstein

From downtown Beaufort, take the Sea Island Parkway out to St. Helena Island, then make a left at the light when you see the sign for Dataw Island. Go down the winding road, through the gate and past the charming houses until you reach the Dataw Island Marina. This picturesque spot is home to Sweetgrass Restaurant, which is only open for dinner, and The Outpost, which is open for breakfast and lunch. Both eateries were recently bought by owner and DSC_0082chef Penn TenEyck, and the Lunch Bunch was excited to see what was cooking.

Cranberry-pecan chicken salad

Cranberry-pecan chicken salad

The Outpost is decorated very cheerily, and has an old-timey theme, like a small town soda shop. It has a full coffee and espresso bar, and customers order at the counter. The menu offers a variety of salads and sandwiches, all with quality ingredients and special features.

Elizabeth ordered The Burger which comes with pimento cheese, caramelized onions and mushrooms on a Brioche bun. It was big, and she said it was very delicious.

I tried the Ham and Turkey Club, which is one of the more popular items on the menu, and for good reason. Piled with ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and red onion on toasted wheat bread, this giant sandwich also includes cranberry mayo, which only elevates its awesomeness.

On the healthier end, Nikki and Irene opted for specialty salads. Irene enjoyed her shrimp and crab salad over

Ham and turkey club

Ham and turkey club

mixed greens, while Nikki said her cranberry-pecan chicken salad was the best she’d ever had. The smoked chicken gave it immense flavor, and the sweetness from the cranberries and crunch from the pecans made for a winning combination.

We also shared the Barbecue Sandwich — slow-cooked pork with signature BBQ sauce and bacon coleslaw on a Brioche bun — that was really good, and the Shrimp Burger that was super tasty.

Even though we were all full, we were treated to a dessert platter that was impossible to refuse. We sampled a piece of Coconut Cake with hints of pineapple; a slice of Chocolate Mousse pie that I single-handedly devoured; and a Double Caramel Nut Chocolate Torte with Ladyfingers that was as decadent as it sounds.

The Outpost is at the Dataw Island Marina on Dataw Island. It is open for breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the week except Wednesday. Call 843-838-2508 or visit www.outpostdataw.com.

Shrimp and crab salad

Shrimp and crab salad

The cheery inside of The Outpost on Dataw Island.

The cheery inside of The Outpost on Dataw Island.

 

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