James Norton / Heavy Table
For five dollars at Cora’s on Payne Avenue, you can buy a #1 Meal consisting of three fried chicken wings, an egg roll, a pile of fried rice and … wait for it … an entire can of Coke or one of the off-brand sodas stocked in the cooler. You may have to ask for the beverage, and they’ll give it to you begrudgingly. But it’s right up there on the menu. Know your rights.
The atmosphere in Cora’s consists of scuffed-up tiles, signs pitching bulk-rate catering deals, a well-loved rubber mat, and a cash register set so far back from the main counter as to be nearly invisible. Aluminum chafing dishes hold the most recently made wings, and service is relaxed. You can read a religious pamphlet about the evils of pornography while you wait, but you’ll have to stand while you do it.