Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe is no ordinary sandwich joint. At 85 years old, it's a Boston institution. The place used to be decorated with hanging bird cages that housed parakeets, and a young Sammy Davis Jr. tap-danced for change. It was a union hall, meeting place and hangout for local musicians. In the 1950s it was where bookies, prostitutes, and some of Boston's notorious criminals would convene. And we haven't even mentioned the food.

In his new book, "Where Hash Rules," George Arron Cuddy tells the story of Charlie's. And he should know, he used to work behind the counter.