Thank you all for your recs! I ate well in the grandparent's hood thanks to you hounds.
So, everything was delicious from La Terasita to the gyros and Vietnamese. La Terasita was particularly amazing, so flavorful and cheap!
However, I think Mazzaros may be the most wonderfully delightful place on earth! I am Italian (I mean 1st generation), from New York, and now live in Los Angeles, so I have known a few Italian markets in my day and have pretty high standards, but boy did I leave there wishing I could clone that place and transplant it in Los Angeles. I would even drive long distances in unrelenting traffic to get there, (i.e. leave the west side). What makes it so great, aside from the perfect Italian panini, is that they have EVERYTHING right there in a beautiful spacious atmosphere that includes a killer patio, amazing bread, fig gelato, espresso, great products, meat, people watching, etc.
My husband agrees as well. He left in mid-trip to go to Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and when we met up back home I badgered him for every tiny food detail (I've never been to NO), and when he got to the lunch deets he said something to the effect of "the po' boy was good, but it was no Mazzaros panini." Ha.
Some places I didn't like so much that I got dragged to by my grandfather who kept insisting that St. Pete Ale House offered up the best meal in town:
Babalu: Horrible service, mediocre to not good food.
4th St. Seafood (I think that's it): Just not that good quality stuff, and prepared without much flavor. Blah.
Hook Sushi: Found this online. It was actually good, but a lot of the rolls were cooked to my surprise, like sushi for beginners. However, everything was high quality and tasty!
Anyway, thanks again for the recs, they made my trip a tasty one!