Hadley Hooper

If you ever wanted to get a handle on the character of Boca Raton, just head over to Bagel City South (6006 SW 18th St., Boca Raton, 5613935383). It's not the century-old bagel recipe, the mild Nova Scotia salmon, or the chopped liver that this busy deli offers that will clue you in. Nor is it the patrons, who are so dependable that servers don't have to take their orders. Nor the servers themselves, who've been working there so long they've watched customers' kids grow up. No, it's the sign posted in the window: "No dogs allowed in chairs." Under them, yes, but not in them. Because whatever Boca Raton is -- which includes a place where canines are treated as well as children -- it's clearly not Paris, where people are so pup-nutty they actually have tiny chairs made for their poodles.

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