My favorite Italian restaurant lies nestled in a bustling street in the Bronx. Like many red-sauce family-style establishments that have existed for generations, this restaurant -- which I'll decline to identify -- accepts cash only and doesn't bother to present you with a formal bill at meal's end. You more or less have to accept the word of your server that his tabulations are accurate. It's rumored that server jobs at the place are so hard to secure that you literally have to be left one in a will.

Places like this probably don't fly very high on the radar screen of the Internal Revenue Service. Or maybe they do, but the field agents are regulars as well. But it would seem almost sacrilegious for anything or anyone to change its long-standing tradition -- even if they occasionally forget to log a bottle of wine or dish of osso bucco on their 1040.

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