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Landi Brothers deli in Yonkers

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Summerfield Aug 28, 2006 09:53 PM

Years ago, when I was a student at Yonkers High School on Poplar St. in what was then Yonkers's Little Italy, my friends and I would get the most delicious wedges at Landi's. They'd get the Italian bread (what else?) fresh daily from the Willow-Sunny bakery right across Willow St from their deli. As there was usually a line wrapping around inside the store (and sometimes out the door), they'd have a production line going. Frank was the main sandwich maker, but his brother and his wife would help. I'd always get a half a loaf of fresh ham, with mayonnaise, tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and olive oil. Unbelievably delicious and satisfying. I went back to Yonkers some years ago for a reunion, and learned that Frank had just died. We had all planned to go to Landi's to get his mouth-watering wedges, but, alas, it was not to be. What I'm wondering is, has any other deli taken up the gauntlet and is making mouth-watering wedges that I can get on my next visit to Yonkers?

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  1. jd13 Oct 12, 2006 04:50 AM

    Hi Summerfield! I came across your post while on a search for information about Mr. Landi and his famous deli. I live in Westchester and I’ve always loved Landi Wedges. I’m only 27 so I don’t have many memories of Mr. Landi. I remember more about the later years when the two Portuguese guys took over. Those were some good wedges! Unfortunately, aside from your post on this site, my search for information came up completely empty. This prompted me to start a Landi memorial website. You can check out the basic layout of the page here: http://www.jd13.com/landi - I haven’t added content yet, but I just wanted to get something online so it would start getting noticed by search engines. Please let me know if you have any info, stories, or pictures that you would like to contribute to the site. Anything would be much appreciated. Now to answer your question about Landi Wedges still being made... I have some good news for you! My cousin (another Landis enthusiast) and I located a pizza place that makes wedges that are very similar in look and taste. Like I said earlier, I remember more about the later years... so I’m not sure how this will compare to the Landi Wedges you might remember. Regardless, I think it’s worth visiting if you’re in the area. The name of the place is Gjoni’s Pizzeria. We have some information that lead us to believe there may even be a connection to the two Portuguese guys that ran Landis in its final days. Of course that just our speculation and we’ve never said anything to the owners. They’re located at 191 Linden St. & Park Hill Ave. That’s just around the corner from Landis on Willow St. I just went there last weekend with my cousin to get some wedges and they were amazing! We also stopped by Willow St. to see what was there. The Landis building is now a hair salon. I took some pictures which will be on the site soon. I also got some shots of the Frank J. Landi memorial street sign, and the horseshoe embedded in the pavement directly in front of the store. Well Summerfield, I wish you luck on your next visit to Yonkers. The neighborhood has changed quite a bit and that Little Italy you remember is long gone... but hopefully the bite of a Gjoni’s Wedge will bring you back a few years to the good old days of 157 Willow St.! If you would like to talk more, just let me know and we can exchange e-mail addresses. Joe

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    1. re: jd13
      chowdom Aug 27, 2007 11:23 AM

      Sorry to see nothing has been done with the website. My boyfriend is a Yonkers High School Graduate (early1980s) and he always talks (with such nostalgia) about how Landi's was an institution in his day, and how he misses those wedges.

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      1. re: jd13
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        rh4782 Jan 11, 2009 03:15 PM

        In the early 70's I lived across the street from Landi's. The memories that I have of him are that he was the greatest wedge maker ever. During this time a lot of the Yonkers recreational parks hosted a great amount of baseball games and community functions. Landi's was the first place to go and get your wedge in order to carry on through the day. From what I can recall the bread was made in the bakery on the same side I lived in which was across the street from Landi's. At 5 years old, I remember being chased out of his store with a broom because I told him to "hurry up".

        There is a similiar deli which is down the street towards Enrico Fermi middle school, on Willow street. This place makes pretty good sandwiches which are similiar to Landi's taste.

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      2. s
        Summerfield Oct 12, 2006 07:58 PM

        Joe,
        When did the two Portugese guys take over Landi's and, when did they abandon it? Is the term "wedge" still in use, then?

        I'm going to try to get to Westchester next summer. In the meantime, I think I'll call one of my Italian friends and ask him to stop by Gjoni's and try a wedge. I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.

        It's quite possible that there are some pictures of Landi's in the Yonkers High School year books. I don't have my copies anymore but I'll ask my friends to check it out. You should put a "contact me" link on the website you created.

        Anyway, maybe your post will stir up some response on Gjoni's.

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        1. jd13 Oct 12, 2006 08:21 PM

          I'm still trying to figure out the exact dates, but I'm guessing Landi closed in the late 80's. They were closed for a few years before the 2 guys reopened. The two guys were open for a few years but it just wasn’t the same and they eventually closed. I'm guessing they closed in the early to mid 90's.

          The term Wedge is still used here in Westchester and it’s definitely used at Gjonis! If you end up having a friend stop by, please let me know what he thinks.

          I was able to find a few pictures in the 1965 and 1967 Yonkers Blackboard yearbooks, but that’s about it. Let me know if your friends find any other yearbook photos!

          I’m still working on the site, but I’ll add that contact link ASAP - and I’ll let you know when the full site is ready.

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          1. s
            Summerfield Oct 13, 2006 07:30 PM

            It looks like you've got the thing covered. How'd you get the yearbooks? I'd get all the early-mid '60s yearbooks. Try the Italian-American Club if it is still there. It's on Linden or Waverly St. just by Park Hill Av. Who knows? They might be able to put you onto some pictures or possibly provide a family contact.

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              cavandre Nov 14, 2007 10:21 AM

              Another Yonkers-ex-pat weighing in...my favorite was the Italian combo with mustard & the works. I grew up in the Nodine hill section of the city & probably had more of them then was good for me, but who could resist!

              Yonkers gets Peter Kelly, but loses the Landi's...that's almost a fair trade.

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                michael4ny Dec 7, 2007 10:51 AM

                YHS, class of "60 and yes, Landi's was absolutely the best. Whenever I'd return to Yonkers from Maryland where I moved to I always made sure to stop in and pick up a wedge. I've heard that there's a place on Saw Mill River Rd. that's now doing it's best to duplicate their wedges but I haven't been there and I'm not sure of the exact address.

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                1. re: michael4ny
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                  cowal25 Nov 9, 2008 06:39 PM

                  that place on saw mill river road is just another sandwich....nothing to rave about...and definitely not something to go out of your way for.

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