A&S Salumeria - Route 33 in Millstone
This sandwich shop and Italian market has become my favorite place to grab a take-out lunch in the area. (on route 33 just west of Luciento's)
They have a nice selection of Italian meats, store-made mozzarella (very good, but a touch saltier than I'm used to) and ricotta, surprising homemade antipasto items - like amazingly sweet sundried red peppers (perfect on a sandwhich with spicy capicollo and sharp provolone, olive oil and balsamic) - and great homemade bread that's always oven-fresh around lunchtime.
(btw/ "great homemade bread" is not a term I use lightly.)
Avoid the reheated strombollis! They look appealing but are actually gummy-textured and surprisingly flavorless. The hot buffet menu items are kind of hit-or-miss. I liked the meatballs, but the sausages in the sausage and peppers were sadly dry. I did enjoy the farfalle with sausage and broccoli rabe, however (but, then again, I'm pro-garlic.).
They make a prosciutto bread that's fantastic out of the oven, but dries out very quickly. Only get it if it's still warm and you plan on eating it soon.
I'm a little disappointed this place doesn't make fresh pasta, but I have used their pizza dough at home and it's excellent and well matched with their homemade moz.
I tried this place 3 years ago, but I was a little displeased when I ordered 2 sandwiches, told the man what I wanted on it, and when I got home it basically was just turkey and cheese on a roll. No roasted peppers, no lettuce, onions or oil and vinegar. I was pissed!! So I went back and asked him to put everything he forgot on it..he said I never requetsed those things... who the hell eats turkey and cheese on one of those hard crusty rolls ??? I would hav had to chug a gallon of water along with it. The sandwiches were not cheap either. Smaller sized ones and I think I paid $ 8.00 per sand.
Anyway, I am HOPING it has changed. Is this place as good as Tuscany in Manalapan?? I love that place...pricey...but I have enjoyed everything from that place!
Let me reclarify, I can;t vouch for sandwiches. My palate is to discrimnating, I tend to buy stuff for a sanfdwiches and assemble killer sandwiches, pannini's etc. aty home. I can vouch for there meats, bread, italian deli type stuff. That stuff is top notch and hard to come by out here, even Wegamans on it's best day coudln't compare to a good authentic pork store.
Where is Tuscany in Manalapan? I never heard of it and am anxious to investigate.
I stopped into this place a couple of times, a few years back when it first opened up and was disappointed everytime. The prepared foods were not very good, IIRC, and very expensive, as were the meats (cold cuts and raw). I was particularly disappointed in the breads (good bread is getting so hard to find, when years ago every little corner store carried nice "open bag" Italian and/or French bread from a local bakery). I remember than all the Italian bread was covered in sesame seeds and weren't the rolls pre-packaged in plastic bags (which is death to a nice roll)?
Also, I seem to remember that the "brick oven" behind the rear counter was just a facade and assumed that they didn't bake there at all. Will have to check it out again - since the pizza place on the other end of the strip mall changed hands- for the worst- I haven't been in there in many months.
Oh, yeah- it's actually EAST of (so, before) Lucento's, on Rt. 33 West -just after the intersection of Rt. 527A and the entrance to the large cement mfg.
Thanks for the directions correction.
When I go the bread in always in paper, there are seeded and seedless options and it's definitely baked on the premises. It's gotten popular and sometimes I have to wait for new, warm batches to come out.
IMHO, the bread is excellent - though I'm not an expert on regional authenticity.
I agree about the prepared foods being hit or miss.
I don't believe they make their own salumi - but their selection has been expanding over the past couple of months. There are some of those powder-white skinned oddly round sausages behind the counter, but I haven't tried them yet.
re: Paul N
Regarding Tuscany, he gets the bread from "My Way" bakery in Freehold. There really is no good bread to be had this side of Jersey. Tuscany, the prepared foods are not very good and I have seen some of the "chefs" from the back on break and believe me there is no way these guys are Italian.