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Jul 19, 2008 03:53 PM

Serviceable Brooklyn Italian Delis

I just tried a hero, based on a recommend from these boards, from Caputo's Deli...

And the news is not good.

--Please keep in mind that this is only a critique of their hero (it was an Eh-talian Combo, purportedly). They seem like plenty well-meaning people and the rest of their goods looked wonderful, etc.


As I was eating it I became confounded. What is so difficult about making a good hero/ grinder sandwich? Never mind a hot one...And why the hell do I have to go to Bensonhurst to get one? I might as well spend an hour on the train to go to 101 Deli in Rockaway...

Or do I have to?

Am I missing some gem out there?(I just discovered Defonte's, and they promptly closed shop for vacation.)

But back to this Crapooto anti-hero:

The bread was fine but unassisted by:

--Sad, identity-crisis-having lettuce which was both stalky leaf AND shredded wilt?
--Very unhappy bologna (at least go with mortadella I mean for the love...) And when I say mayo on both sides I mean it, K?
--Some kind of skimpy smattering of cherry peppers and a waifish piece of provolone. -Whatever-prosciutto and Whatever-salami.

I mean if you're going to make a heartless sandwich like that you shouldn't even bother. It looked as if an autistic person made it: like there was some kind of awful and inscrutable logic to its design.

And I won't even get into finding excellent macaroni or potato salad (which they don't have anyway but would I'm sure be equally phoned in.)

Note to Aspiring Deli Artists:

If you're going to charge $9 for a hero and the sum of its parts is 2 to 3 dollars MAX, it better be a damn fine, perky, slathered, tangy, spicy-hot-sweet, fevered-dream inducing foot of wedded bliss.

Because otherwise that's just Rude.

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  1. Go to Leoni's Mozzarella or John's Deli if you want a good hero.

    8 Replies
    1. re: JFores

      I will, thanks. Right after I finish licking my wounds. Hate getting burned, but Caveat Emptor!

      1. re: MickdaQuick

        Or just skip the hero and get a dozen proscuitto balls from Joe's Perette.


        1. re: MickdaQuick

          Oh yeah, get the roast beef at John's.

          1. re: JFores

            For my money the roast beef at Clemente's is better than John's. Plus they have it every day.

        2. re: JFores

          That's Lioni Latticini. I think that the hero place is actually called something else, but you can't miss it. They have at least 300-400 different varieties of hero, each made to order (including the cooking of the fillings in the hot ones). Spectacular. Also great, if a little quirky, is DeFonte's in Red Hook. Closes before dinner (even earlier on Saturday, not open Sunday).

          Defonte's Sandwich Shop
          379 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

          Lioni Fresh Mozzarella
          7803 15th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11228

          1. re: bobjbkln

            A & S Pork Store (Fifth Ave in Park Slope) has some good Italian sandwiches. Catene Deli (9th St. near 4th Ave) does too.

            1. re: parkslopemama

              didn't i just hear that a&s pork store is closing?

              1. re: parkslopemama

                While probably not as good as the other places mentioned, I haven't gone wrong at D'Amico's on Court Street. They have good Italian cold cuts and cheeses, make a nice hero and are the cheapest snadwiches around.