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italian hero / coldcuts

years ago it seemed as if any italian deli could make a really good hero (may be my memory or lack of discerning judgement), but now find it increasingly difficult to find. i realize that the basic meats are almost always boars head (not a problem), but no great sandwiches .looking in westchester. dante's was better when the old man still would make them. amici in harrison good but not great same with the other deli just down the street. mona lisa in eastchester seems about the best but still think there must be better. used to be a place in armonk in a small shopping center that consistently was best but long gone. any suggestions?

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  1. I think the bread is as important as the cold cuts (and I also don't think Boars Head is the end-all and be-all, especially for Italian cold cuts, but that's another story). I'm getting an Italian and an American hero later today myself and had to really think long and hard about where to go, delis just aren't what they used to be. But can't help you with specifics, just food for thought ;-)

    3 Replies
    1. re: coll

      Coll, you got it right, the bread makes the difference. I've eaten hero's since I was a kid growing up in the Arthur Ave. area in the Bronx. Whether you buy a hero at a deli or make your own at home, you must start out with good bread. Any bakery on Arthur Ave. makes bread that can't be beat. My favorite is Addeo Bakery. The name, Boars Head, doesn't mean the best since they make more than one line of cold cuts.

      1. re: coll

        my comment about boars head was because almost all deli's seem to rely on it,so the meat part is usually good but not great, the bread does indeed make a difference and as for cheese i like a strong provolgne and don't see what the shift towards fresh mozzarella is all about . the "dressing" oil and vinegar and the peppers also seem to matter, but again locally, there isn't much that really stands out

        1. re: rich51

          The italian combo I ordered at A & S was (perfectly juicy) oil ,vinegar, onion, peppers, lettuce, tomato, oregano, provolone (request imported), prosciutto, a really good salami, and mortadella held the cappy, hate it. on Arthur Avenue bread.

      2. Try Battaglia Brothers Meat Mkt. in New Rochelle. Haven't been there in awhile, but i've never been disappointed. They also make great Italian sausage.

        1. I like Dante's but A&S pork store in Yonkers makes a decent italian combo. I request it on half a seeded italian bread rather than wedge bread, a couple of more dollars but worth it ( you will need to share) They will of course customize it to your liking, They do carry boars head cold cuts (not my thing) in addition however they have store made roast beef (redolent of rosemary )and roast pork.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowdom

            I had an amazing Italian combo from A&S last week. I requested a spicy version with no lettuce or tomato, but onions and hot and roasted peppers. It was the best Italian Combo I have had in decades. Nice layers of prosciutto, mortadella, provolone, salami, pepperoni, and another Italian cold cut or ham, which I can't remember.

          2. I usually stopped by Bon Appetites Deli in eastchester whenever I was in the area (they have a mean italian combo on a wedge for around $6-7)

            mind you this was a couple of years ago so they may not even be around anymore, but your italian hero request immediately sparked this particular deli in my mind.

            3 Replies
            1. re: discounteggroll

              casa d'italia on halstead avenue in harrison has an italian wedge and a number of interresting variations thereof that are the real deal!

              1. re: biga290

                A HUGE SECOND FOR THIS PLACE!! just had an awesome sandwich from casa d' italia on Halstead in Harrison. Not a great "shop" like Dantes or Cosmo Alex but as for pure sandwich on great bread it was tops! Ordered the casa special on a roll toasted. wow.

                For quicker service though and size you can not beat Anthony's or even better is the Firehouse deli in portchester/byram. Again these are not bronx delis full of cheeses and sausages and Italian products---just great sandwich makers!

                1. re: cubanat

                  I, too, love the sandwiches from casa d'italia in Harrison. Ask them to put it in the panini press for a real treat!

            2. I know whatcha mean. After living in Philly so long, the sandwiches here can't compare. I don't really understand why. The sandwiches here seem dry or something. I have a feeling Blimpie is the best thing around (and that is of course, a chain).

              1 Reply
              1. re: jcmods

                dry does seem to be part of the problem, oil ,vinegar,herbs and peppers provide an added layer to the sandwich and years ago it was there, now they seem to just stuff them for quantity ~who's is bigger? but not the quality