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Cucina Di Vita- great italian deli downtown Mesa!

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Lots of going-ons in downtown Mesa today, live music, a mini-carnival a little south of it, tons of vendors in the streets and people having a great time. Taking 5 minutes to go through half a mile of greenfield road construction compelled me to avoid the freeways today, and I am extremely grateful for finding this 5 week old deli in Mesa.

I was heading north to Mekong Plaza along Main Street to pick up some seafood (10% off everything in the store right now btw), when the most amazing smell wafted through our car windows. Those dark streaks of rubber along Main St I confess I am responsible for, as the aroma blanked all thoughts of shopping from my mind. Pulling into the back, my first impression walking in is Wow this place must have been around for awhile. Owners calling peoples' orders by name, open kitchen with lots of bantering between the staff, just so incredibly welcoming walking in. Free Wi-FI too, nice touch. There is a long corridor with some bar-like seating, and about twenty tables in the main dining area, as well as some tables outside, which were unfortunately all taken. With the doors open and a mild breeze, it was the perfect weather today too for a light lunch. Just everything about the interior yelled inviting, and I was hoping the food would match the mood.

Jennifer took our order, and she was happy to confirm that it was a family establishment, pointing out everyone working by name and relationship. Tons of charisma from her, very smile-inducing just speaking with her. When someone in the kitchen noticed us playing Boggle, she came over and chatted about Boggle and how she played it with her kids too. Made me feel a little childish, but enjoyed the conversation.

The tomato basil was a very hearty rendition, setting me back 2.99, although they did wind up giving us 2 for the wait (which I don't think exceeded 15 minutes). Very smooth and surprisingly thick, but a very pleasant thickness somewhere between a broth-based soup and chowder. Great garlicky flavor too! I might come back just for 2 bowls of this stuff, heavenly. Ordered 2 soft drinks that will set you back 1.59, fill it up yourself.

We ordered the Quatro Fromaggi, a pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, & gorgonzola, 8" for $6.99. A very tasty pie, with the crust being light and airy on the edges, and firm enough to hold the center without bending. The cheeses blended well, although I would have liked the gorgonzola to come out a little more. I wouldn't call it exciting, but definitely comforting and something I will be back for.

Pie # 2 was the D'avalo, Spicy ( or mild) sausage, capricola, pepperoni, and crushed red pepper. Very nice lingering, but very mild bite to it, red sauce not overly sweet, and very meaty, they definitely do not skimp on the toppings here. Similar quality of crust on the outside of the fromaggi, however I do confess the interior bottom was very oily, requiring some napkins to soak up, although still holding firm enough to support all the toppings. My gf did not mind and actually preferred this pizza, but I preferred the quatro.

Happy to say a very nice pizza place that I think will be around for a long time. A nice selection of pizzas, salads, sandwiches and paninis, I can't wait to try some more. I don't see anything that is earth shattering, but for the price, ambience, and straightforward flavors, this will become your favorite lunch spot if you try it out. However, if you are going for the deli, for now you might want to go elsewhere, a very small selection of meats and cheeses for now.

142 West Main Street (between Macdonald and Robson)
Mesa, AZ, 85201
480-834-3898
www.cucinadivita.com

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