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What happened to La Russa's?

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I had a hankering for an Italian sub yesterday (and some homemade cannelloni), so on a whim I headed to La Russa's in Meadowmont -- only to discover it had closed! Admittedly I hadn't been there in a couple of years, but I liked knowing that there was a source of good basic Italian sandwiches and frozen food to take home (even if I rarely took advantage!).

Does anyone know what happened? And where do you go for a good Italian deli?

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  1. Is this Chapel Hill, NC?

    1. We used to go to La Russa's, too but haven't been in a long time. Once we discovered Bella Mia in Cary, all other Italian restaurants could close and we wouldn't notice. That's a little harsh. But Bella Mia is that good. They don't have a meatball sandwich on the menu but their meatball appetizer is better than any meatball sandwich I ever had. Their pizzas are the stuff I used to dream about. Calzones are wonderful, try the one with sausage. And they do have sandwiches on the menu although we've never tried one. Lots of people order them and they do look great.

      For stuff to take home, we discovered Mario Batali ravioli at BJs and they're also fabulous. Come in 4-cheese or veal and I the 4-cheese is so good, we've never even tried the veal. These are fresh, not frozen and cook in less than 5 minutes. I've successfully frozen them and don't see any difference in taste or texture. It seems Mario is starting to do a line of food for BJs. They have a couple of sauces and when I was there yesterday, I saw some Minestrone that I had to try. It was full of real potatoes, beans, zucchini, cabbage, celery and carrots. All were easily identifiable, not like other soups I've bought. Vegetables were crisp, broth was flavorful although we thought it needed a little salt. If you're looking for Italian to take home, you won't find better than this. It's far better than anything we've had at any Italian restaurant in the Triangle with the exception of everything we've had at Bella Mia.

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      Bella Mia
      2025 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513

      8 Replies
      1. re: yahooer

        I know I'm going to feel like an idiot when you answer this, but I keep trying to figure out what BJs is, and my brain isn't coming up with anything. Where/what is it?

        La Russa's tried having table service a year or two back, IIRC, and I guess that didn't work out. I think it's a shame, I liked the stuff we got there the few times we tried it.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Don't feel bad. BJs is a warehouse membership club, much like Sams or Costco. There are two around here, one in Briar Creek near the airport and one in Cary near Crossroads Plaza. If you don't have a membership, they'll give you a trial membership. It's a surprising place to find Mario Batali products but according to the soup package, BJs is the only place to find his line of products. Package of ravioli was $8.99 and I think there are 32 per package. 4 makes a good serving for me, 5 or 6 for husband. I think soup was same price and has 2 containers or 4 servings. Good stuff, good price, especially for the ravioli.

          1. re: yahooer

            Thank you so much for explaining. We live in CH, so both are sort of far for us to go. Shame, as the ravioli sound fantastic.

            1. re: LulusMom

              If you are ever in the market for joining a warehouse club, BJ's is the one to join. It's worth the extra mileage. I used to have membership when I was cooking for my dog who had IBD and they have a lot of good stuff (plus I was able to get a discount on membership through work).

              1. re: LulusMom

                I know someday, you'll decide to go to Bella Mia for some of their fantastic pizza. Well, BJs is on the way. There's a Earthfare across the street from BJs where I go for fresh seafood after being spoiled when there was an Earthfare in Chapel Hill. Yes, we drive a long way to get there. But methinks it's totally worth it.

                -----
                Bella Mia
                2025 Renaissance Park Pl, Cary, NC 27513

                1. re: yahooer

                  See, I grew up in a city, and the very thought of driving at all, let alone that far, to eat always makes me feel weird (I know, I'm a freak). And it also, of course, makes the whole wine with dinner thing iffy.
                  That said, I don't feel the need to down wine to go to a place like BJs, surprisingly enough, so I'm definitely open to trying the place.

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    Lulu - I'm with you on the driving! Our friends laugh at us because we never, ever leave Chapel Hill to go to neighboring communities. We're lucky because we're able to find almost everything we need and want right here in town. We do travel (because of husband's work) so we make a lot of trips to RDU, but not so much to Raleigh, Durham, Hillsborough, etc. We just don't like to drive!

                    1. re: wintersummer

                      We picked our house so that we'd be walking distance to Franklin Street - thats how extreme we are. But the years here have worn on me (and having a child - that makes a big difference too), and so I'm willing to sometimes go to Durham for dinner. But ... if i can find it in Chapel Hill or Carrboro, I'd just as soon stay here. I didn't even have my drivers license until I was 25. Glad I'm not the only one of us!