I would never fit in at a party in Hampden. When I drove down with my sister after work to get sandwiches at Luigi’s Italian Deli for a free movie night downtown, we were the only people in the near vicinity wearing shirts… and two of only a few not wearing very, very worn-in jorts. But a very dense hipster population apparently doesn’t get in the way of awesome sandwich shops and massive rich-people wine-and-cheese warehouses.
The restaurant is set up on the first floor of a townhouse off 36th street, and down the long hallway lined with assorted pastas, olive oils and cookies, you’ll find a small counter and case stocked with imported meats and prepared salads. The jars on top are full of cannoli shells ready to be filled, which oddly enough all are labeled with Simpson’s characters. It was almost like being in my great-grandmother’s house, only the people serving dinner had much better mustaches.
I ordered off the “sandwich specialita” menu, opting for a Via Appia, with proscuiotto, Brigante cheese and field greens. My experience with “italian” hoagies in the States up until now has meant: 18 kinds of meat, a lot of sodium, and a stomachache from the grease. This time the sandwich was savory without being heavy, and the bread was mighty fine. My family chose the more basic Gabriella (admirably assembled) and the AWESOME Marcello. My sister was kind enough to let me try a second bite.
I now trust those sandwich assemblers enough to go back and try the award-winning but meaty Scooch. But for that Thursday, my Via Appia fit well at the American Visionary Art Museum’s Flicks from the Hill. Pajama picnic party!