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Southwest Italian Deli

Tony's Italian Deli - Sunnyslope (PHX)


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Tony's Italian Deli - Sunnyslope (PHX)

tastyjon | Aug 26, 2007 08:23 AM

Has anyone been?

I stumbled upon it by accident while in the area (7th St & Dunlap) as it seemed the only non-chain place for blocks (save for a couple of taco stands but I was having Mexican food later).

Apparently it's been there for decades and has the feel of a well worn place. It's definitely worlds apart from the more modern deli places discussed here as of late. In fact it seems as though someone took a corner shop from a working class section of NY and moved it to PHX. Back in 1952. About the size of a 7-11 but with 3 times the goods, it has tiny aisles crammed with merchandise... wine, sauces, oils, tiny coolers filled with fare. The walls are adorned with photos, cartoons and clippings going back decades. And along one whole wall is a massive, old school deli case holding bulk cheeses, meats, sausages, peppers, etc. They've also got a pretty massive selection of dried pastas. Again, not the fancy new age, flavor infused gourmet varieties - simply noodles of all shapes and sizes. Its family run and definitely has an old school, east coast vibe. It's a bit like Defalcos in Scottsdale, only a bit more aged and disheveled.

I simply wanted a quick lunch and kind of panicked, ordering their "discount" lunch special - spaghetti, meatball, garlic bread and salad for $4.95. Just to keep it in perspective, the garlic bread was the size of a hot dog bun, the salad was a scoop of iceberg with some bits of tomato and the spaghetti was pretty pedestrian. This meal wasn't aimed at the modern Italian fusion culinary explorer. Just quick and easy.

After getting back home and looking at online reviews it seems I would have done better ordering a sandwich. But that's one of the reasons I panicked and went with the quick and easy... they have too many choices. Their to-go menu has 28 listed, ranging from a small Italian hero ($1.95) to a large, warm corned beef with cheese, lettuce & tomato for $4.70. While waiting for my selection, there was a steady stream of folks with heavy accents ordering cuts of meats, antipastas, marinated fare, etc from the glass case. They also have a freezer with various homemade entrees (mostly pastas) etc.

Finally it was definitely unique to have an Italian grandmother ringing up my purchases on a massive old school cash register while a polite young miss carefully wrapped up some deli selections and bagged it all to go. I might as well have been in Brooklyn - until I walked outside and was hit by our summer blast furnace and the sounds of Mariachi-thumping cars whizzing by.

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