Saturday, April 7, 2012

Park Italian Gourmet, New York, NY, USA

This place is next to my place of employment in midtown. Every now and then, when I need a break from the work cafeteria, I'll head over here. In addition to hot and cold sandwiches, they have a full counter of hot Italian specialties like veal and chicken parm, ziti, manicotti, lasagne, etc. and all of it hits the spot. At lunch time, this place is full of dudes in suits in search of gut-filling red sauce Italian. Just grab a plate and sit down in back.

From the hot counter, I've just had the chicken parmesan sandwich, and it's a damn good one. The bread is to my liking and similar to the chicken parm at Torrisi Italian specialties (though not quite as good), every bite tastes a little different. Sometimes you get a taste of a standard chicken parm and then sometimes a flavor over-ride takes place and it really sings. I've had meatballs on the side when I get the ravioli there and I'm sure the meatball hero is up to par.

From the cold counter, the Italian combo is a great choice. Not as good as Graham Avenue Meats' Willie Italiano but there is a quality to this sandwich that makes you want to tear into it and eat it as fast as possible while using a Limonata as some kind of grease.

Everyone here wears paper deli hats, even the older Italian gentleman behind the register along with a casual sweater. There will be a line of ten people but they will have to wait if he needs to make a point in Italian to an espresso-drinking friend. My co-workers warn me not to get him worked up as he will stop ringing people up if he has something to say. He also gives change somewhat randomly, mostly in your favor. Always a "Grazie...Ciao" from this guy. Obviously, this man is awesome.

Side note: I saw some union guys carrying two four foot sandwiches out of this place so it's good to know they can cater a bar mitzvah or Denver Broncos Superbowl party.

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