Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's Tip: Mario's Meat & Gourmet Deli

Your Italian Grandma is always looking for places to shop for quality pantry ingredients. When such a place can be found that also provides great customer service and knowledgeable assistance, it is worth writing about. Located at 75-55 Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village (Queens, NY), Mario's has been serving customers for 27 years. The shop which is owned by Mario who manages the butcher department specializing in veal and store made pork sausages, and a deli managed by Mario's brother that provides cooked specialties and cold cuts. Mario's son also works in the shop as a "swing man" who can fill in at both positions. In addition to the butcher and deli, Mario's stocks "dry" provisions, cheeses, bread and frozen foods like ravioli, stuffed shells, capon, rabbit and prepared dishes like Vodka sauce, chicken breasts stuffed with sausage meat or tripe in tomato sauce. I have also found some great additions to my pantry at Mario's like Latte Milano besciamella, an imported sauce which while relatively easy to make yourself is great to have on hand for occasions when you need to do a fast meal. You can also find the incomparable Buffala Mozzarella there, a treat I urge all my readers to try. Among the prepared foods in their deli case that I particularly enjoy are their brocoli rabe with prosciutto and a "quesadilla lasagne" consisting of layered, flour tortillas with cheese and pieces of breaded cutlets arranged on top. Whether you're shopping for veal, looking for menu ideas, want your chicken cut "cacciatore'' style or are catering a party, Mario and his staff are willing and able to help, offer ideas, recipes and friendly service. It's a special place, run by a guy who recognizes that customer satisfaction is first and foremost. Their website is at are open Mondays through Saturdays.

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