The Italian Store
When my friend recommended that we eat lunch at a local sandwich shop called "The Italian Store", I was agreeable. I'm always game for a good sandwich. What I wasn't expecting was that this place would be so popular that we'd have a 20+ minute wait. This is what we saw when we walked in:
So many people! Rather than being aggravated or deterred, this only made me want the food more. If some little Italian grocery in Arlington is going to have over 30 people waiting for sandwiches and pizza at any given time, I want to know why.
We grabbed numbers for sandwich/pasta ordering, then squeezed down to the other end of the store to get some of their homemade pizza. The smell of freshly baked pizza is what I imagine heaven smells like. I ordered a slice of the supreme looking one below, but all my friends got the cheese. I should have copied them. They knew what they were doing. My slice was good, but their slice was very good. Obviously this isn't any fancy pizza; this is a New York style slice. To put it in Missouri terms, it's like Sbarro but with flavor. It was gooey and cheesy, which only a fool wouldn't like, but also a little on the oily side. It would be very good football watching pizza.
I went halfsies with my brother for the sandwich portion of the lunch. We picked out [symple_highlight color="blue"]The Milano[/symple_highlight] and [symple_highlight color="blue"]The Napoli[/symple_highlight], which were $7.99 & $7.69, respectively. Each of these was the "small" option, which means the large sandwiches were probably the size of a baseball bat.
The Milano, below, is their most popular sub. It's packed with two types of Italian ham, Genoa salami, provolone cheese and all your typical sandwich toppers. You have the option of a soft or hard roll, and we picked soft for both of ours. We also got both sweet and hot peppers on both sandwiches.
The Napoli was my favorite of the two. Lean capacola ham, mozzarella cheese and some delicious, spicy pepperoni put this sandwich's flavor profile closer to pizza territory than submarine sandwich, so it should be no surprised I liked it.
I didn't love the Milano, but I'd get the Napoli again. I would also get them without the veggies and dressing, because with them on, the sandwich just got too messy and unwieldy. If I ever went back to The Italian Store, I'd probably just stick with the pizza and perhaps some of their prepared pasta dishes. A big Italian sandwich like this just doesn't do much for me. I'd much rather eat the equal amount of calories in Mexican food, pizza or perhaps a really huge Bahn Mi.
3123 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22201