Molinari’s Delicatessen: a North Beach Classic

If you’re ever in North Beach, in “Little Italy,” you have got to go to Molinari’s.  It’s got a classic, Old World feel – a long, narrow shop with a good selection of cheeses and a well-stocked deli counter.   While you wait to order, you stand amongst shelves of wine, delicate-looking packages of savoidari (lady fngers), tins of tuna that look like they could survive an air strike, “the good stuff” olive oil, amaretti cookies, an eclectic assortment of  imported Italian products.

If you’re having a cold sandwich, you can select your piece of bread from a bin, the way you select lobsters from a tank, only you get to help yourself.  I like to have the panini, and it’s what I recommend to everyone.  My favorite is I think the Luciano Special; you don’t have to remember the name because it’s easy to spot on the big black board with white plastic lettering.  It’s a grilled focaccia with prosciutto, mozarella, red peppers and sundried tomotoes.  It is a-mazing!

Every time I get my sandwich, I almost want to recite a poem.  In fact, I think I will.

Ode to my panini

Ode to my panini                                                                                                                            How golden brown and warm and havey                                                                       Your bountiful layers of freshly-carved prosciutto                                                        Perfect saltiness, delicately thin  and buttery                                                               Your heavenly-textured cheese and succulent peppers                                               Topped with sundried tomatoes – a red chewy piece of summer                             As I unwrap you I think I could not be happier                                                               Until I take my first bite


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