By SARA GRANT, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hartford Courant
November 19, 2013
You may have passed it on Broad Street in Manchester and didn't realize it since the building it set back off the road. But don't let La via del Gusto go unnoticed any more: There is a delicious, classic Italian deli inside.
THE VIBE: La via del Gusto is an Italian market where you can walk up to the counter and pick up a sandwich, some cookies and pastries to go and then pick up some pasta or olive oil, or you can sit in for a casual, quiet lunch complete with a cappuccino or espresso.
The inside is nothing fancy. Glass cases display sweet goodies you can mix and match, as well as a choice of bread, meat and cheese. Small shelves in the middle hold market goods, and off to the side is a small coffee bar. If you eat in, you can relax and staff will bring everything to you.
THE FOOD: You can order a sandwich served as a panini or on a hard roll. Grinders come in 8, 12 or 16 inches. Meats and cheeses range from prosciutto to smoked mozzarella. The authentic Italian specialties such as meatballs and eggplant cutlets are made from scratch.
I ordered Claudio's Classic Italian Combo: ham, genoa salami and sopressata with provolone cheese, lettuce and oil and vinegar. The other topping option for that sandwich was a special roasted red pepper cream, which sounded delicious, just a little heavy for my palate that day.
The sandwich seemed giant, until I couldn't stop eating it. I was happy with my oil and vinegar decision; it nicely complemented the fresh Italian meats, as did the fresh bread.
My friend doesn't eat meat, so she ordered the eggplant sandwich with provolone and sauce. She also ate the whole thing, calling it "heaven on a roll." The eggplant was lightly breaded, fresh and cooked perfectly, not stringy like some eggplant can be. The sauce was also light but flavorful.
Both sandwiches came with a bag of chips. We ordered a cappuccino and an espresso.
The display of sweets called to us, so we wrapped up lunch ith the limoncello, a slice of classic Italian white cake with homemade lemon whipped cream that came through strongly without tasting artificial. We are both proud of our coffee addictions and loved our drinks, which went great with the light dessert
THE BILL: The entire lucnch came to $29.22. Both sandwiches were $8.99, the espresso was $2, cappuccino was $3 and the dessert was $3.50.
THE PARTICULARS: Open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
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