Nick's Picks: Pino's Deli



Pino's Deli

Nicholas Abreu

Nick’s Pick: Pino’s Deli

By Nicholas Abreu 

Pino’s Deli is my pick of the week. It’s also my pick of the month, my pick of the year, and my pick for eternity.

As it does for many residents of Greece, New York, Pino’s has a very special place in my heart. This local Italian deli serves the epitome of comfort food. Once through the unassuming storefront, you will find a wonderland of Italian meats, cheeses, desserts, and prepared meals. Fresh ham, roast beef, turkey, salami, capicola, and provolone, Swiss, and American cheese just scratch the surface of what Pino’s offers from its deli counter.  Prepared meals range from heaping helpings of pasta with meatballs and red sauce to eggplant, chicken french, chicken parmesan, Italian sausage, garbage plates, cold subs, hot subs, panini, wraps, salads, chicken wings, pizza, and more. All are served in a no-nonsense, old-school, authentic Italian atmosphere.

One of Pino’s most popular menu items is their steak sub. Customers return again and again for this item and its simple, incredible flavors. Like on any steak sub, melted cheese, peppers, onions, and maybe steak sauce are the preferred toppings. I like to keep it simple with only steak and provolone cheese. The perfectly seasoned, juicy, savory steak on this sub does not need to be diluted by other ingredients. Pino’s does not skimp on portions. Shaved steak is piled high, erupting out of the bread roll like a volcano. The roll itself is almost as spectacular as the steak it contains. Untainted by grease, this flaky, crispy bread adds the perfect crunch to your sub.

There is a small steak sub on a round bun for people with self-respect, a medium for customers who want to push the limit between feeling full and feeling comatose, and then, of course, something much more sinister, the large, fourteen-inch steak sub. It is not smart to consume this whole gargantuan sub in one sitting and assume that you continue with a normal day.

While every centimeter of Pino’s large steak sub is as delicious as the last, never diminishing in flavor, steak in moderation should be the rule. If you simply cannot pry your mouth from this sub, prepare for a post-meal feeling unlike any other.

It hits you quick. “Am I dreaming?” you think. “Where am I and where’s the nearest bed?” Well past the boundary of feeling full, you have now entered an almost hallucinatory state of extreme fatigue and sluggishness set in place minutes after you finish your sub. As if you just shotgunned a bottle of Valium, there is a race against the clock between consciousness and the imminent REM sleep that will soon take place. As you fade into unconsciousness, the crumbs and rogue pieces of steak on your shirt are the only reminder of the act of debauchery that just took place.

Once you wake from your slumber, hours, days, maybe weeks later, feeling confused and a bit hazy, the memory of Pino's steak sub will be with you like a distant dream. All you know is that you want to go back.

Pino’s is located at 2590 West Ridge Road. To explore the menu, visit pinosdeli.com.

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