Day trip to Carluccio's
aka Oda's Birthday Part I
Plus, a Cheese Plate
For part one of Oda's birthday day of eating, we visited Carluccio's in Bensonhurst for some heroes. This sandwich shop is located on a block mostly occupied by specialty food shops. There's a Lioni meat store, a Lioni's latticini and then Carluccio's. I have no idea where that name comes from because their eight page menu reads Lioni Brooklyn Italian Hero's [sic]. The tiny shop is filled with Italian food staples - from dried pasta to a variety of olives, fresh mozzarella from their latticini next door and breads, as well as, of course, the neighborhood locals.
Though I studied the menu in the car, I still had no idea what I wanted to order. Moments after we walked in, I was further thrown off by all the signboards and the Frankie Valli that began flowing from the store's speakers. Dave and Jen, being old pros, didn't need much time to put in their orders. Dan and I hemmed and hawed before deciding on two sandwiches to split:
#16 - The Phil Rizzuto "Holy Cow It's Good"
Roast beef, Lioni fresh mozzarella, lettuce, mayo, salt and black pepper
#139 - Doo Wopper Hero "Your 1950's Early 60's Doo Wop"
Prosciutto di Parma, cappicolla, sopressata, fresh mozzarella, provolone, bruschetta and balsamic vinegar.
Yes, all sandwiches (all 150 of them) are named after someone from Brooklyn or who has something to due with Italian culture and come with their own tag line. Our #139 was one of a handful not named after a person. So in addition to the Scooter, you can order the #132 Paul LoDuca (featuring banana peppers and the house basil mix), the #61 Tony Danza (Sicilian salami, cappy, fresh mozz and dressing) or the #95 Ann Bancroft which features of all things, olive loaf! The menu is definitely required reading, just don't do it in the car or you'll get nauseous like I did.
While we waited for our heroes to be created, I noshed on a piece of Italian bread with some of the aforementioned bruschetta topping from a platter that was put out at the register. The topping, featuring tomatoes, fresh herbs, bits of Parmigiano-Reggiano and pine nuts, made for an excellent sandwich condiment. I imagine the basic mix is made from the same blend of ingredients, minus the tomatoes.
Though it was a little nippy outside, we decided to eat at the picnic table in front of the store instead of inside the car.
Moments before the unwrapping:
Close-up of the Phil Rizzuto:
Extreme close-up of the Doo Wopper after I took a bite:
Little Henry eyes the prize:
And once again, it's a near miss as Dave pulls the deliciousness away at the last second:
The Doo Wopper was the winner of the afternoon, with its two types of cheeses and bruschetta mix. I found the roast beef to be underseasoned. A drizzle of balsamic and maybe some of that basil mix would have done wonders for it. I was stuffed and I still had 1/3 of my Doo Wopper plus 1/2 minus three bites of the roast beef left over. Dan had his half of the roast beef left over as well. We ate those leftovers for the course of the next two days! The next morning, I polished off the rest of the Doo Wopper. For lunch I panini pressed the roast beef after adding Maldon salt (which I've recently become obsessed with and need to sprinkle on everything, black pepper, sweet red peppers and balsamic vinegar. The following evening, I did the same with Dan's half of the roast beef and made an antipasto plate to accompany it and we had a dinner for two!
Clockwise from 1 o'clock: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue, Pecorino Pepato, dry cured sausage, Peppadew peppers, cornichons and in the middle a round of soft Italian cheese.