Editors' pick

Italian Store

Italian, Pizza
$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

Subs worth hunting down
By Justin Rude
Friday, Jan. 27, 2012

The Italian Store is hardly an overlooked gem, neighborhood secret or underrated standby. In fact, when it comes to being a destination for New York-style pizza, it's pretty much rated as excellent. But I'm always amazed by the number of people who know it only as a stop for superlative pie. Far from a mere pizza joint, the Italian store is also Arlington's go-to spot for to-go grinders.

The Italian Store actually started its life as a sub shop. Opened in 1980, the venerable Lyon Village establishment wouldn't begin serving pizza until 1985, before that supporting itself with a full menu of classic subs. Today the deli-style market practically runs two operations: a lunch service that is anchored by a menu of Philadelphia-style Italian cold cut sandwiches and hot Italian subs, and a dinner service where more than 500 pizzas can fly out the door on a busy night.

On the menu: Cold cuts and cured meats are layered in a variety of combinations with provolone and topped with sweet or hot peppers, onions, oregano and a vinegary house dressing. This is classic stuff. Try the Milano, which matches slices of Italian hams with Genoa salami and provolone, or the Roma, which features prosciutto and smoked mortadella. The sandwiches are served on a soft or hard Italian roll.

Italian subs aren't the only sandwich options. In the mood for something hot? Don't overlook the messy but well-seasoned meatball sub or a hearty sausage-and-peppers option. Made-to-order deli sandwiches are also available, and the deli cart includes salads and pastas.

At your service: It's a simple system: Order at the counter, pay at the registers. But beware of the long lines that form during the rush. Do yourself a favor and call in your order in advance. Looking for a gift? Browse the excellent selection of Italian wines and specialty items while you wait. And, yes, the market sells sodas, bottled water and chips to complete your lunch.

Bottom line: Want to get on a co-worker's good side? Volunteer to make a lunch-time sandwich run to the Italian Store.