I’d always walked past this hole-in-the-wall Italian sandwich shop/pizzeria (what was it anyway?) in Los Angeles. I never stopped in because it looked a bit dumpy and limited on the menu, and I’d never had a chance to be enticed by the owner, like I did last week.
“The Best Sandwich In the World,” claimed a pot-bellied, jersey-sweatered, newsboy-capped older man with an accent. Walking out of his shop, he couldn’t help but assure us that his various Godfather-themed sandwiches were truly Italian, listing their ingredients and titles without pause.
“But you’re not Italian, right?” I recognized his accent and wanted to call his bluff. He hesitated, then named a town I agreed to know and said he was born in Northern Italy but grew up in Russia – St. Petersburg to be precise. With that, he took a seat at the typical Italian cafe table right next to us, licked and salted the Persian cucumber he’d been holding at his side, and crunched off a huge bite. Ahh, an old man’s snack in the sun on a glorious day. I was convinced, and decided that lunch outside here would be just perfect.
Inside, the Lavazza espresso on offer and the homemade looking deli salads in the case meant this place could be legit. But with all those hot and cold sandwiches on the menu, it sure was hard to choose. Meatball with provolone or sopressata with capicola and homemade garlic mustard? The other owner (wife of the old guy?) was pretty patient with us at the counter, assuring us that all the salads were homemade and all the sandwiches tasted better hot because that way the cheese would melt. I finally decided on the meatball sandwich and broccoli-cranberry salad and took it all out to an umbrella’d table on the sidewalk.
The super fresh bread prevented me from saving half of my sandwich for later and I stuffed myself instead. Hey, the amore is in the details, and now that I know what they are, I’ll be stopping into this sandwich shop more frequently than not!
Hey That’s Amore is a tiny little restaurant at 27 E Holly Street, Old Town Pasadena. It’s accessible by the Gold Line Metro, Memorial Park stop.