Posted By Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
4/3/2012 10:55:00 PM
For most of the 20th century, Hoboken, NJ was primarily an Italian-American enclave. Like many other Northeast industrial cities, Hoboken fell on hard times from the 1950s forward, losing over half its population, until late-century gentrification took root. Throughout it all, some of the classic Italian bakeries and delis, such as Fiore's, survived, and others, like Dom's bakery, sprouted with the city's rebirth, carrying on this Hudson River city's Italian heritage. In the latter category is Vito's Deli, one of Hoboken's premier sandwich makers.
Like any Hoboken Italian deli that takes itself seriously, Vito's makes their own mozzarella, and that creamy, delicate cheese finds its way onto most of the sandwiches they construct. And like Fiore's a few blocks away, Vito's uses Dom's excellent loaves for their heroes, although their posted sandwich menu is far more wide-ranging.
The Sinatra features sopressatta, salami, sun-dried tomatoes, and (of course) that mutz, with a choice of spreads (options include roasted pepper and garlic, Kalamata olive, roasted garlic, sundried tomato, and porcini mushroom), but by no means are all the heroes Italio-centric. For instance, something called Steven's Duck hero contains turkey, roast beef, cheddar, horseradish dressing, and peppers (no duck). You can even get yourself a good old Jersey Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwich for breakfast.
We wanted to try something that would show off Vito's mozzerella in the best light, so we went with a Parma prosciutto, fresh mutz, and fresh basil hero. As the sandwich maker went to work, we perused shelves stocked with anchovies, canned tomato products, and olives galore. Both fresh mutz fans and prosciutto fans well know that the two ingredients play off each other beautifully inside a muscular loaf, especially with sweet mozzarella of this quality. Vito's sandwich was extraordinary.
We're looking forward to future expeditions across Vito's menu, and in particular, we have our eyes trained on a breakfast ham, mutz, onions, and peppers omelet hero, and also a simple mutz, roasted pepper, and basil hero.
Note that, while there is no seating inside Vito's, in the warmer months they put some tables and chairs out front for enjoying their salads and sandwiches.
"Prosciutto from Italy, fresh basil, bread from Dom's a few blocks away, and handmade mutz from this very shop - other than a straight mutz hero this is one of the best ways to appreciate Vito's sweet, creamy mozzarella."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
"Washington Street is Hoboken's main drag, where you'll find just about anything you want to eat, from sushi to chicken tikka masala, along with a disturbing number of branches of national chains. Vito's Deli is one of a kind."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle