Wednesday, July 05, 2006

sandwiches, gelato, and gelato again

I have had this burning desire to go to American Italian Delicatessen in Los Altos for some time now. Awhile back, I read that they offered Tango Gelato in my neck of the woods. Unfortunately, there's not very much on the Internet about them, and I had a hard time figuring out their hours. Speaking of hours, I hate when I go to a website and the vendor does not offer up their hours of operation. It really annoys me because here I am, a consumer trying to buy their product and they don't tell me something so simple as their hours. This deli is exempt from this rant because they don't have a website.

Anywho, moving along. SH and TH, my good friends who came from the heartland to visit Mr. Cupcake and me. On their last day, we had a sleepy day after having a very busy week. I decided it was the perfect time to go to American Italian Delicatessen for lunch.

It's not a very big place. When you walk in, the gelato counter is on the left and the sandwiches are on the right. They also offer various pasta salads towards the back of the building. We wanted lunch, so sandwiches it was.

I was feeling bloated from all the food I'd been eating earlier in the week, so I decided it was time to go light. I opted for the turkey sandwich with everything (lettuce, tomato, onions, banana pepper (I think), and mustard) except mayo on a sourdough roll. The roll was a little tough, but I was quite impressed by the quality of the sandwich. It reminded me of the hoagies I'd had on the East Coast back in college. It's something I really missed when I lived in Kentucky. Next time I'm going for the artery clogging Italian hoagie. Oh yeah!

TH ordered the sweet sausage sandwich. They warned him that it'd take up to 10 minutes to get the sandwich. By the time it arrived, he was glad he waited. He said the sandwich was fantastic. His bun was softer than the sour dough I had, but he said it complimented the sandwich.

SH ordered the avocado veggie sandwich. I didn't take a picture, but she said it was also tasty.

Our total cost for the sandwiches was about $22 including a bag of chips, and two drinks. All in all, we were very happy with the sandwiches. We sat there for awhile and chatted until we were ready for dessert. Ah dessert. The moment I had been waiting for; Tango Gelato was to be mine once again!

We went in and looked over the selection. I already knew what I wanted to order. Hazelnut. The best gelato flavor ever. Sadly, my dreams of hazelnut were crushed and I was denied. They didn't have any. In fact, they were having problems with their freezers and we couldn't order cones because the gelato was too soft. Forgivable. We still ordered.

SH and TH shared a small and the small was huge. The guy at the counter was extremely generous with scoops. They ordered the caramel swirl and another flavor that I can't remember. I tasted the caramel swirl with a big chunk of swirl and it was tasty. The only problem was that the texture was off because the gelato was too soft.

I ordered a junior size chocolate chip and was also given a very generous serving. The chocolate chip was just okay. Because of the soft texture, it didn't really bear resemblance to what I had had at the main shop in San Francisco. I'm going to give them a bye since this was just my first trip and perhaps they were having an off day.

A small and a junior gelato was roughly $6. American Italian Delicatessen is well worth the trip because the sandwiches are fabulous and there's Tango gelato. I asked the guy behind the counter what their hours were since it wasn't apparent on the storefront. During the week and on Saturday they close at 5, but he said, "Don't come at 5." Er, okay. That's 4:30 for all you out there in cyberspace who care! I think he said they closed at 3 on Sundays, so if you want to eat be there by 2:30. One last tip: it's cash only.

R. was also in town working that week, and so later that night we cooked a ginormous dinner. Afterwards, he wanted to go to Tango Gelato... in the city. I said, "sure why not?" since he was willing to drive his company rental car. R, Mr. Cupcake, and I piled into his car and went on our way.

Mr. Cupcake had a trifecta of gelato goodness including chocolate and peanut butter. He had a third flavor but I can't remember what it was. He said while it didn't rival the best gelato in Italy, it was definitely the best gelato he's had stateside.

I ordered the tiramisu and the dulce de leche. Tiramisu was too strong, but the dulce de leche was pretty good. I was again denied the hazelnut because they were out. I guess there was a hazelnut shortage in the Bay area that day. Next time.... believe me, there will be a next time!

$10 for 3 cups of gelato is well worth it if you're near the Pacific Heights area in the city or have a crazy friend who wants to drive 45 minutes each way for gelato. Crazy friends are always a good thing.

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