Whether it is Mac & Cheese Balls ($6 for four), Sixpoint Battered Anchor Wings ($8 for six, $15 for 12, $24 for 24), an Eight-Hour Pork Braciole sandwich ($11), or a pile of Grass-Fed Meatballs ($9 for three, $16 for six, $30 for 12) drowned in house-made marinara sauce and polished off with a plate of freshly-filled Cannoli ($6 for three), Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe knocks it out of the park—all with a friendly smile.
The Brooklyn-born eatery was first opened nearly three years ago in Park Slope by good friends and brothers-in-law Marcello Bucca and Vincenzo “Enzo” Conigliaro and their wives, Maria Zito-Bucca and Michelle Zito—for whom the small chain is named. They quickly became known for their casual atmosphere and affordable, yet hearty menu, perfect for every meal or snack of the day.
Now, with its new location on Third Avenue in the heart of Bay Ridge, the family-owned business seems to be doing a great job of furthering its mission to “showcase the sandwiches everyone grew up with, but with a little added flavor for 2014.”
“We want to introduce people to things they know, but maybe aren’t used to,” said Bucca. “So when people see our Meatball Parm ($9.50) and Chicken Parm ($10.50), they tend to choose those, but we also have Panelle ($10.50), which is a modern take on a very traditional Sicilian classic.”
The Zito’s version of the Panelle features Sicilian chickpea fritters—made with organic chickpea flour—along with mixed greens, balsamic glaze, roasted red peppers, a dash of Maldon sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon, all between fresh semolina bread. “It’s like salad on a sandwich,” said Bucca.
The Pastrami ($12) is another signature item unique to Zito’s, with its Brooklyn Cured pastrami thinly cut and thickly piled together with fresh sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and spicy brown mustard for a mouth-watering contrast of flavors that is at once familiar and fun, especially for Brooklynites who grew up on Faicco’s pork, bread from Fornaretto Bakery, and other trusty standbys.
The Meatballs, made of freshly ground beef and homemade tomato sauce, are another hit. Being made in-house, they end up quite large and that is definitely a good thing, whether eaten on their own in a bowl or in a sandwich with mozzarella and parmigiano.
Other creative and comforting options include the C.B.L.T. ($10.50) made of antibiotic-free chicken, Fiacco’s bacon, mixed greens, tomato and mayo; breakfast sandwiches ($8.50) made with two fried eggs on ciabatta bread served with your choice of topping combinations; vegetarian-friendly Eggplant Parm ($9) and Meatless ($9), which features grilled portobello, roasted peppers, broccoli rabe and a house-made artichoke spread; Prosciutto Balls ($6 for four) that are simultaneously creamy and lightly salty; various salads ($9); and a Kids Menu ($6) of grilled cheese, chicken fingers, meatball sliders and mozzarella with sauce.
However, what is food without something great to wash it all down with?
Bay Ridgeites will be pleased to know that their Zito’s features 70 draft, local and domestic beers in bottles, six draft beers, and two wines on tap, as well as the option to get your own growler of beer.
ZITO’S SANDWICH SHOPPE
7604 Third Avenue
Open daily at 11 a.m.
Delivery throughout Bay Ridge.