The big news this week: Capriotti’s has turned 35 years young. Astonishing. It seems like only yesterday that we started regular pilgrimages to Lois Margolet’s little shop on Union Street for a feast of Bobbie sandwiches: cranberry, stuffing, mayo and fresh-roasted turkey on a chewy sub roll. It was the fresh turkey that made us give up over-preserved, over-processed cold cut turkey breast from the deli. And—good grief—the size of any Capriotti’s sandwich: A large was long as your arm.
Little Capriotti’s is all grown up now. The Union Street granddaddy spawned several local shops over the years. Then the ownership changed. Now there are more than 70 shops in 11 states—and they’re all still roasting turkey for Bobbies, what the company calls The Greatest Sandwich in America. Add that to delicious meatball sandwiches (the meatballs are made in-house), the fantastic Capastrami (hot pastrami with cole slaw, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese), great cheesesteaks and good ol’ Italian subs.
So what does a maturing sandwich shop do next? It introduces a new menu of salads. Already rolled out in the stores out West, the salads are slowly coming east. They include all the fresh meats and other ingredients that make Capriotti’s so wonderful, but combined in new ways. Take the Black and Bleu: iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots, and purple cabbage, tomatoes and diced cucumbers topped house-roasted beef and bleu cheese crumbles.
There’s also a chopped Italian salad with iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots and purple cabbage, garbanzo beans, black olives, tomatoes and diced cucumbers with salami, capacolla, ham, pepper ham and provolone cheese. The Cap’s Creation lets you customize a salad with their choice of cheeses and fresh meats, including the homemade turkey and roast beef, ham, steak and veggie turkey.
It’s the biggest thing to happen to the little shops in years, so check it out. With the St. Anthony’s Italian Festival happening this week, there’s a perfect excuse to visit the original Union Street shop. Capastrami? Bobbie? Why can’t we ever decide?
We’ve always known Sambo’s Tavern was great. Now the entire readership of New York magazine knows it, too. When Grub Street, the mag’s food and restaurant blog, compiled a list of the top food destinations in each states, it named the Leipsic classic its pick, due to one thing: steamed crabs. Here’s what Grub Street had to say:
“The Chesapeake Bay gets all of the attention when it comes to crabs, but this tiny, seasonal spot—originally founded by Samuel “Sambo” Burrows and overlooking the Leipsic River—definitely deserves your attention. While you can get the steamed Delaware Bay crabs ($40 for a dozen) covered in Maryland’s signature Old Bay, regulars know to order theirs with Sambo’s top-secret homemade seasoning, coarse with salt. It still lets all of that great crab flavor shine, but remains sharp enough to make a pitcher of beer sound extra refreshing.”
Sure, there are educational and informative displays at UD’s Coast Day every, but let’s be honest: We love the food, and none more than the crab cakes. Hence the 22nd Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off on Oct. 2 at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. Eight finalists will compete for top honors, but anyone can enter. To be considered, just send your recipe by Friday, Aug. 5. Go to ceoe.udel.edu/coastday for the form. Good luck.
The Wine Guy
Paul Cullen, traveling minstrel and manager of the new Luca Ristorante & Enoteca in Millsboro, has released new wines under his own label, Sonata. There’s a red and white: The Sonata Bianco is a crisp Pinot Grigio, the Sonata Rosso is a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc. Look for them online in about two weeks. You can have them shipped to your home, or you can visit Teller Wine in Lewes. Pour a glass while listening to Paul’s new CD, “Eleven Sundays.” Salud.