Last week, my girlfriend and I dropped by Zito’s Sandwich Shop for lunch. Zito’s is a relatively new place on 7th Ave in Park Slope that promises great sandwiches “inspired by all of the great Italian American delis in New York City”.
Although the menu of 13 sandwiches is imbued with NY deli tradition, the décor and operation certainly is not. The large glass windows, white on black color scheme, and Six Point beers on tap give Zito’s a very modern aesthetic. The man at the deli slicer meticulously weighs out each batch of sliced meat; standard practice at Subway or Quizno’s, but a practically blasphemous move at an authentic Italian deli. Signs on the wall advertise their use of organic and natural meats from Applegate farms, and almost every beverage they sell is in glass packaging. I guess I just had to remember I was in Park Slope and not on Mulberry St. or Arthur Ave. On to the food…
The sandwich menu was actually very exciting; items such as “8 Hour Slow Cooked Pork Bracciole” and “Potatoes and Eggs” are definitely not things you find at Subway or Quizno’s. You also don’t find bread from Il Fornaretto bakery and meat partners like Faicco’s and Ottomaneli & Sons.
We went with the “Autogrill” (which is the name of a commercial restaurant group that operates rest stops in Italy, so not sure why they named it that, but anyhow, it was an Italian combo), and the Bracciole on Semolina. The combo was tasty and the ingredients tasted fresh, but the “let’s weigh our meat” policy ruined this sandwich and I don’t think I have to spell that one out. The bracciole was spot-on and had a nice homemade tomato sauce. The bread was the star of both sandwiches. Italian bread doesn’t get much better than Il Fornaretto.
On the side we tried the Rice Ball and both enjoyed it. My only complaint would be that it claims to include ground beef and we had but one crumble of it.
In summary, Zito’s is a sandwich shop inspired by tradition that has been “Park Slopeified”. They put out a solid product, but at a slightly high price. My experience there was satisfactory and I would return again, but may think to go my original Park Slope favorite first, M&S Prime Meats.