Am I a foodie? Yes. If ‘picky’ is a foodie category, count me as one! Unfortunately, I don’t get a lot of time to indulge my foodie-ness, though I have a good friend with a food blog that always makes me hungry. Her blog is My Own Sweet Thyme.
I’ve been living in Madison, NJ, as I am currently a Theological student at Drew Theological Seminary. But, as it is summer time, I have returned home to the Pacific Northwest, to the shadow of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood for a few months. (I hear it’s 90 degrees in NJ today. Should I mention that it’s 51 degrees, here? ;-) Brr….think I’ll fetch a sweater.)
Drew University happens to be in Madison, NJ, right next to a very quaint downtown area. I have never lived on the east coast before and as a result I never had a love of Italian food. There is just something about food that needs regionality. You really have to go to the region where that food has been perfected—preferably by someone’s grandmother—before you get the food in its best form.
Fratelli’s has been a center of my adoration for months now. I go in every Thursday afternoon and order an ‘Amichi’ (grilled chicken, sweet red peppers, mozzarella) which they are kind enough to serve me just the way my picky self likes it: on a round roll (which they bake themselves) with lots of balsamic.
Only half left…and it, too, was gone too soon, too soon…
First…the ‘round roll.’ Silly me, I just thought a round roll was a roll that was round. Nope. Here in NJ a round roll is a very specific kind of roll with a very specific kind of flavor. And Fratelli’s bakes them in-house.
Fratelli’s also makes it’s own ‘Mozzarella’ which the proprietor refers to simply as ‘Muutz.’ And, yes, when Mario Fratelli asks if you want some you should say ‘yes.’ It, too, is made in-house and it’s perfect. I don’t usually eat cheese, but for special Thursdays I will make an exception because, frankly, it is really good.
Fratelli’s does not have a website, but in googling them I discovered they have a video!
The video was put together by Terry Bondreau and features Mario Fratelli, the man and proprietor himself.
Fratelli’s isn’t just about Italian food, they also make homemade foods from Columbia and other places. Their menu is extensive and yes, you should go there and get a sandwich for lunch.
Sadly for me, I am too far from Madison to get my Thursday sandwich!! But, I am not deterred, no sir. To keep myself entertained and my taste buds placated, I’ve created a sandwich homage to Fratelli’s. I call it my ‘Fratelli’s-in-the-Cascades’ and it’s delicious enough to share. Lacking a proper ‘round roll’ I’ve substituted a soft panini roll from Delphina’s bakery. (Delphina’s is a Portland bakery and ….beware…it’s really goood….) On to said roll I place some slabs of tofu fried in a little flax seed oil, and then as much fresh baby arugula as I can squeeze on top. Finally, I splash on a lot of balsamic.
No. It’s not as good as my Thursday Amichi. But. Close enough. And just for fun, I have created a theme sandwich photo. Here it is, drum roll please. The ‘Fratelli’s-in-the-Cascades’ as my Mt. St. Helen’s homage to Fratelli’s sandwich perfection.
The picture of Fratelli’s Deli top is a promotional photo from Madison Patch promoting A Taste Of Madison 2012.
The ‘theme sandwich’ credits thanks to Wikipedia Commons:The pic of Mt. St. Helens is public domain (USGS 1982); The Atsuage, A fried tofu thanks to Potesara 2007; The arugula, public domain, TY Leo Michels (2006); and the Pane Turano – italian Pane bread (no the roll is not a panini, this is a thematic recreation. In other words, I’m pretending.) thanks to Turano Baking company (2010).