New sandwich deli and sausage company opens, here’s a first look
Verone’s Italian Kitchen & Sausage Company in Fircrest opened in late December and it brought with it five-napkin deli sandwiches, a refrigerator case stocked with take-and-bake delights, a display case filled with freshly-made sausage and a whole lot of Italian groceries.
For those who have not yet paid a visit, here’s a rundown of what you’ll find – in photos! And be sure to check out my story from December for many more details about the Verone family.
BACKGROUND OF VERONE’S
The best way I can describe Verone’s is to say that it’s a modernized version of Viafore’s, which operated for three-plus decades in that same space in Fircrest on Regents Boulevard. I loved that deli and sandwich spot and its closure was a tough moment for our local food scene, but the best-case scenario is Verone’s opening in that space. And as the Verone family tells the story, David Viafore of Viafore’s recruited them to the space.
Verone’s is a longtime sausage company, that has operated for five generations. It’s known widely for its fantastic Italian sausages, but also its hot links, bratwurst and jalapeno-cheddar kielbasa. Some of you old timers might recall when the Verone family ran their sausage company out of Pete’s Quality Meats before it burned down more than 30 years ago, which I detailed in this story in December when I first wrote about Verone’s.
Following that fire, the family continued operating Verone’s as a wholesale sausage company supplying both Tacoma restaurants and local sausage fans. Remember Bimbo’s? They served Verone’s sausage. If you’ve had the sausage pizza at the Cloverleaf, you’ve already had Verone’s sausage, which also can be found on the menus at Joeseppi’s, Macaluso’s and more. This might be the most prolific local sausage company you’ve never heard of – until now.
WHAT VERONE’S OFFERS: SANDWICHES, DELI, GROCERIES, FRESH SAUSAGE
Verone’s is a lot of different things under one roof. It’s a take-out sandwich spot. It’s a deli with meats, cheeses and olives available for purchase by-the-pound. It’s a specialty mini grocery store with Italian import ingredients and wine. It’s a dinner-ready place with a refrigerator case stocked with ready-to-cook-at-home dinners. It also has a case filled with fresh sausage – with links and ground sausage priced by-the-pound.
ABOUT THOSE SANDWICHES
For immediate gratification, I’ll steer you to the sandwich menu. I thought the three Verone’s sandwiches I tried (of a menu of six sandwiches) were excellent, although priced at the top of the market for take-out sandwiches at $10 to $12. For those on a budget, that’s steep for a sandwich without a side, but I have advice for bargain seekers down below, never fear. But first, those sandwiches!
SANDWICH MENU AT VERONE’S
These were well-composed five-napkin sandwiches with thoughtful ingredients and flavors. They’re priced $10 to $12. There’s a classic Italian sandwich ($12), a meatball sandwich ($12), meatloaf club ($12), po’ boy ($10), jalapeno-cheddar kielbasa sandwich ($10) and a bratwurst sandwich ($10). There’s also a build-your-own sandwich option for $9 that includes any of the house sausages and condiments on a french roll. The menu also offers soup ($3.50 cup/$6 bowl) plus French bread pizza ($4.25 half/$8.50 full). More menu items, including housemade cannoli, are coming. This is not the full menu, just the opening menu.
BRATWURST: The bratwurst sandwich got a porky-smoky boost from a delicious slab of salty bacon, tucked into a squishy roll with deli mustard and ‘kraut ($10). The bratwurst snapped with juicy fat at first bite. Suggestion? If they’ll allow you, ask if you can get the roll that comes on the meatball sandwich, pictured below.
PO’ BOY SANDWICH: The po’ boy with the house Louisiana hot link was flavor on top of flavor on top of flavor. The smoky, spicy link (like an Andouille on spicy steroids) was split and grilled. It came on a hoagie roll with pickled giardiniera, a swipe of mayo and crunchy-cool reinforcement from green leaf lettuce and a fat tomato slice ($10). A-plus sandwich.
FEISTY BEA: I was heartbroken they were out of the classic Italian sandwich, but the Feisty Bea, an Italian meatball sandwich, made up for that. It felt apropos that I ordered this because the first sandwich I had at Viafore’s, which Verone’s replaced, was David Viafore’s polpette sandwich. The mammoth Verone’s meatball sandwich was made with supple meatballs drenched in sauce and cheese. I appreciated the very sturdy crusty roll because that sandwich was a sloppy mess and came slathered in marinara and provolone, plus an extra swipe of mayo ($12). That one was definitely a fork-and-knife sandwich.
BARGAIN SEEKERS, GET FRESH SAUSAGE
SAUSAGE CASE (ATTENTION BARGAIN HUNTERS)
The sausage case holds an assortment of sausage links and ground sausage to cook at home and that’s where I’ll steer bargain hunters. If you’re on a budget, check out the fresh sausage links priced for tightwads. I picked up two links for $2.38 and ate them on rolls I bought at Winco for under a buck. The links I got were about a quarter pound each. The Italian sausage carries a classic flavor with a porky squirt of meat juice. There’s also a spicy version available.
TAKE-OUT CASE WITH FOOD READY TO BAKE AT HOME
I spotted ready-to-bake-at-home meat lasagna ($28.87 to $29.95 for family-sized trays; plus smaller sizes available in clamshells), heat-and-eat meatballs ($7.99 a pound), plastic-wrapped packages of fresh-made sausage links ($4.75 a pound), individually packaged meat sauce (a range from $5.19 to $10.42, depending on the size). This case is going to be the working parent’s best friend, just like the Viafore’s case was.
VERONE’S ITALIAN KITCHEN & SAUSAGE COMPANY
Where: 604 Regents Blvd, Fircrest; 253-327-1663