Just a few weeks ago we reported that Hampden is surprisingly becoming a major player in the pursuit of delicious authentic Italian food in Baltimore. It has been less than a year since Daniela’s opened on The Avenue, joining both locations of Grano; and now, we’re announcing another addition to Hamden’s Italian scene – Luigi’s Italian Deli and Market.
Luigi’s, which opened this week in the former location of Lovely Yarns, is a modest-sized Italian market offering deli meats, sandwiches, and various Italian goods. And the owners informed us on our visit this past Saturday, that they will have more coming, including an expresso machine. For those of us enjoying one of their sandwiches, they have a few tables in the front of the shop, a few tables on the front porch, and weather permitting, a few tables on the back porch. And – the piece de resistance – the back porch back
up to the Wine Source, so one can easily grab a bottle of wine at the Wine Source and bring it in the back door to eat with your sandwich.
We ordered an Italian Cold Cut ($8) and the Isabella (also $8). The Italian Cold Cut included salami, capicolla, prosciutto, mortadello, and provolone, and was seasoned with olive oil, vinegar, hot peppers, and some of the other basic fixins. The Isabella was stuffed with prosciutto, soppressata, coppa, asiago cheese, roasted red peppers, and an olive spread. Both sandwiches were generously stuffed and served on a soft Italian role. All of the meats were flavorful, fresh, and well portioned. The olive spread was delicious, and the red peppers on the Isabella were very tasty, though if you don’t like red peppers I’d suggest telling them to hold the peppers, as they strongly affect the flavor. Both plates also came with a side of homemade pasta salad, which was pretty tasty, and a nice touch.
Overall, we were extremely impressed with the sandwiches, especially since they are so reasonably priced and well portioned. We also got some cold cuts to take home, which were comparable in price to our local grocery store, and a lot tastier.
And most importantly – the owners are extremely friendly and welcoming. And a cool trivia fact: the vigilantecross-walk painter works there too!
Luigi’s is a very good, and well overdue, addition to Hampden food scene. I have a feeling I will be giving them a lot of my money!
Luigi’s Italian Market and Deli
846 West 36th Street
Baltimore, MD 21211
Price: $$ ($10-20)
Price: $$ ($10-20)