mmm-yoso is not on vacation. Its just Cathy blogging today.
Hi. There is this place in El Cajon, on 2nd at Persimmon. Its been there for 30 years now, always owned by an Italian family.
The style of cooking here is Sicilian, which is to say, there are Greek, Arabic as well as Italian influences to the food...kind of like Puerto Rico is a US Territory and you would not say that Puerto Rican food is "American food", Sicilian food is not totally Italian...Sicily is an island off the tip of the "boot", therefore south of Naples and pretty much rivals Naples with flavors...using sardines and local seafood in a lot of the dishes as well as fresh (buffalo) mozzarella. Caponata (eggplant salad) is also a regional specialty.
Since we had eaten all we could for our Thanksgiving Day, the Mister and I decided some good, basic Italian was in order...nothing fancy.
We got the large antipasti salad ...(Oh, and a side of anchovies for me). The salad was a nice antipasti, with mostly iceberg lettuce, lots of olives(The Mister *hates* olives, so all for me), a good Genoa salami and mortadella and a very nice provolone, topped with oil, vinegar and dried oregano. This was the large size ($9.95) and we had plenty to take home for tomorrow. If you get this salad as a "to go", it comes in a small pizza box and there is even more lettuce.
The large cheese pizza arrived (we had a coupon for $3 off a large pizza..we did take home half of this and it made for a great breakfast and snack the next day).
I know, it kind of looks like its not done; the cheese isn't burnt or bubbly...
but , as you can see from this cross section, its kind of all cheese and not much sauce, which is how I usually ask for it at some places where the sauce is too strong in flavor...here, the sauce is mostly chopped (canned, with a great flavor) tomatoes, oregano and olive oil..what The Mister and I consider "proper" pizza sauce (we spent some time in Italy many years ago).
There is a small Deli inside with a pretty good selection of Italian meats and cheeses, as well as other items imported from Italy. It doesn't have the smell of a more authentic deli, Like Filippi's in Little Italy...probably because there aren't any dried salted fish here. The deli is a good source if you are in East County and don't want to drive downtown. There are three different imported Panettones available for Christmas on sale now: Original, one with milk chocolate baked into the dough (the dough is part white and sort of striped with chocolate"sticks") and one made with Limoncello cream...(lemon liqueur)...
Stop by if you are in the neighborhood; you'll leave satisfied and happy.
Here are some pages from the rather large menu.
Tommy's Italian Ristorante and Deli 1190 Second Avenue, El Cajon (619) 440-2676