Deli,Vancouver

La Grotta Del Formaggio

28 May , 2010  

To make up for bailing on me since she was sick, Yen found some free time a day before she left town to go for lunch.  Keeping to my original plan of visiting Rinconcito Salvadoreno, we walked North along Commercial Drive only to find that they’re NOT open for lunch.. I think they open sometime around 4pm. Or was it just because of the day? Bah, who knows. I’ll just have to try again. Totally stumped and caught off guard by this, I remembered there was a deli further up. Off we walked on a nice sunny day. :)


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Ah.. La Grotta del Formaggio. My limited French (since it’s similar to Italian) tells me that translated to English, grotta (grotte – French) would be cave, and formaggio (or fromage - French…strange how Spanish would be queso) of course cheese .. a cave of cheese? It’s the Commercial Drives local neighbourhood deli, full of blocks of cheese, meat, olives, and many imported goods from Europe.   

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All kinds of olives.. and I think some cheese up top in the clear containers?

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We’re not here for either of those though, here for a sandwich. Not feeling really hungry though, so what to do?

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Mannnn….all these options make for too many combinations to even try counting. First you gotta pick what kind of bread you want, bun, sub, mimmo (what is this? I’ve never heard of it before), or foccacia (pronounced fo-kah-chya). For the longest time, I seemed to always think of it as (fo-ka-chi-a) and was rightfully embarassed when I was corrected by the woman taking our order. :( Then the fun begins.. Meat? Vegetarian? Condiments? Veggies? Cheese? Kitchen sink?

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Not caring what I ate, Yen picked a half focaccia with Montreal Smoked Beef, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar and all of the vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, green olives, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, pickled eggplant, hot peppers). Grilled because that’s how I like my panini’s, warm and toasty.

Walking out of the store, I was eager to start eating.. but there were no seats available outside. Just to the left is a gelato store/cafe but as soon as we pulled their chairs out to sit down, someone came out and told us we couldn’t sit there. Even though we reassured him that we were planning to get some gelato, he still would not allow us to sit down. Well then, fine, we won’t buy gelato from you! Jeez. We looked around the corner because someone told us there was a bench, but it was taken up by slightly unsavory character. Bah, I just said we should keep walking and look for somewhere else to sit.

Happened upon a Tim Hortons and Yen bought a coffee so we could sit down and eat. This picture really does not do the sandwich justice. It had been wrapped up, held in my hand and walked a couple blocks. It was also kind of flattened. Overall I found it actually really salty, but perhaps it’s just me. Recently I’ve been noticing that I am pretty sensitive to how salty my food is.. though I think with all the preserved vegetables that’s why it was salty, along with the meat of course.

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It was a good sandwich for sure, but not the best I have had. I still stand by So.Cial Custom Butchershop and Deli as one of the best places to get a sandwich, even if it is pricier.

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5 Responses

  1. shokutsu says:

    I don’t visit the Drive as much as I should. Looks like you took the best meat option from their list – though I’m always dubious of the Montreal smoked meats made out west. I can understand your feeling about salt. So much is hidden in each ingredient so when its all added together in a sandwich, it really stands out.

  2. KimHo says:

    [I was going to say something else but I think it is better for me not to... :) ]

    I don’t think you are being sensitive about the saltiness. After all these are cured meats and pack a lot of sodium (doulbe that if you included things like olives). I think you two should go to Le Charcuterie… Oh, wait, on second thought, don’t…

  3. Kevin Wu says:

    Whatcha got on your mind Kim? =P

    Ohhh the dirty man at Le Charcuterie.. yea I’d like to go, it’s just… far.

  4. jACE says:

    Nice. Tried this deli after an Italian friend raved about this place. Apparently it’s pretty well-known for it’s paninis. I thought my panini was pretty good, imo. Fresh, fresh, fresh.

    Yea, there is virtually no seating and gelato next door is really stingy about their seating. My friends went there a few times and you HAVE to order something to sit with your friend. So don’t worry, the attitude is normal.

    And Le Charcuterie, damn. Back when it was beside “The Boot”, it was awesome. But after seeing that “penis wagging” video posted on youtube, I can’t block the image from my mind every time someone mentions to me their sandwiches. Damn you viral media!

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