Best Place for Italian, New Jersey-Style - 2011
In this age of Osteria Mozza and Giada Di Laurentiis, old-school Italian-American food has taken a backseat to authentic Tuscan, Piedmontese, Neapolitan and so on. But sometimes, especially if you're from the East Coast, you want that familiar version of Italian that you grew up with, things like a huge, hearty, filling Italian sub made with meat and cheese on a roll. Mario's in Glendale does this just right. Nothing fancy other than a perfect blend of quality ingredients. Mario's is a stark, brightly lit joint with a little 1950s East Coast vibe. It also offers a few aisles of mainly imported bottled, canned and boxed items and a refrigerator case running halfway along the wall. But the star attraction is the always busy deli counter, cranking out big, toothsome sandwiches every bit as delicious, in their own way, as the squash blossoms at Mozza. 740 E. Broadway, Glendale. (818) 242-4114, mariosdeli.com.