4.5 Stars on Yelp
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Angelo R. - 5/5
I believe sandwiches should be in its own food group. I love a good hero or sandwich. Believe it or not, but really good ones are hard to come by. Yes any local deli can make a cold cut hero, buts its places like Pisillo, Defontes, and Hero Boy (Kats fell off to me) that make me want to go back and put on a few pounds. They make me want to drive in snow, take the train or run in rain to get some. Pisillo offers the freshest ingredients, and while its all cold-cuts, they are of the highest quality. So based on this, I would say Pisillo is solid 4+ with pending amendments. I haven't tried them all, but I had a few on the menu, and so far every one down to the last bite was simply astonishing. Run don't walk here. One of the best in all of NYC, if you work in the financial district go now, if you don't its totally worth the trip.God bless Pisillo.
Nowadays almost half of New York City consists of Italian places. The first time I went to Pisillo Italian Panini, I felt like going back home, in my small hometown, Montesarchio, which is located among the hills that elegantly decorate part of the Southern part of Italy. However, I would not start writing about my hometown, otherwise I would be writing paragraphs over paragraphs. Let's focus on my last visit at Pisillo! Just entering the door, one can smell the scent of the variety of meats that make this place so....ITALIAN!
After looking through the menu for almost 20 minutes, I chose the PARMA! (I was challenged by the variety of options available on the menu). Looking at Carmelo cutting the meat I started remembering about my childhood, when my grandfather, owner of a sandwich shop like this, in Italy, used to make me the same exact kind of Sandwich. Few minutes and the sandwich was ready. Firs bite. That combination of prosciutto, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes and arugula made me crazy! It was like going back to Italy without using a passport! Amazing!
Although the sandwich was gigantic, I finished it in few bites! (I was really hungry). I would have ordered another sandwich, but I was full and completely SATISFIED! I have visited different Italian places in the city, and I have to say that few of them are as Italian as Pisillo! Thank you Carmelo for bringing such a symbolic representation of the Italian culture in New York! I will be back soon!
Three words -- believe the hype. Pisillo Italian Panini is -- and I rarely use this expression because it's already so overused -- a hidden gem. It is real, authentic, delicious, fresh, massive (seriously, the sandwich could serve as lunch and dinner)...it is -- I'm just going to say it -- the best Italian sandwich/panini I've ever had. My grandfather is Italian (like, real Italian -- he was born in Sicily) and I'm sure even he would be impressed.
I ordered the Cagliari Panini for pick up. I strongly -- strongly! -- suggest you order ahead of time; they're super busy and nobody likes waiting. I was told when I placed my order that it would be ready in 20-25 minutes.
When I went to pick up, my sandwich was ready, wrapped and I only had to pay. It is cash only, so remember to bring cash -- I actually had to borrow $2.00 from a coworker...next time I'll come prepared. Also, even though there were a couple suits eating inside, I'd suggest taking to-go. It's a small shop (read: not many tables/chairs) and, to be honest, I'm more of a to-go girl anyway. The prices are very -- very, very, very! -- reasonable. Seriously, the panini was huge -- like, 12 inches. I've paid a lot more for a lot less; this might be the best deal in FiDi, sandwich-wise.
Now, time to brag about the sandwich -- the delicious, Cagliari Panini. First off, all the panini's sounded amazing, but I'm a sucker for hot and spicy spread. And, once I saw artichokes, I was sold. It was heavenly -- the ingredients were so fresh, it was almost like being in Italy. (In fact, when I got back to the office, I made myself a cappuccino and, I have to say, I felt like a real Italian.*)
Bonus: They love Yelp! I told the sweet, blue haired girl -- love your hair! -- behind the register that I found Pisillo through Yelp and she showed me the "Yelp Wall." They had printed and posted their reviews on a bulletin board near the register, which I thought was just so, so cute. As an avid Yelp-er, it's nice to see businesses appreciate Yelp.
*Italian (I-tal-YEN) -- you have to read it like this for it to sound witty