On Preston Street just south of Bridgehead at the corner of Poplar Street is a small Italian style café serving up expressos, latte's and other Italian style coffees. Along with these traditional drinks sandwiches are made to order.
Sanguiccio Deli-Cafe (183 Preston Street, Ottawa) I found on Urbanspoon.com as a well liked placed with some sandiwiches. A lunchtime walk past confirmed it was there. A couple of days later, Friday at lunch, a walk down Preston Street in search of Sanguiccio Deli-Cafe almost was missed. I had walked right passed the front of the store and only knew I had missed it when I arrived at Preston Street & Gladstone Avenue. I crossed Preston and headed north believing that perhaps I was mistaken, it was on the west instead of the east side. I headed north on Preston Street keeping a keen eye out on both sides of the street. Sure enough, on the east side in what appeared to be a yellow brick semi detached walk up building was Sanguiccio Deli-Cafe. I jaywalked across the street and up the stairs.
I was welcomed by Genio who was working on preparing some food meat on skewers behind what appeared to be a bar. Only one young lady sitting in the front window enjoying an expresso was the only customer. I inquired for the menu and Genio motioned to the wall opposite the bar.
The single sided 8" x 11" tri-folded menu had the drinks on one panel, sandwiches another and the usual cover introduction to the place. I read through it and being a sucker for assorted subs normally everywhere I go, that is what I settled on.
The Order: Italian Cold Cuts including capoccolo, mortadella, salame, salame all’ prosciutto, salciccia, and mild soppresssata with cheese.
Genio set about to work preparing the sandwich all the while have a conversation about how he makes his food from scratch. I had been warned about it. This is not your average Subway sandwich shop where in five minutes or less your sandwich will be put together by some pimply faced kid slinging already cut deli meat, lettuce, tomatoes and Italian dressing. Sanguiccio Deli-Cafe makes all sandwiches from scratch from the best products that Genio can find in the Ottawa area.
The sandwich starts with bread sourced from Art-is-in-Bakery and fresh Italian meats. The meats are only sliced after the sandwich is ordered and not pre-sliced like at Subway. During preparation Genio talks about how he makes the sandwiches and the weather in a calm Italian demeanor. He treats each of his customers as if they have returned. He does inquire nicely if he has seen you before. I did mention in the conversation this was my first time and had heard great things about the sandwiches.
After 10 minutes of slicing, dicing and arranging, I have a sandwich along with a small quartered tomato in a vinaigrette sauce. I left Sanguiccio Deli-Cafe, stopped off at Bridghead to pick up some coffee and a muffin to accompany the sandwich for lunch.
The Italian Cold Cut sandwich was excellent! The mild soppresssata provided a little kick but not overwhelming. The bread of course, was the perfect start to the sandwich with the freshness quite noticeable in each bite. The meats also helped to combine for an Italian sandwich experience. Fresh tomatoes of course added the perfect amount of moisture to make the sandwich perfect
The side salad I had after eating the sandwich was also great. The homemade vinaigrette dressing provided a the perfect finish up to the sandwich. But of course probably the best time to have the salad is as a pause in devouring whichever sandwich you choose.
Overall, Sanguiccio Deli-Cafe is a no rush sandwich spot owned by Genio. He takes his time to ensure each customer has a custom made sandwich along with positive customer service that will ensure you come back. . In fact just after paying, Genio said he would love to have me back and handed me his personalized business card while inviting me to visit his Twitter feed and website page. After a freshly made Italian sandwich like that, I will be back. Only one piece of advice though, Just make sure you go early for lunch like I did, otherwise you may be waiting quite a long time for your turn at delicious sandwichness!