Power Lunch: Giolitti's Deli
Jul 29, 2010 09:15PM ● Published by Anonymous
Welcome to Power Lunch. Each week we’ll review a restaurant in Annapolis or on the Eastern Shore from the perspective of nine-to-fivers getting lunch in the middle of their workday. Hence, pace and cost will be factored differently than you’d expect from a typical restaurant review, which is usually from the perspective of a dinner experience.
How we got here: Giolitto Delicatessen can be found near the Towne Center at Parole, just across the street from Whole Foods. The parking lot is snug, and you might have to battle over a spot during a popular mealtime, but if worse comes to worse, you could always park in the structure across the street. We strolled inside the deli and craned our necks to see the menu written on the chalkboard above the ordering counter.
What we got: Apparently we have a thing for crab soup, because James chose the Maryland Vegetable crap, while I went for chilled gazpacho with crab (one of the day’s specials). The gazpacho was smooth – I prefer it with chunks of celery and cucumbers for a little crunch – but the taste was bright and flavorful. They certainly didn’t skimp on crab, as big lumps of meat filled the soup.
For my main dish, I selected a Cuban panini, a pile-up of grilled pork roast, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and mayo for $6.95. The combination of ingredients melted together, creating a delicious filling on toasted bread.
James ordered a small cup of Maryland-style crab soup and a calzone stuffed with bell pepper, sausage, and mozzarella, two dishes he hasn’t had is several years.
“I’ve always shied away from Maryland-style crab soup because, at most restaurants, it’s simply Campbell’s vegetable soup with backfin crab meat harvested from Gulf waters thrown into the mix and sparingly so,” he said.
While a bit unattractive, the crab soup had decent flavor; a touch of Old Bay goes a long way toward accentuating the crab flavors. However, it was, indeed, of the blasé fare James expected. The calzone proved hearty and quite tasty. Although the dough was a bit on the rubbery side (James claims to have had softer crusts), it was packed with rib-sticking mozzarella enveloping the plentiful peppers and sausage stuffing. These two items, plus soda pop (root beer!) to wash it all down, made for a “mildly-amusing-sort-of-satisfying-but very filling” lunch.
What we paid: Our total for two soups, a panini, a calzone and two sodas was a diminutive $23.16. That’s certainly in the budget. Each soup – we got the smalls – cost just $2.95, but came in a good portion for a side dish. If you’re only having soup for your meal, go for a larger size.
How long it took: There was a short line to order when we walked in, but it would have been much faster if we hadn’t pored over the menu for a while. After we filled up our soft drinks and sat down at a table, it was just a few minutes before someone was over with our food. We were out within about 30 minutes, an excellent time span when it comes to a lunch break.
The verdict: The food, as you can see, can be hit or miss but the timing and price is just right for the mid-day meal. Giolittis is very special and authentic, depending on what you order. Stick to the daily specials board and several proven dishes that are hard to mess up, and you’ll leave Giolittis satisfied and thinking of returning very soon.