A little fried ball of heaven…and so much more

After reading reviews of Sorriso Italian Pork Store (30th Ave between 44th and 45th) on Yelp, I had to check it out. Only three of thirty-two reviewers gave the salumeria less than five stars, and the ones that did awarded this local favorite just shy of a perfect score at four stars. I had heard their sandwiches were do die for and their eggplant parmesan was supposed to be out of this world, but little did I know that when I walked through those doors I would walk out having tasted one of the most delicious things I have ever tried.

The selection is sprawling. Everything having to do with Italian food you would ever want is available and on display at Sorriso. Sausages, oh god, the sausages. Fresh pork and chicken sausages, house cured soppresatte, salami and more all made by authentic Italian hands. The cheese selections could fill a tome. You like antipasti? Here are more types of Italian salads made daily than you could shake a stick at, and I’m a champion stick shaker. Pasta’s your dish of choice? How bout fresh made ravioli? I saw what looked like chicken parm lasagna. That’s lasagna made with chicken parm cutlets instead of noodles, breaded and fried then stacked with fresh mozzarella and marinara and baked. If there is a God, this is what he ate on that Sunday he rested.

I haven’t even gotten into the sandwiches yet. I can’t over exaggerate how amazing the sandwiches are. The freshest, house made cold cuts, cheeses and toppings available. Whatever you get, get it with roasted peppers. During filming of “A Bronx Tale” the cast ate here so much that sandwiches on the menu are named after the actors. The DeNiro is a favorite of anybody who’s ever had it.

After writing that last sentence I went to Sorriso and ordered what I consider to be one of the best pieces of food I’ve ever put in my mouth. A crispy, perfectly seasoned and browned exterior encircling a warm gooey ocean of provolone cheese with pieces of chopped prosciutto floating in it like succulent, salty debris. I’m speaking of the Prosciutto Ball. Separately, prosciutto and fried food in the shape of a ball (Mac and Cheese balls, rice balls, potato balls) are spectacular. But once they get together they dance delicious flavors all over, inside and around the mouth area. The first time I ordered one I finished it within ten steps of the shop, turned around and ordered two more, then considered strongly ordering three more.

The other thing I ordered just now was a Pizza Rustica, a mixture of prosciutto, salami, ham and maybe pepperoni mixed with eggs and cheese and baked in what is basically a pizza crust. I had a very helpful woman with a mullet lop me off a hunk of that beast and both the pizza rustica and the prosciutto ball were gone before I got home.

I don’t have enough good things to say about this place. The two smiley faces in the “O’s” in the sign mean that you’ll be twice as happy when you leave as when you came in. I’ll leave the homemade braciole for another blog.

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