Sandwiches, assorted fare astonish at Sam's
Deli, market emanates Italian culture with cuisine
Since its opening in 1968, Sam's Italian Deli and Market has served customers authentic Italian sandwiches and cuisine, becoming a greater part of the Fresno community in the process. Managed by Nick Marziliano, the son of founders Sam and Angela, the delicatessen deals in local and international provisions.
After climbing the ladder of success for over 25 years, Sam's Italian Deli and Market has continued to set the bar for "The Best Deli Sandwiches in Town." At the request of my friend, I decided to try this meat market for their apparently delicious delicacies.
In 1968, Sam and Angela Marziliano, along with their son, Nick, took over a small, rundown market and decided to renovate it for their own family business. Sam resolved to use familiar family recipes and did what he knew best: cooked Italian food. Since then, the Marziliano family has turned Sam's Deli into a huge success in Fresno, not to mention internationally.
After visiting Sam's for the first time, I discovered it was not at all what I expected it be, as I was welcomed by the friendly staff and a huge sign hanging from the ceiling. Because I am naturally a curious person, I decided to walk around the market to become familiar with its atmosphere. The deli reminded me of my favorite market in Little Italy, San Diego. Sam's was very inviting, but lacked a modern touch, which left the delicatessen with a '70s finish.
What amazed me the most about Sam's was their cheese section, which was stocked with Parmesan, Gouda, Mozzarella and many others; the other half of the restaurant was filled with Italian products from pasta and bread to soda.
After my curiosity had departed me, I began a conversation with one of the deli workers and asked him what the best cold-cut sandwich a man could eat was. He recommended the Meat Lovers Trio. With a nice description from the employee, I was swayed to order the Meat Lovers, but with a side of fresh green olives, chips and a soda.
"Sam's Italian Deli and Market is of the few restaurants where I can place my stamp of approval and say that they have the best cold-cut deli sandwiches in Fresno."--Stephan Melendez, '13
While ordering my sandwich, I bought a half pound of green olives. The olives were rather inexpensive and tasted great, due to the fact they were cold and their flavor was sour. I could automatically tell that these olives were not previously canned, but made with the Deli's own marinade.
While my deli sandwich was being made, I talked to Nick -- he recently took over the family's business -- who told me about his new addition to the venue: Nick's Wine Corner. Nick sells both locally and internationally and also imports different wines from various countries in order to stock the market.
The Meat Lovers Trio sandwich was ready to be eaten after a minimal wait. The sandwich was thick and heavy with freshly-cut meat that was stuffed into the bread with a variety of vegetables and other condiments. While unwrapping the sandwich, my suspicions were deemed correct, as I found that the bread was filled with ice-cold, tender, blackened roast beef, thin, red and wavy slices of pastrami and thickly-carved turkey breast slices.
In addition to meals, Sam's Deli also specializes in Italian meats, cheese and wines, which are for sale to the general public. The store is located at 2415 N First Street on Clinton and can be reached at 559.229.9346.
Other than cold meat, my sandwich consisted of aged Pepper Jack cheese, which complimented the meat very well. I had asked for everything except pickles to be put in the sandwich, and all the vegetables were crisply cut to perfection. Because of my inclination for spicy food, I asked for jalapenos to be added to my order.
As my father is a picky eater, he decided go with a chicken parmigiana sandwich, something he thought he'd be familiar with. He did not care for the end result. Since he was dissatisfied, I tried the sandwich as well, and I agreed that the chicken parmigiana did not live up to its full potential.
As a side to my sandwich, I bought a bag of chips for my father and I, and a large Dr. Pepper to help wash everything down. Because most of their products are a la carte and high quality, the total can accumulate very quickly. My delicious sandwich cost $7.95 with another $4.00 for the chips and soda, which brought the total to around $12.00.
Sam's Italian Deli and Market is of the few restaurants where I can place my stamp of approval and say they have the best cold-cut deli sandwiches in Fresno. I am not the only critic to say this, as Sam's Deli has won various People's Choice Awards and has received other endorsements as well. I will soon be revisiting Sam's Italian Deli and Market for their delectable sandwiches, fresh ingredients and traditional Italian cuisine.
Sam's Italian Deli and Market is located at 2415 N First Street on Clinton, Fresno, CA 93703. For more information, visit their website or call the market directly at 559.229.9346.
For more food reviews, read the Feb. 8 article, Pan-fried noodles complete Lum's experience.