It’s great that a place like Sessa’s Italian Specialties has managed to stay afloat for more than 30 years in Davis Square. Walking in the door you are immediately greeted by all sorts of sensory treats: delicious smells emanating from the deli where they serve calzones, sauces, and other homemade foods; fresh loaves of bread stacked in front of a variety of bulk olives; and strands of cured meats, garlic and peppers hanging from the ceiling tiles.
When I first moved to Somerville I was psyched to discover this place full of Italian imported products. They actually carried the only canned sauce my grandmother would ever allow in her home: Don Peppino. A distant relative in Italy made it and sold it wholesale to Italian restaurants in America and used to bring her and her brothers cases of it when he came to visit, she told me, though the company has long since changed hands.
Being choosy about the bagged pasta and other items with a shorter shelf life is advisable. It’s not unheard of for some of the items on the shelf to have “expired” sometimes years before, and I prefer to go for the canned goods and amazing selection of olive oils. The deli meat and selection of homemade food is also quite delicious.
The owner is about as surly as my great-grandmother looks in all the old family photos, and you’ll read other statements to that effect if you check out their page on yelp. He’s rarely there, though, and it’s usually his much friendlier daughter behind the counter. You won’t find many places like this anymore, however, and it’s well worth stopping in and helping them stick around for hopefully another 30 years.
DAILY TRIVIA: The first sitting president to visit Somerville was Bill Clinton.
Posted in Boston, Dining, Economy, Family, Grocery, History, Local, Somerville, MA, Trivia
Tagged authentic, Bill Clinton, bread, calamari, calzones, capicolla, cured meats, cutlet, Davis Square, deli, Don Peppino, eggplant, escarole, garlic, Giancarlo Sessa, imported, Italian, Italian grocery, Italy, lasagna, lentil, manicotti, meatballs, minestrone, mortadella, Napoli, old country, old world, olive oil, pancetta, pasta, peppers, pizza, ravioli, salami, sausage, Sessa's, Somerville, subs, ziti
If one day you happen to be driving down lower Broadway and find yourself, for reasons beyond my personal comprehension, tempted to make a stop at Taco Bell for lunch, I implore you to keep driving. Just a half mile up on the other side of the street is the best Mexican joint in town – Taco Loco.
Everything I’ve ever tried from their menu is fresh and delicious, not to mention very affordable. I usually try to sample different things when I go, but I have to admit I have a tough time forgoing the $2 tacos. There’s a small seating area downstairs, but it’s often full.
I don’t recall ever seeing another “gringo” there when I stop in; I almost always get a double-take from one or two of the Hispanic folks waiting in line. The people behind the counter are always smiling and friendly. If you’re nearby and haven’t checked this place out, the tasty food and pleasant vibe make it well worth the ride over.
Vegetarian taco and chicken tamale.
DAILY TRIVIA: 600-acre Ten Hills Farm, which spanned parts of present-day Somerville and Medford and was home to Massachusetts’ first colonial governor, utilized Native American slaves. Slavery in MA ended fairly unremarkably when slaves petitioned the courts for their freedom after the Revolutionary War, though it was never officially outlawed.
Posted in Boston, Colonial History, Dining, History, Local, Somerville, MA, Trivia
Tagged authentic, Boston, Broadway, burritos, cheap eats, colonial history, gringo, Hispanic, Mexican, Native Americans, restaurant, slavery, Somerville, Taco Bell, Taco Loco, tacos, tomale