2004-08-04 / Restaurant of the Week

Buon Appetit Deli & Caterers Are ‘Heros’ Of Good Food

Buon Appetit Deli & Caterers Are ‘Heros’ Of Good Food

Buon Appetit Deli & Caterers Are ‘Heros’ Of Good Food

Buon Appetit Caterers has always been considered the "Home of the Hero" and with good reason. Buon Appetit features some 70 varieties of handmade sandwiches and the list keeps growing. Owner John Morana recently completed a year’s worth of renovations that have doubled the number of offerings of Buon Appetit’s famous sandwiches, salads and hot entreés. The renovations took a year to complete because Morana didn’t want to close and disappoint Buon Appetit’s steady clientele, which includes many of New York’s Finest and Bravest, as well as local workers and area residents. Behind a sparkling glass façade are tile floors and an array of movie stars’ images painted on the walls, with a shiny tin ceiling over all. A few tables where hungry diners can eat in, especially at lunchtime, the busiest time of day, were brought in as part of the renovations.

Bring a huge appetite when you order one of Buon Appetit’s mouth-watering, colossal heroes, skillfully constructed by the crew and served fresh as can be. Try the "FDNY" hero which layers smoked turkey with fried eggplant, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella and vinaigrette dressing. Buon Appetit makes their own mozzarella daily, and it tastes like butter. The "Robert DeNiro" features prosciutto with that wonderful mozzarella, roasted peppers and arugula, with a smear of fresh pesto. A tempting sandwich called "Without Mercy" combines juicy roast pork with gravy, onions and melted cheese. All heroes are sold at the amazingly low price of just $5.50. If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, as so many seem to be doing these days, then you can also order any of these hero options on a bed of fresh mesclun salad instead. The crew at Buon Appetit will even wrap up your favorite fillings in a spinach tortilla, making a delicious and easy-to-eat wrap sandwich. My mouth is watering even now as I recall the wrap I devoured, filled with tender chicken cutlets, arugula, cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers and crushed green olives. Delicious!

A new, state-of-the-art kitchen has facilitated the expansion of the Buon Appetit menu to include even more choices for lunch, dinner or any catered affair. Buon Appetit makes a daily array of hot entreés such as eggplant rollatini, roast pork with oven baked potatoes, broccoli rabe and sausage, lasagna, grilled pork chops, chicken rollatini layered with mozzarella and prosciutto and their wonderful potato croquettes. Morana will give you one free with every order, adding to their already widespread popularity. Homemade rice balls are prepared Sicilian style with ground beef and peas in the center and a crisp golden crust on the outside. John’s Italian style meatloaf with chopped Portobello mushrooms in the mixture is delicious. Served with mixed vegetables or roasted potatoes, this makes a hearty meal at lunch or dinner. Every Wednesday and Friday, diners line up for linguine with shrimp, clams and calamari in a zesty red sauce.

Shiny, new refrigerated cases show off dozens of fresh salads each day, such as colorful three bean salad with red onion, four kinds of potato salad, Caesar salad, homemade caponata, Sicilian eggplant salad with olives, and cold seafood salad with crunchy celery and red onion. With so many choices, one visit simply will not do. You’ll want to stop by often for lunch or after work and leave the cooking to them. No wonder Buon Appetit is packed with hungry customers at lunchtime and the phone rings constantly with delivery orders and catering requests.

Buon Appetit is especially well suited to cater a private party off-premises at a location of the customer’s choosing. Morana can do anything from a simple buffet to a complete, soup-to-nuts, sit-down dinner for hundreds. Buon Appetit has been named one of Queens’ most successful caterers, customizing menus to suit customers’ needs. For Labor Day, little more than a month from now, the staff of Buon Appetit can bring a full-blown barbecue to your back yard, leaving you free to enjoy your guests. Everything from 6-foot heroes to slabs of ribs, trays of pasta and fresh salads will be delivered and served to your guests. Don’t slave over a hot barbecue grill. Instead, call Morana for more details and a complete catering menu. The prices are quite reasonable and the food is so delicious that even your fussiest guest will be impressed.

For world-class sandwiches, hot entreés, fresh salads, Italian specialties and superb catering at very reasonable prices, visit Buon Appetit on Ditmars Boulevard between 36th and 37th Streets. See their menu in this week’s Gazette. It’s just a sample of all their wonderful dishes.

Buon Appetit Deli and Caterers       36-12 Ditmars Blvd.       Astoria       718-726-6669Buon Appetit Deli and Caterers 36-12 Ditmars Blvd. Astoria 718-726-6669

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