Bellomo’s Market (Rutland, VT)

Every once in a while I have various food cravings for regional specialties that are challenging to find in Northern New England. In this case, every once in a while I’m graving a good, mid-Atlantic style Italian sub sandwich (aka a “Hoagie”). They are a pretty rare bird around here (no, Subway does not count!). Yeah, a lot of places will make you a “sub sandwich”, but all too often the resulting sandwich, even if tasty, will lack some of the quintessential aspects of a good hoagie: a flavorful mix of ham, salami, and Capocollo, proper provolone cheese, and, very, very importantly, a good crusty Italian-style sub roll. But among my circle of friends there’s a New Jersey transplant, Joe, and he made a specific recommendation to me if passing through Rutland: Bellomo’s Market.

Bellomo’s has been around quite a long time (way longer than I’ve lived in the region), but I hadn’t actually encountered them, since Bellomo’s is one of those neighborhood small markets in an otherwise quite part of town between US Rt-4 and US Business Rt-4. Walking in, it’s pure “neighborhood” market, with mostly a selection of drinks and snacks… and a large deli counter taking up about a third of the restaurant. The major offering here is cold cut sandwiches (including a rarity around here: the club sandwich, which I’ll have to try another time), with a few hot items like Reubens, BLTs, and meatball subs. But in the middle of their menu board was the item I came for: The Italian, with ham, salami, Capocollo, provolone, lettuce (or cabbage), tomato, onion, and yellow hot peppers, served up on a nice crusty Italian roll.

Ordering up two Italians (one with lettuce for me, Carol opting for the crunchier cabbage option), we ended up taking them to a nearby park. Sitting back and opening up the wrapped sub, this was everything I like a good sub to be. The bread was a nice, moderately crusty Italian loaf that does a great job holding up to the stack of meat and veggies. The cold cuts were top notch, the veggies crisp, and the sandwich dressed with just the right amount of oil and vinegar. In short, this was the sub I had been craving.

So I’ll have to go back sometime and try a meatball sub or a Reuben, but my friend Joe didn’t steer us wrong: Bellomo’s has a solid sub game going on.

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