2600 Crystal Dr. #1, Arlington, VA
My husband has been raving about Bozzelli's since they opened in Crystal City in late 2010. As an Italian-American, I hold Italian deli's to a pretty high standard. I adore the Italian Store and 2 Amy's, but I admit that they can coast on their reputations, since they've held a monopoly in the area for so long (thankfully both continue to dish up consistently good food). So I'm more than happy to welcome an interloper to the fold - but can the newbie stand up the challenge?
While the local, family-owned Bozzelli's may be new to Arlington, it's not new to the NoVa area. The Bozzelli's flagship store is a popular establishment in Springfield, with a fiercely loyal fan base on Yelp. And rightfully so - the deli serves up enormous Italian subs stuffed with pepperoni, prosciutto, mozzarella, sausage, etc.
My husband ordered "The Original" - pepperoni, steak and cheese on a flaky sandwich roll (top photo). I had the prosciutto and mozzarella with roasted red peppers (bottom photo). But I liked his better, so we swapped halves (such a great hubs).
Why was it better? The pepperoni was more flavorful than the prosciutto, and it had the added benefit of tomato, lettuce and a schmear of mayonnaise. The prosciutto, while good, was thick-cut and reminded me of a corned beef more so than a typical thin-sliced prosciutto. But who care, it was delicious!
The sandwiches were huge - and these were the small size. For $7.95, you get a lot of food. I mean, I was stuffed afterwards. STUFFED. Almost painfully so. The meats were good - tender, flavorful, and with just the right amount of accompanying cheese. The bread, however, was awesome. As you can see from the photos, it's pretty flaky and soft - the perfect vehicle to transport the meaty cheesy goodness straight into one's mouth. They. Were. Delicious.
Right now Bozzelli's is offering a limited menu at its Crystal City location, with only nine sandwiches. The Springfield store has twice as many sandwich offerings, plus pizza, salads, and pasta. Both locations sell meat and cheeses sliced by the pound. Plus, Bozzelli's sells its own bottled tea brand - Original Lou's.