It’s hard to imagine that the auto shop that used to sit at the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and South Prospect ever did as much business on a Monday as Frank Anthony‘s does there now.
At the end of last year, owner Anthony Tortoriello and his crew relocated from their former strip mall storefront on Grove Street to a spot that was definitely not one of the architectural landmarks of Verona. But they renovated the property inside and out into a cozy eatery that all but dares you to not turn off your engine and stay for a while. And that’s just what a clutch of folks (including VHS seniors taking advantage of their lunch out privileges) were doing today as the rest of Verona was getting back in gear after Winter Break.
The sandwiches that starred on the Grove Street menu are still there, and still with names borrowed from friends and relatives. One of us tried the “Lombardi”, a combination of hot capicola, Genoa salami, provolone and roasted pepper dressed with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. The mix was just what you would want in an Italian sub, with the sharp bite of the provolone offsetting the spice of the capicola.
Then there are the paninis, which Frank Anthony’s doesn’t market as being lunch and dinner combined, but maybe it should, especially since one of them carries the name “Maximus”. That one is a combination of eggplant cutlets and mozzarella, dressed with roasted tomatoes and Balsamic vinegar. We also tried the “Lia”, which takes the standard duo of roast beef and horseradish mayo to a new level by adding in red onions, tomatoes and more of that bracing provolone. You order at the counter at Frank Anthony’s and the welcoming staff brings your food to your table in short order.
The lunch prices at Frank Anthony’s are pretty friendly as well, with half subs and whole paninis priced at just $7. Seven is the magic number, too, for their wraps, with substantial hot sandwiches only a dollar or two more. Lunch for three today, with a half-liter bottle of Pellegrino water to share, came to $30 with tax, which wasn’t such a bad way to start the week. And two of us came home with halves leftover to share with the kids.
Frank Anthony’s is closed only on Sundays. The rest of the week, it is open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; from Wednesday to Saturday it is open 11 a.m. to “whenever” and the dinner menu kicks in at noon. We’ve heard that its unique pizzas–like wild mushroom or the “F&A Signature” with sweet soppressata and hot peppers–have made it a go-to spot for families on their way home from school sports events. We’ll be heading back for those, too. And thanks to several strategically-placed big-screen TVs, you won’t miss a minute of the Olympics.