San Antonio.- Caesar Salad and Maccheroni con Polpetti from Fratello’s Deli. In the background are some of the items that the market sells. (photo Amanda Lozano)
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San Antonio is home to a very diverse and cultural array of restaurants and foods. If you look hard enough, you will find a vast amount of international grocery stores hidden around the city that import products from said country of origin. That being said, a new eatery has opened in town and it’s not like anything San Antonio has seen before.
Fratello’s is a place that doubles up as a grocery store/restaurant during the lunch and dinner hours. It’s a concept seldom seen in this city: a place to purchase slices of prosciutto or cheese while enjoying an authentic Italian specialty dish. It may seem uncommon, but the combination works out perfectly.
“This is a unique concept. We’ve tried to put the best of both worlds together. We thought there was a lack of a Mercato Italiano in San Antonio, and we tried to fill that void. Everything that we bring over is imported from different regions of Italy, and the same products we sell are the same things we use in the kitchen” Laszlo, owner, manager and head chef of Fratello’s said. “This is La vera cucina italiana: a true Italian Kitchen,”
Lazlos’ foundation for Fratello’s comes from enjoying time with his family and friends over good food. The place is also a tribute to the “American Dream” that brought many of his ancestors over for an opportunity at a better life.
The products are good, but the food is even better. It is obvious that the chefs put a lot of love into their dishes. Fresh handmade bread, Pasta Al Dente, and homemade potato chips are only some of the tasty offerings this place has to offer. It’s like a taste of Italy on Broadway Street.
If you like Panini sandwiches, the Pollo Griglia is a great choice. The chicken breast used in the sandwich was grilled to perfection with balsamic vinegar and wrapped around fresh arugula lettuce and sun dried tomatoes. The mozzarella cheese melted inside made it perfection. In combination with the homemade potato chips, this was a major winner.
For those that enjoy pasta dishes, their Maccheroni con Polpetti, or Spaghetti and Meatballs is great. This isn’t your typical spaghetti though. The pasta is cooked Al Dente and is a lot thicker than typical American pastas. It’s a lot more filling. The meatballs cooked were a good consistency: firm to the touch, but tender enough to cut with a fork.
Another dish to try is the Pappardelle Bolognese. This is a dish that comes from the Bologna Region of Italy. Its broad egg noodles are tossed into a meat sauce of pork and ground beef. It is simmered with tomatoes, wine, a hint of cream and a dash of fresh herbs. It was unlike anything I’d ever tasted before. The dish was savory, but not overpowering, as many dishes cooked with wine tend to be.
Fratello’s Market is open Monday-Saturday from 11 am -8 pm. They open up the kitchen from 11 am to 2 pm, and reopen for dinner from 5 pm to 8 pm. They are closed on Sundays. The deli is located at 2503 Broadway and Army Blvd, across from the Family Dollar.
Amanda Lozano is a reporter for La Prensa de San Antonio. She may be reached at email@example.com.