Jimmy's Italian Specialties is a scratch bakery and full line Italian deli and specialty store. They carry imported and domestic (including local) and homemade olives, peppers, cheese, specialty lunch meats, pastas, olive oils and other necessities to make awesome Italian eating.
Traditional Jimmy's subs are made to order. Homemade soups, pizzas and salads.
Dine in or Carry out. Call ahead for quick pick up.
Jimmy's Italian Specialties: Special Place, Special Food, Special People.
You may know Jimmy's Italian Specialties as an Italian specialty store but few may know it's also a great place to grab a quick lunch or dinner. If you aren't hungry when you pull in the parking lot, you will be the minute you walk through the door. The smell of fresh baked bread is one temptation you just can't resist. It's like walking into grandma's house on spaghetti Sunday. Ironically, walking into Jimmy's IS walking into grandma's. Manager Frank Occhibove's nana is actually back in the kitchen cooking up all this wonderful food with the help of Frank's parents Jimmy and Irene, his sister, and two brothers. It's a family business that has been thriving since the 70's. It began as a gift shop at Frank's grandparent's house in Briar Hill. Customers would come in and smell the fresh baked bread coming from the back of the house. After several requests, one loaf became three, then six, then pasta and, well, the rest is history. The family opened a store that they again outgrew, and about 5 years ago moved to their current location on Belmont Avenue that allows them a bigger kitchen and store space as well as a dining area and patio.
The store has a few aisles of Italian specialty grocery items that are surrounded by cases of desserts, cookies, breads and rolls, pizza and other hot foods, and a large deli meat, cheese and olive counter. To the right of the store is the dining room. If you're coming to eat, you've come to the right place. Head to the back of the store to place your order. Hot foods including pizzas, soups, pastas, rolls and more are ready to go. Sandwiches are made to order but Jimmy's is well staffed and there's pretty much no wait. Within minutes you can be sitting in the dining room to the right of the store or the outdoor patio enjoying some of the best tasting food you've had in a long, LONG, time.
Frank asked what I would like to try and I decided to leave it up to him. By the way he talked about the food, I felt pretty confident that anything and everything would be amazing. Within five minutes I was staring down at a dish of Cavatelli, two sandwiches, a piece of pizza, a side of their own homemade hot peppers and a cannolo for dessert. Everything looked and smelled wonderful. Where to begin?
I decided to start with Frank's favorite, the Greens and Chicken Brick. A breaded chicken breast is topped with Italian Greens, provolone cheese and roasted red peppers. It's sandwich between a fresh Ciabatta roll then pressed on the Panini grill. I threw on a few of those hot peppers and went for it. One bite and I knew why it was Frank's favorite. There is nothing else needed on this sandwich. It's full of so many flavors that all just blend perfectly. From the garlic in the greens, to the seasoned chicken breast to the heat of the peppers. The Panini grill gets it all warmed up and puts a nice crisp on that Ciabatta roll. Frank told me, "if we like it, we sell it". He likes this sandwich and so do I.
The second sandwich, a customer favorite, is the Dino Classico. Roasted Turkey Breast, Provolone and Sweet Roasted Peppers. Yes, it sounds like a basic turkey sandwich but this sandwich at Jimmy's takes a basic turkey sandwich all the way to Italy and back. It's made on their homemade Old Fashioned Bread, two thick multi-grain slices wrapped around a layer of cheese, slices of turkey and those yummy sweet peppers. This is a big sandwich and I had a hard time getting my mouth around it but the bread is light and everything is so fresh, I managed to manhandle it and enjoyed every bite. Another favorite, and no surprise.
On to the pasta. Homemade Cavatelli. A lot of places may serve Cavatelli, but very few, if any, make them from scratch and serve them with real, homemade sauce. The sauce has bits of garlic and onion and tastes like it's been cooking in a pot all day. It's thick and coats every pasta pillow giving every bite the perfect combination of pasta and sauce. A nice sprinkle of fresh grated romano and you've got a "real taste" of Italy any day for lunch or dinner.
Jimmy's serves a handful of Margherita pizzas. I love pizza and was anxious to try a slice. I had the basic Margherita pizza. Nice and light with a nice crunch on the bottom crust and the toppings. Oh my. Simple and delicious. Fresh diced tomatoes, garlic and olive oil with a little romano cheese. The tomatoes were perfectly ripened and sweet. The simplicity of just garlic and oil definitely let the tomatoes shine on this slice. I easily could eat a whole pizza like this.
Frank tells me that their salads are becoming very popular. Frank's Salad, of course, is his personal favorite. Mixed lettuce, artichokes, craisins, asiago, sunflower seeds, red sweet peppers, all tossed with their own White Balsamic Zinfandel Dressing (the most often requested dressing). There are several other specialty salads or you can "Create Your Own Salad". All made to order with only the freshest of ingredients.
On any given day at Jimmy's, the dessert case will be tempting you with cakes, cookies, tortes, cheesecakes and of course, cannoli. It was my first cannolo and it won't be my last. A tubular crunchy shell with a hint of cinnamon is filled with sweet ricotta that is dotted with bits of chocolate then sprinkled with powdered sugar. I'm in love. It's not too sweet, very smooth filling and that crispy outer shell is like nothing I've ever had before. With a cup of coffee, this is the way to go. Frank told me "if the shell isn't crisp, then it's not fresh", that's how you know it's good cannoli. I'm sold and I'll be back for this sweet treat. As for Frank, I asked him what was his favorite dessert. "The Strawberry Torte", he smiled and his eyes glistened as he continued, "in the middle of winter when I taste those fresh berries it feels like summer." So if it's cannoli you're craving, or the fresh berries of summer, this is the place to get them and so much more. I dare you to try and leave Jimmy's without getting something sweet. The temptation is just too great.
I love the laid back feel at Jimmy's. It's casual, it's comfortable and most importantly, it's delicious. I could eat at Jimmy's every day, lunch and dinner, for a month straight and have something different for every meal. Everything here is made with love and backed by tradition. When Frank speaks about the establishment and his family, he speaks through his eyes. There's love and passion there that shows just how much this all means to him. It's not a job. It's his life, his father's dream, and lucky for us, we're able to share it with them.