Inspired by the Italian delis and salumerias of owners Marcello Bucca and Enzo Conigliano's childhood in Bensonhurst, the well-laid-out shop unapolagetically sticks to the classics: fresh mozarella made daily with curd from Aiello Brothers in Sunset Park, beef and veal from Ottomanelli's, pork from Faicco's, prosciutto and other cold cuts from Salumeria Biellese, bread from Il Fornaretto. The sandwiches harken back to a time when an Italian deli could be found on any street corner in Brooklyn, and don't deviate much from those tried-and-true classics of old.
The 8-hour slow cooked pork braciole (top, a butterflied loin stuffed with bread crumbs, provolone, garlic, and parsley) is topped with marinara, and could sell for $20 a plate at a fancy restaurant. This one comes piled into a toasted, sesame seed-topped roll and sells for $10 (keep in mind that these are each big enough to feed two).
The meatball parm is stuffed with tender, garlicky meatballs, homemade mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, and marinara, is perfectly messy, and comes on a crusty hero roll.
Zito's take on the classic Italian sub is called the Autogrill (named after the stellar sandwiches that can be found at many gas stations in Italy), and piles this-sliced provolone, mortadella, capicollo, sopresatta, prosciutto and spicy pepperonino into a softer, less-crusty hero roll, perect for a cold sandwich. All the flavors come together perfectly, and it's thankfully not piled so high that it's impossible to eat. I love how every sandwich comes on bread that's perfectly optimized for it, and that gluten-free and whole wheat bread is available as well.
And Madonna mia, the arancini here are ridiculously delicious. I'm a fiend for these things, but without fail every one I've had around here just tasted like the inside of the refrigerator they'd been sitting in, waiting to be reheated. These arancini, saffron risotto stuffed with a ground beef mixture and deep fried, are prepared and fried to order, and come out light and crisp. If you find better arancini this side of Bensonhurst, let me know.
Zito's Sandwich Shoppe, 300 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-499-2800. 11 AM - 10 PM Daily.