The tiny Frank & Louie's Italian specialties is packed to the ceiling with dry pastas including raviolini (teeny ravioli) and pasta nests ready to be tossed into boiling water. Canned and bagged specialty foods, sauces, oils, vinegars and spices line the walls. But the focal point is the monolithic wall of jam-packed deli cases that define the center of the room. Italian meats and cheeses hang from the ceiling, and are available, hand-cut, from the refrigerated displays.
The holy grail at Frank & Louie's is the Ciabatta Hero; the menu is scrawled on the blackboard. A hero is another word for “sub” or “hoagie” or “grinder.” (NOTE: These are not synonyms! The names are steeped in regional differences and mean different things in different parts of the country. To illustrate: If you ask for a “hoagie” anywhere other than in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you will be met with a blank stare and may be asked to vacate the premises. It's like ordering a pastrami on white bread with lettuce, tomato and mayo at Katz's Delicatessen in New York. It's just not done.)
Eggplant parm1/19 So many biscotti, so little time.2/19 The menu board3/19 Lots of tasty cheese4/19 Feelin' like a cream puff?5/19 Prepared Italian delights to take home and warm up6/19 Get your EVOO in bulk7/19 Out front8/19 Gift baskets for the holidays9/19 cookies10/19 Diane's famous mozz & pepperoni bread11/19 pignoli almond cookies12/19 dried pastas13/19 even more cookies14/19 tagliatelle15/19 vinegars and oils16/19 cheese, cheese and more cheese17/19 A place to hang your prosciutto.18/19 Louie and Frankie Bascio19/19
My favorite is a tossup between the #1 “Tiny Dancer” (caprese salad on a roll) and the #3 Sal Special (a medley of thin-sliced Italian meats paired with sharp provolone). Each and every sandwich is drizzled with dark and fruity olive oil. I ask for an additional drizzle of acidic, yet sweet balsamic. (Don't knock it 'til you've tried it – but do avail yourself to a bib.)
Of course the cookies and pastries are still there, along with prepared foods like chicken cutlets, meatballs, risotto balls (think traditional arancini, but a bit creamier), lasagne and a thinly layered eggplant parm. It's all there and it's all Italian. Summer patrons stream into Frank & Louie's for the prepared entrees that they can simply heat up in their condos or rental cottages. And don't forget the wedding cookies and ricotta cookies!
Frank & Louie's Italian Specialties is located on Baltimore Avenue in a tiny, teal building with black awnings just a few doors east of Second St. and directly across from Aqua Grill. There is no seating other than a couple of little bistro tables out front. They are a hot ticket during weekend lunchtime. Off-season hours vary, but in-season they are open every day, 10-6. Call to make sure: 302-227-5777.
Take a look at their Facebook page here. (L, D. No alcohol) Price range: Moderate.
I had the presence of mind to select an buttercream cake slice on a recent eastbound Amtrak train and it was SOOOO GOOD!! Can some be shipped to Chicago?! Details please!
Thank you so much
Too much of this review is about the drama of its background. We’ve been in the area for a few months now and Frank & Louie’s is hands down the best food place we’ve found so far. The prepared food case has provided me with more dinners than any other purveyor. Reminiscent of the Italian delis we left behind in NJ, Frank & Louie’s is definitely the place to go for when you’re looking for more than just a touch of Italy.
Point taken. It’s been long enough. Ancient history removed.
Thank you for speaking up.
We love your article and we love both places. RB is better off with Frank & Louie and Touch of Italy. Thank you for not forgetting Frank and Louie.
I LOVE these boyz! They have always treated myself and guest of the Rehoboth Guest House as “long lost relatives”! My Goddaughter had them cater her wedding at the Guest House and they won rave reviews. Keep up the great work Frank and Louie and don’t forget to hug Momma for me!
Glenn- we couldn’t have said it better!!
It’s about time somebody told it like it is. We like both places, and these are all talented and passionate people. It’s too darn bad they had a falling out. Foodie, your treatement of that “sticky” situation was respectful and courteous to everyone concerned. We suspect you know more than you are saying, but you are to be congratulated for your gentle touch.
Very well worded! And great review for Frank and Louie!
Well, foodie it’s about time. We know you like Touch of Italy, and we hoped you are objective enough to also like Frank & Louie’s. We are proud of you.
[Uh, T&T – I’ve ALWAYS liked Frank & Louie. It just took me a while to get this posted. –RF]