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Rocco’s Italian Deli

November 24, 2022

  • 3627 Cass Avenue
  • Detroit, MI 48201
  • (313) 315-3033
  • Website
  • Menu

Yeah…I’m still on the road. It has been a pretty hectic couple of months. I feel like I’ve spent more time in my car than I have at home.

I had an overnight trip to Detroit a few weeks ago. I needed to get downtown fairly early in the day and would work until well after midnight. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get away for lunch so I stopped on my way in to town to grab a sandwich.

I was really excited about a sandwich shop that I saw some people talking about on Twitter on “National Sandwich Day.” It wasn’t too far from my final destination so I took a little detour to see what the hype was about.

Rocco’s Italian Deli is on Cass Avenue just north of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Detroit’s Cass Corridor Neighborhood. The building is an old bicycle shop that was chopped up in to two storefronts a few years ago with Rocco’s taking the end space.

The restaurant is counter service with an online ordering option. I stopped in right around 2:00 on a Tuesday afternoon and there were quite a few people grabbing lunch. The menu is written on a chalkboard behind the counter. Having a couple of people in line in front of me gave me a chance to really decide what I wanted and not just go with the first thing that caught my eye.

I put in an order for the Serious Beef sandwich. The cost was right around $15 before tip.

There isn’t really any place to wait so I went to stand along the back wall out of the way. There are a few tables for dining in but they were full an I wouldn’t want to take up space for people who were actually going to sit and eat.

Rocco’s Italian Deli is more than a sandwich place. There is a large wall of wine near where I was standing to wait. I’m not a wine guy so none of it really stood out to me but there’s a lot to choose from.

It’s a full on deli with a large selection of Italian meats and cheeses. This is what they use for their sandwiches but you can also take home some tasty meat and cheese by the pound.

It took less than 10 minutes for my name to be called despite the large number of people in front of me. They work pretty fast.

I grabbed my sandwich and headed to my work site. Picnic’s on the hood of my car are becoming the norm and really, how I prefer to eat.

The Serious Beef is Rocco’s take on an Italian beef. It’s not a Chicago style beef sandwich but they use a lot of those same elements for their own spin on it.

The full name of the sandwich is Zio Freddo’s Got Serious Beef. The sandwich is braised Italian beef with a sharp provolone cheese on a crusty Italian roll. There’s also some pickled vegetables on the sandwich…their take on a giardiniera. The sandwich was really good….like really, really good. The crusty bread soaked up on the juice from the beef. Unlike Chicago beef, this is more of a pulled roast and not sliced then reheated in gravy. The provolone held everything on the sandwich together and the giardiniera gave it just a little bit on a sweet and spicy crunch,

I wanted to go back for another one. That’s really the best compliment I can give a sandwich place like this. I wanted more. Not because the sandwich wasn’t filling but because it was so good I didn’t want to stop eating it.

I’m not in Detroit very often but this will be a must stop for me next time I’m in the area. Rocco’s Italian Deli isn’t too far from the sports stadiums and theaters downtown. Grab something to eat on your way in to town.

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