Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Restaurant Review: Pascarella Bros. Delicatessen (Chatham, NJ)

I recently had the pleasure of eating at Pascarella Bros. Delicatessen (34 Watchung Avenue, Chatham, NJ 07928). I had emailed them a couple of weeks ago to confirm their bread was also dairy free (they have Udi’s so yes) before including them in the latest update to my list of Restaurants in NJ with a Gluten Free Menu. They’re an old school style deli (with a couple of small tables to eat in) of the type I haven’t been in in years.

Grilled Chicken and Avocado on a Gluten Free Bagel
at Pascarella Bros. Delicatessen in Chatham, NJ
(my apologies for starting without you!)
Their website only notes that they have GF bread, GF bagels and GF wraps so I was a little taken aback at what I found when I arrived. Yes they have Udi’s bread and bagels (the also had a GF bread by Whole Foods that contained dairy). But, they also have a standing freezer case of pre-prepared foods that you can take home. In addition to the gluten containing versions of each, they had gluten free meatballs, gluten free stuffed shells and gluten free chicken parm (sadly none were dairy free but they will make all but the stuffed shells DF with advanced notice). They also label their soups if they are GF as well. They have successfully catered both GF and GF/DF events in the past.

It turns out that the son of one of the two brothers (the Bros. in Pascarella Bros. Delicatessen) has Celiac disease. That seems to make for a very careful staff (who’d want to get the boss’ kid/nephew sick?) and I was very happy with how my sandwich was prepared. They made it off on the side, then wrapped it in heavy foil and panini’ed it.

So, how was the sandwich? Terrific! First, there are some deli sandwiches I would never order on GF bread for fear the bread wouldn’t hold together, however, with an Udi’s bagel that isn’t an issue. That also meant it took me forever to decide what I wanted to have. As I explained to them, I’m used to only having one or two GF/DF options when I dine out – a full deli board of possibilities was overwhelming!

One final note, my sandwich on an Udi’s bagel did fall apart while I was eating it – but it’s not what you are thinking! The bagel held together fine, however Pascarella Bros makes a real deli sandwich – you know, the kind you need both hands to manage. All those chicken breast cutlets were just too much to keep together!

Overall this is a great place and definitely somewhere I'd go for lunch again!
Pascarella's Deli on Urbanspoon

Other restaurant reviews you may be interested in (and that have GF/DF sandwiches):

Plum on Park (Montclair, NJ) Review

Cheeseburger in Paradise (Iselin, Secaucus, and Wayne, NJ) Review

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