STATEN ISLAND, NY — A sandwich shop entered Staten Island — the new outpost of 15th Avenue’s Brooklyn Italian Heroes — from across the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
About a month ago, the order-by-number menu hung on the wall of the former Dick’s Deli at 857 Castleton Avenue. And I confess I’m a bit skeptical that a shop like this in my West Brighton neighborhood will thrive after its predecessor’s 80th anniversary.
Mea culpa and color impressed me. After trying several combinations neatly arranged on fantastic bread I conclude that both hot and cold sandwiches live up to the hype.
Owners Paul DiSpirito and Rob Zirpoli have officially entered the competitive arena of lunchtime dining on offer in the district. In fact, Staten Island is home to many impressive sandwich restaurants, including one we visited on last week’s The Dish broadcast live, John’s Famous Deli of Elm Park. And the Brooklyn-born operation is an excellent complement to Castleton Avenue’s tasty options — Sushi Wen, Presto Pizza, Vodega vegan grocer and deli, and Nuremberg beer house.
Tune in to see the newest restaurant along Castleton Avenue, about a block from Richmond University Medical Center and a stone’s throw from the Civil Court House.
A few tips for ordering from Brooklyn Italian Heroes: First, call the sandwich by its real name – a hero. But don’t call Nosh a “grinder” or a “hoagie.”
Second, management encourages customers to address the combos by their appropriate number, nickname, and/or expressive accompanying ditty.
For example, it’s correct to say, “I’d like the number 16, please.” Or you can be a bit more snappy on the topic of roast beef, lioni mozzarella, lettuce, mayo, salt, and black pepper by shouting, “Give me a Phil.” Rizzutto, because, holy cow, he’s good!”
Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The deli uses a third-party platform for Grub Hub and Door Dash with delivery by Uber Eats.
Brooklyn Italian Heroes is located on Castleton Ave. 857, 718-442-4587.
Pamela Silvestri is Advance Food Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].