Food & Drink
The Italian Store
How good is The Italian Store’s Milano sandwich? So good that a TSA agent once turned a blind eye to a Milano that was illegally passing through Reagan National Airport, according to store owner Robert Tramonte. The story is that Tramonte’s son, Michael, was attempting to sneak the sandwich through the airport as a surprise treat for his girlfriend. The agent apprehended the bag and was about to toss it when she saw its contents—a best-selling hoagie loaded with capicola, prosciuttini, provolone, genoa salami and the “special dressing” invented by Tramonte’s Italian mama. “I eat there all the time,” the agent said. “Here, let’s sneak around the side.”
The Italian Store has been filling a void in the local sandwich landscape ever since the Tramonte family opened their first shop on Lee Highway in 1980. “We don’t have a North End, Little Italy or Murray Hill here,” Tramonte says.
And soon, there will be more of where that came from. A second location, set to open in Westover this winter, will include an Italian espresso bar, an outdoor dining courtyard and an expanded sandwich menu, inspired by recipes Michael collected while studying abroad in Florence.
3123 Lee Highway, Arlington, 703-528-6266, www.italianstore.com
Other top vote-getters: