In my opinion, there is nothing better than the 4 p.m. snack, or merienda, as Karina would call it in Buenos Aires. And when sitting down to this merienda, the only thing I want to see (and come to think of it, the only thing I ever crave, period) is cured meats and strong cheeses with an assortment of bread and crackers and maybe some grapes, so I don’t get scurvy.
So naturally, I caught the overwhelming scent of tender prosciutto and fresh bricks of parmesan a block from Di Bruno Bros and almost melted into the sidewalk.
Di Bruno Bros encourages you to sample anything and everything, and will suggest expert pairings between cheese, meats, and canned goods from their own fresh pesto to the classics like San Marzano canned tomatoes. They also carry a huge selection of homemade pickles (the crunchy ones that still have a hint of cucumber), a variety of stuffed olives, seasoned tomatoes in olive oil, and other brilliant combinations for the meat and cheese plate you’re inevitably going to put together.
Now pair all that with a tomato pie from Iannelli’s Bakery about a half mile away, and you’ve got one of the best dining-in dinners to look forward to in Philly. Check out the Bi Bruno Bros blog for some spectacular grilled cheese recipes from April (it was Grilled Cheese Month, duh) to get you going.
And here’s the kicker: Di Bruno Bros offers this brilliant thing called “After Hours.” (Now you’re intrigued.) If you call ahead, you can arrange for you and handful of your friends to stay at the store for the hour after it closes and sample anything you like, for a flat rate. And it’s BYOB. (Are you dying yet?! Here’s the number: (215) 922-2876.)
Don’t live in Philly? (Me neither.) They have a great site to facilitate the shipping—unfortunately you miss out on the smells and the sampling, but the products are top notch and you won’t regret it!
Di Bruno Bros has many locations, but the original storefront (and the one I visited) can be found at 930 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145. (215) 922-2876.
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