A Duo of Delicatessens

Paradiso, a colorful and captivating establishment, has been in business since 1947. It has been on Auzerais Ave in an industrial area near the CalTrain railroad track since the time when thriving canneries and food processing plants were in the neighborhood. Back then this wonderful little deli stayed open until 11 PM for the cannery workers. Nowadays they are closed by 4:30 (3:30 on Saturdays) but the owner operator, Tony, is there every morning by 2 AM to prepare the homemade food. The raviolis are not commercially made. Tony makes them. He also makes the eggplant parmigiano, lasagna and other hot deli items. The Italian breaded steak got a hearty recommendation from one regular customer who said it was breaded, fried prime rib with special seasoning served with mashed potatoes and brown mushroom gravy. This place reminds me of the old fashioned deli I grew up with and loved as a child. The shelves and baskets are filled with colorful imported products and everywhere you look there is something interesting to keep you amused. My favorite object d’art is a little biplane made from a bread crumb container.

Considerably less charming but serving the best sandwiches you may ever eat is Freshly Baked on N. 3rd in San Jose. Freshly Baked Deli bakes their own incredible, slightly sour sourdough French rolls and roasts their own meats. The cheese sandwich I had was fantastic. I was practically swooning over it. Their French rolls are crisp and tender on the outside and light and chewy on the inside. The sandwiches are served with piles of fresh veggies like sliced orange sweet peppers (if you want) and come with 2 giant pickle wedges. Freshly Baked is open only on weekdays during lunch hours. Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about that sandwich.

1 Comment so far

  1. Matt Bruensteiner (thephoton) on August 13th, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

    Hi JoAnn, welcome aboard. I had been reading San Jose Day-by-Day and I’m glad we’re getting your stuff here now.

    Let me add a plug for my local deli, Chiaramonte’s on 13th St near Jackson. They’ve been in business over 100 years, I’m pretty sure. Like Paradiso, they make their own ravi’s, as well as 3 kinds of Italian sausage, last I checked. They have recently added two new shops, one in Valco shopping mall and one at the SJ airport, so suburbanites and travelers can check them out too.

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