Fredonia, NY

Tuscany Slices and Serves Season to Season

J.M. Lesinski

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A shot of the front entrance of Tuscany Fresh Meats and Deli in Fredonia, New YorkPhoto by J.M. Lesinski

The premier delicatessen and sandwich joint combo of the Northern Chautauqua county area, Tuscany Fresh Meats and Deli in Fredonia, New York, has been hard at work transitioning between the seasons. With the college semester coming to an end at the nearby State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia and summer rolling in with more area snowbirds returning, those both coming and going have been grabbing some classic deli cuts for the road.

Inside the deli, Tuscany continues to churn out some of the area’s most unique homemade specialty meats, in preparation for what is sure to be a busy summer season. Grilling fanatics will fall in love with the girthy portions on Tuscany’s kebabs. With a choice between top sirloin and boneless chicken breast, both marinated up nicely, the iconic grill dish is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to homemade meat.

Stuffed chicken at Tuscany is a breeze to make back home and comes in a variety of amazing flavors. The classic stuffed split chicken breast is one’s staple chicken, to add whatever spices at home to personalize the dish, even though the poultry is plenty good as is. The Buffalo-stuffed boneless chicken breast brings more heat, much more, while the bruschetta-stuffed boneless chicken breast has a bit more zest to it.

The chicken cordon bleus are a personal favorite. When heated up, the chicken crisps up into the shape of a bow, with the succulent interior visible through a neatly placed window. There is an artistry to that which cannot be denied, and flavor to match. The rosemary brown sugar marinated chicken breast is similarly unforgettable in flavor pallet and crust. When heated correctly, the chicken crisps up just so at the edges, really adding a layer of depth to the rosemary and brown sugar alike.

To say any steak at Tuscany is good is too easy, but that is pretty much the truth. The Patio, Capizzi, or Rosella are all fine, dare I say beautiful cuts of meat. Anything stuffed, the same. Stuffed pork chops are rich and very full, as well as the stuffed peppers, which from experience have filled me up before I could finish just one. The homemade Italian meatballs will give anyone’s aunt or uncle’s Christmas recipe a run for their money.

Handmade Tuscany burgers are a must-try, available in several different varieties, including bleu cheese, mushroom swiss, bacon cheddar, Italian style, and jalapeno cheddar. Beyond those, the Saint Patties, essentially a Reuben in burger form, and the Voodoo, with Cajun spices and rice, are exemplary grill patties. Fans wanting a little more from the Italian style will adore the Godfather and Corleone burgers alike, each featuring their own array of Italian deli meat and cheese mixed in.

For those looking for a good sandwich or wrap for lunch, or maybe even subs for dinner, Tuscany’s wide array of options will leave one coming back to try a new one out again and again. The flagship Tuscany features roast beef, melted pepper jack cheese, and roasted red pepper sauce on toasted ciabatta for a hearty original. The Beef on Weck is made with Boar’s Head filet of roast beef, dipped in au jus, and topped with fresh horseradish on weck for a local spin on the Buffalo classic.

Two turkey sandwiches, the Verona and Southwestern respectively, feature Butterball brand turkey on the piled high sandwiches. The Verona comes with fresh mozzarella, spinach, tomato, basil pesto, and mayonnaise on ciabatta, while the Southwestern features melted pepper jack, tomato, onion, guacamole, and homemade chipotle mayonnaise on a toasted onion roll.

Looking for more loaded options? The Mother Heifer is the resident gut-buster, featuring Boar’s Head filet of roast beef, melted swiss, spinach, mushrooms, onion, roasted garlic cloves, and homemade chive aioli on a pretzel roll. The Tuscany Cuban is a stellar hearty option too, featuring roasted pork, Sahlen’s ham, melted swiss, dill pickle, and yellow mustard on ciabatta. I would be remiss not to at least mention the tantalizingly sweet French Dip as well.

From loaded to melty, Tuscany has all the savory one could ever want in their melts. The Balboa comes with Tuscany-made Italian sausage, melted pepper jack, sauteed bell pepper, and onion on Texas toast, while the Backyard BBQ comes with barbecue pulled pork, cheddar, onion, and sweet BBQ sauce on Texas toast. The classic comes in three forms: Butterball turkey, Sahlen’s ham, or homemade tuna salad with choice of cheese on white for a simple melt done splendiferously.

Wraps at Tuscany maintain the Italian aesthetic on the menu more so than the other areas. The Italian Sausage Wrap for instance comes with homemade Tuscany Italian sausage, melted cheddar, sauteed bell peppers, and onion in a toasted jalapeno cheddar wrap. Likewise, the Italian Stallion features homemade Italian meatballs, melted provolone and mozzarella, sauteed bell pepper and onion, banana peppers, and pizza sauce in a toasted and roasted red pepper wrap.

Chicken wraps are the way to go for a hearty, warm wrap. The Goombah features home-cooked chicken breast, bacon, melted mozzarella, spinach, and homemade chive aioli in a toasted garlic pesto wrap, while the Wise Guy features the same home-cooked chicken with melted pepper jack, sauteed bell pepper, onion, roasted red pepper sauce, and hot pepper flakes in a toasted and roasted red pepper wrap.

Additionally, the chicken subs at Tuscany will satisfy any hoagie lover. The staple chicken finger sub is divine, as is the chicken salad. The Cordon Bleu features breaded chicken fingers, ham, melted swiss, lettuce, tomato, and bleu cheese dressing for an amazingly crunchy take on the original dish, while the Chicken Parmesan highlights the same fingers, melted provolone and swiss, grated romano, and pizza sauce.

Tuscany does a hearty and filling meatball sub and pizza sub too, but the Assorted Italian is the crown of the deli. Topped with Sahlen’s ham, capicola, salami, and provolone, along with any choice of vegetables, the Assorted Italian not just showcases the deli’s best meats, but the craftmanship behind what makes a good sandwich.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY
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