The first thing I noticed about the sandwiches at Pisillo Italian Panini was the size—each comes on a full loaf of bread over a foot long. They seem a little pricey until you realize they'll easily feed two.
Of course, volume alone doesn't make for a good lunch. Fortunately, the Cagliari ($11.40 with Semolina bread) delivers on taste as well as size. Thinly sliced sopressata and spicy "hot spread" make the sandwich addictively spicy, while a layer of provolone and a handful of tangy artichoke hearts cool things down. The semolina bread, which comes from the excellent Royal Crown Bakery in Bensonhurst, has a chewy crumb and a crispy exterior speckled with sesame seeds.
I bring a lot of sandwiches back to Serious Eats World Headquarters, and they get eaten with varying degrees of enthusiasm. If the office's ravenous reaction to the Cagliari is any indication, Pisillo is a deli worth seeking out. Come hungry, bring a friend, and enjoy.
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