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Double the BunThere's nothing like a good Italian delicatessen. With an array of products from the old country and a deli case stuffed with cheese

Double the BunThere's nothing like a good Italian delicatessen. With an array of products from the old country and a deli case stuffed with cheese wheels and lengths of salamis of every size, delis serve up atmosphere, neighborhood camaraderie and customer service that's as alluring as the food.

Rick Adamo and Tom Coleman felt there was a void in Bend's dining options, specifically a lack of a good Italian delicatessen. Being motivated entrepreneurs, they jumped on the opportunity and Tony's Delicatessen was born.

Prior to starting Tony's, Adamo and Coleman shared an office at the Bend Athletic Club and a dream: they wanted to own a restaurant of their own. Adamo was the club's food and beverage director and Coleman was director of the managerial staff. They calculated that they had 55-plus years of restaurant business experience between them and both grew up in the food industry.

Since opening three months ago, Tony's grinders have earned a well-deserved reputation as big, messy and delicious. The "Mario's Meatballs" is a crusty bun loaded with juicy meatballs and Tony's soon-to-be-famous marinara sauce. "Tony's Cheese Steak" is a drippy delight of thin strips of lean choice steak grilled with sweet bell peppers and onions stuffed into a hoagie roll and topped with melted provolone. These are the kind of sandwiches that require three or four napkins and are worth every goopy stain.

Most of the sandwiches come in six-inch and twelve-inch sizes and run from $4.95-$5.50 for a half and $8.75-$9.25 for a whole. The six-incher is plenty of food for any normal appetite, while the twelve-incher is perfect for sharing.

If grinders aren't your style, there are American sandwiches, which also come in half and whole sizes, as well as wraps, pasta dishes, soups and salads. "Rick's Roast Beef" ($4.75/7.95), "TC's Turkey", complete with a homemade cranberry chutney ($4.25/7.50), "The Beast", a cold combination of roast beef, turkey, ham and cheddar; classic ($6.95) or chicken Caesar ($8.29), minestrone soup ($3.50/4.75); rigatoni with meatballs and marinara ($7.95) and the "Antipasto" wrap ($5.95) are a few selections to choose from.

To complement the lunch service, a "grab and go" section of prepared items is ready for your family's dinner. Lasagna, marinara, soups, pizzas and calzones are packaged for easy travel and minimal prep time. Cookies and brownies by Hurricanes Whirlwind of Desserts are available and you can even pick up a nice bottle of vino to accompany your meal.

The deli case is stocked full of classic Italian fare from meats like soprasata, domestic and imported prosciutto, salimetta secchi, coppa, copicolla; to classic Italian cheeses and four different types of olives. They also have brine-packed mozzarella and bread freshly par-baked from La Brea Bakery.

The staff at Tony's makes everything in-house with the exception of the pizza dough and the breads. Adamo and Coleman are committed to using the highest quality ingredients available and are hoping to bring in more locally produced ingredients. Concerning the slow down in the economy, Adamo isn't really worried. "We're at a really good price point - people still want to eat out, they still want good fresh food. They may not want to spend $100 on a meal for a family but $30 is doable," says Adamo with a big smile and a hearty laugh.

It's not only the food that has developed the loyal clientele-it's the owners' commitment to create a friendly, service-oriented atmosphere. Says Coleman of the concept "we learn people's names-we want them to feel at home here."

Tony's Delicatessen

320 SW Century Dr, 647-1653

M-Sat 10:30-6:30pm

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