BEST ITALIAN GROCERY - 2001
Buon Giorno's - CLOSED
The only frustration when it comes to shopping at this delightful grocery is the parking lot. It's always packed. Especially if you pop over around noon, when scads of famished lunch-breakers are angling for an Italian combo sub (mortadella, capocollo, salami, and Provolone) or a hot meatball sandwich. Still, it's worth waiting for a spot--and fighting through the lines of shoppers--just to ogle all the wares in the overflowing aisles. Pick from 35 different olive oils, ten varieties of canned tomatoes, a dozen types of salami, and nearly two dozen kinds of olives, from the spiced Sicilian ($3.19 per half pound) to the Ascolane verde (or "large meaty olive," $6.99 per half pound). Did we mention the mouthwatering array of pleasingly presented cheeses? If you're looking for a quick meal to take home, stop by the freezer, where you'll find everything from spaghetti and meatballs ($6.99) to pumpkin ravioli ($7.99), with all sorts of accompanying sauces and soups. And don't forget to pick up a loaf of bread, like the stirato (a large, rustic Italian country bread for $3.29) or the Apugliese (a southeastern Italian light rye for $2.29), direct from the ovens of the delectable New French Bakery. If all that isn't enough to make you faint from food frenzy, there's also a large selection of wines and grappas. Perhaps the best news is that Buon Giorno's owners have plans to expand to a second location: Early reports suggested Woodbury, but the recent whispered buzz around the cash register hinted more toward Mendota Heights. Wherever it is, we can hardly wait.