Where is E. 48th Street in Dunwoody? You know — east side. Right above 47th Street.
I have to admit that I heard about the E. 48th Street Market from colleagues soon after moving to Atlanta, and for the first few years I lived here I, um, assumed the streets were numbered in Dunwoody. I may even have, um, once gone looking for it and stopped and asked in a gas station where 48th Street was.
It has only taken me 13 years to make it to this delightful, straight-from-the-Northeast Italian deli and market on Jett Ferry Road, and I’m so glad I did.
Named for the address of a New York store run by owner Charlie Augello’s uncle, E. 48th St. Market is the kind of cramped, friendly, mildly chaotic food emporium that will remind you of the way markets used to be. A huge assortment of fresh baked breads and pastries, deli meats, prepared foods, dry goods, frozen ingredients and wine manage to pack into a space where you will, happily, bump into other shoppers. In spirit this place — which has been open for nearly 25 years — is more akin to a Vietnamese market on Buford Highway than to the more refined Italian markets, like EatZi’s, we’ve seen over the years.
Here’s what we sampled:
At lunch, most customers get one of the signature hero sandwiches, such as this tuna version ($5.99). I saw a number of folks loading up on sandwiches filled with soppressata, roasted peppers and Italian cheeses.
I ordered the eggplant casserole ($6.75), above, which had a tasty layering of peeled baked (not fried) eggplant with cheeses under a boatload of marinara. Loved it.
My friend ordered this open faced calzone ($5.99), which she really enjoyed. I took a bite and have to admit I wasn’t a fan. Squishy bread, leathery re-melted cheese and spongy sausage cubes combined into something that reminded me of an airport concession’s personal pan pizza. That good marinara helped.
After lunch, I wandered around the store and made a mental note of the nitrogen wine-by-the-glass dispenser. What a cool place to come after work for a glass of wine.
The shelves were stocked with all kinds of great Italian products, such as branches of dried wild oregano, San Marzano tomatoes and this hard durum flour.
I had a hazelnut biscotti (great, one of a dozen flavors) and this great espresso at the counter, and chatted a bit with the nice folks who run the place.
I brought some of the house-made mozzarella home, and we enjoyed it with good olive oil and sea salt.
And then I tossed penne pasta with some of this mild and 100% satisfying bolognese sauce I snagged from the freezer. Note to self: always keep this stuff around, and my children will never stop loving me.