Rinaldi's Is Back With East Coast Italian Fare
One of the great things about Arizona, and especially Phoenix, is the number of people who came here from someplace else. Whether from the South, the California Coast, or the Midwest, our large “transplant” population has brought with them some of the coolest things from all four corners of our country. Case-in-point: Rinaldi’s Italian Deli, featuring awesome food with East Coast origins. They’ve been a local favorite here in North Phoenix for years. In fact, after a long run of serving up deli sandwiches, salads, and hot specialty subs, it seemed like nothing could stop the success of Rinaldi’s. Well, almost nothing…
In early spring, Rinaldi’s unexpectedly became a drive-through restaurant (pun intended). A car accidentally smashed through the walls, plowed through the dining area, and came out the other side. The good news is that it happened during the lull between busy times, so the dining area wasn’t crowded. There were no injuries, but the building took a pretty big hit. Two glass walls were shattered, forcing them to close for repairs and reconstruction. Bad news for customers, bad news for the owners.
Owners John and Bolivia Sayegh are transplanted New Yorkers with decades of restaurant experience and a passion for taking care of their customers. After moving to Arizona from The Big Apple 26 years ago, they started with a Tempe-based deli before moving into their location at the Scottsdale Airpark. Next came their second “airpark” location near Deer Valley Airpark. Rinaldi’s prides itself as being the place “where customers leave happy.” After your first visit, you’ll understand why.
If you’ve never eaten at Rinaldi’s, you’re in for a treat - a delicious, Italian treat. The menu features more than 60 items, covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast starts at 7:00am with omelets, bagels, biscuits & gravy, and a Taylor Pork Roll breakfast sandwich (VERY East Coast, and very tasty). Their breakfast burro is so popular it could have its own fan club. Some call it the unofficial-official breakfast of the nearby Honeywell facility. The “secret” ingredient of their breakfast burro is the artisan salsa made by Bolivia Sayegh. Bring some home and you’ll find yourself looking for anything you can pour it onto. The lunch/dinner menu at Rinaldi’s features made-to-order deli sandwiches, 11 different salads, plus hot Italian specialties like Baked Ziti, Eggplant Parmesan, Stuffed Shells, and Meatball Subs. You could order something different every day for two straight months and not have any repeats!
With this much thought, care, and quality put into their menu, the restaurant gods simply would not allow Rinaldi’s to stayed closed. Fast forward six weeks later and the store was fully repaired and back in business. During a recent stop for lunch, it was obvious they were once again on top of their game. The chicken parm wedge was perfectly prepared and hitting all the right notes. Dining at Rinaldi’s feels like lunchtime in Manhattan (but with better weather). Close your eyes between bites and you’ll swear you’re relaxing on a bench in Central Park. Rinaldi’s also knocks it out of the park when it comes to catering. The options are virtually limitless, and include breakfast platters, cold cut trays, boxed lunches, party subs, and hot entrees served in chafing dishes. Everyone goes home happy…no one goes home hungry. But a word of caution for party planners: Once you’ve experienced Rinaldi’s catering you’ll have a tough time ordering from anywhere else.
No one wants to see a business go through an extended closure, and it’s especially tough when it’s a small, family-owned business. Since that fateful day that forced Rinaldi’s to shut its doors, North Phoenix has been rooting for them to reemerge and reopen. Thankfully, our wish has finally come true. John and Bolivia…it’s great to have you back!
Phoenix (19th Ave & Deer Valley Rd, next to Dunkin’ Donuts)
21705 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027
Closed on Sundays