Let’s give 7 cheers for Tony’s Meat Market now known as Seven Brothers Gourmet Food Market. First cheer is about the family business and how it came about.
Antonio Fiorito (Tony) is an Italian immigrant who in 1969 ventured to the United States from his hometown of Naples. After working at a small Meat Market in Jamaica, and sending the money home to his 6 brothers and 6 sisters, he had decided that it was time to have his own store. It was called Tony’s Meat Market with a logo of Seven Brothers to describe this family owned business located on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven.
This was not a “butcher shop” but a small Italian grocery with a butcher. Tony’s was one of many staples in the Woodhaven community. After several years, and most of the “staple businesses” gone, Tony decided that there was a need to expand. Still living in Woodhaven, this eventual growth found its opportunity in Oceanside, Long Island.
Here, you will find his brothers Sandro and Mario and his sister Maria doing most of the working time. Let’s not forget about Tony’s two sons, Anthony and Joseph, first generation Americans.
Our second cheer is for maintaining the “old time” butcher section. If you want fresh meat, don’t expect to buy anything that is prepackaged….with the exception of burgers…hey, if that’s all you want at the butcher section, why wait on a line?
Third cheer is for the space and layout. Most of the products are situated along the walls along with that oh so friendly staff to assist you. You can easily get around the store and even sit down at one of a few tables to enjoy a sandwich and if need be there is a bonafide restroom to make use of.
Cheer number four is for the chef John prepared dishes. No, he didn’t make them up…these are recipes passed down from Tony’s mom. I wish I could have tried them all. The butcher section, at the front of the store, has some marinated meat such as skirt steak marinated in a teriyaki sauce or a “nosh” of Captain Crunch Chicken Fingers. Continue down to buy: Mini-Mini Rice balls with prosciutto and ricotta; Mini –Mini balls that’s like having a Fried Mac and Cheese; one with bacon and cheddar (hint – buy a pound and get about 15 of these); Fresh Mozzarella; Macaroni Salad; Potato Salad; Orzo Salad with arugula, feta cheese and cranberries seasoned and drizzled in olive oil; Sauteed Escarole with Cannellini Beans and garlic; stuffed artichokes.
Turn to your left to see some hot dishes such as a rotisserie chicken and then continue to the case where you’ll find some great store made sauces like ala vodka and marinara, soups like fagioli (pasta, beans and veggies) along with a Stromboli. It’s like taking the contents of a deli sandwich and baking it in a pastry dough. This one had pepperoni, capicola, provolone, and salami.
Another section brings you to frozen and refrigerated products as well as shelves of imported pastas and house hold items like ceramic pasta bowls. You’ll find the fresh ravioli in the freezer and for your shopping convenience, staples such as milk and eggs are in the refrigerator.
That takes me to Cheer number five….where the sandwiches are prepared. It will be a tough time choosing. The one I had is entitled “7 Brothers” with grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, and roasted peppers in a balsamic vinaigrette. Very popular: Texas Two Step – chicken cutlet, melted American, melted cheddar, onion rings, fries, with a spicy garlic sauce on a garlic hero; Call Dr. Mark – roast beef, fresh mozzarella, spinach, red onion, tomato, bacon, salt, pepper, on a garlic hero. Have your sandwich on fresh bread, hero or a wrap. If the list doesn’t appeal to you, go ahead, come up with the contents and they’ll make it up for you.
Cheer number six is about what lies in the middle of the store. Fresh vegetables, those delicious Italian cheeses like parmigiana reggiano, olive oils, vinegars, breads. That is where you’ll find the taralli…Italian pretzels. They are great as a snack and made with pepper or fennel as well as just plain. Perhaps you want some Italian chocolates or Nutella. They have both the one from the US and the one imported from Italy…not exactly the same. Don’t miss the cookies and pastries. Hey, they can’t be a bakery, too. But there is a decent selection for your dessert tummy…there is always a spot in your tummy reserved just for dessert. Have that espresso with Panettone.
Let’s give the last cheer to the catering. Mangia! Sure, you can go in there and pick out all that you want to make up platters and “slave over a hot stove”. Here are some examples of what you’ll find on the menu. Appetizers: various flavored chicken wings; stuffed mushrooms; baby back ribs. Salads: fresh mozzarella with sliced tomatoes, roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil. Pastas: Rigatoni Alla Bolognese; Lasagna roll-up. Entrees: Shepherd’s Pie; Stuffed fish filet; Roasted Tuna; Veal Seven Brothers; Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. Side dishes like Asparagus Oregananta and hot antipasto. Heroes, pastries, breads…the whole kit and caboodle.
With Christmas sneaking up, you may have thoughts of the Italian yuletide tradition of the Feast of Seven Fishes. Word has it that the chef is setting up the following: scungille, mussels, shrimp, calamari, octopus, crab, and clams. You may want to add the roasted salmon with capers and black olives in a marinara sauce, topped with toasted bread crumbs.
Now we get to the basic information. Seven Brothers Gourmet Food Market, 2914 Long Beach Rd, Oceanside, NY. 516-678-5999. Open every day, free parking in the rear. www.sevenbrothersoceanside.com