The meatball parm hero now being served at Faicco’s is an Italian-American classic.
A holdout in one of Manhattan’s last remaining Little Italys, Faicco’s Pork Store has been an anchor of Greenwich Village’s Bleecker Street since 1966. The fully stocked store is famous for its homemade soppressata (a large-bore Apulian salami, hot or sweet), made-to-order hero sandwiches, homemade mozzarella (the best in the city — plain, lightly salted, or smoked), and, of course, raw pork products.
Until recently, though, the heroes were all made with cold cuts that ran from imported prosciutto and mortadella to American baked ham and rare roast beef. Now, hot heroes have been added to the repertoire, from a changing roster that can include a chicken parmesan hero, meatball hero, and novel chicken cutlet with mozzarella and pesto.
Note that the “parmesan” in “meatball parm” doesn’t refer to the cheese, but to the northern Italian city of Parma, where apparently cooks are fond of smothering things in melted cheese and tomato sauce.
The meatball parmesan hero at Faicco’s is a paragon of its type, with big meatballs cut in halves, a modest amount of gooey melting white cheese, and a zesty tomato sauce. The cost: $9, for a sandwich that feeds two at lunch with normal appetites or a good view of their own waistlines.
A line of heroes stands by the meat slicers, making heroes.