If the name Salumeria Cinque Soldi is too much of a mouthful, just call it what it is: The shop, which lies just north of the Duffy Roll Cafe on South Pearl Street, is Denver's answer to the Italian-American deli. Executive chef Tom Willis has the gruffness, the what-da-ya-want attitude, but also the wherewithal to steer you in the right direction.
When I visited a couple weeks ago, I was undecided, toying between two "wicked awesome grindahs:" the Italian tuna with red onions and tomatoes and a stacked Italian. Willis, sensing my ambivalence, suggested the make-your-own option. I acquiesced and away he went, building a sandwich the way he would want it. The final product: Ciabatta stuffed with strands of porchetta (succulent, long-braised pork roast), bitter broccoli rabe, and fried peppers. The hefty sandwich (pictured) isn't on the menu, but it should be.
Background: Salumeria Cinque Soldi is the retail offshoot of Il Mondo Vecchio Salumi & Artisan Foods, a local curing facility run by Genaro DeSantis and Mark DeNittis. And while many of the meats (the coppa, the Portuguese lingucia, the prosciutto) are Il Mondo Vecchio's, the case is rounded out by mortadella, headcheese, and bierwurst from Denver-based Continental Sausage. Plus: Cheeses, house-made condiments (don't miss the giardinera), baguettes, pastas, salads, and pastries.
1284 S. Pearl St., 303-996-6400