April 26, 2012

Mazzaro's Italian Market - St. Petersburg

Mazzaro's is an Italian market located at 2909 22nd Avenue North in St. Pete. The market features a coffee bar, bakery, gourmet imports, deli, wine, and more...

At least the [super busy] parking lot is fun!

Angels at Mazzaros?

The entrance - rare to catch it with no people around

No Mazzaro's after 6 or on Sundays. Bummer!

A large selection of pre-made heat and eat foods are available daily. The deli counter offers several sandwiches and wraps made to order, both hot and cold. Popular selections include the Muffuletta (ham, mortadella, salami, pepperoni, and provolone), the huge Meatball Sub with Sauce, the ever changing Sandwich of the Week, and Friday's Big Fish Sandwich (tomato, romaine lettuce, onion, provolone, and Caribbean sauce or lemon basil romelade sauce). Keep reading for tips on how to get your sandwich order quickly.

When it comes to Mazzaro's Italian Market there are 3 types of people:

1) Those who have no idea it exists
2) Fans of Mazzaro's who visit whenever possible (some every day!)
3) First time visitors - from St. Pete or from around the world

Here are some tips for "newbies" to this local hot spot:

Be aware of peak times! 
Mazzaro's is always packed during lunch hours (11-2). Be aware that there will be a lot of shoppers/diners, a busy parking lot, and a bit of a wait time for your food and checkout. This is especially true on Saturdays!

Know before you go! 
View the lunch menu online and join their Facebook page to hear about the daily specials. Don't take up valuable waiting space trying to decide what you want to have for lunch.

Listen for your number! 
When you are ready to order at the deli/sandwich counter or bakery, grab a number. Do not grab a number until you (and your whole group) are ready to order! While it may look like there are a lot of people, the staff works hard to make wait times minimal. Your number will be called faster than you think to place your order. Your number will be called again when your order is ready. Do not wonder too far from the area, in case your number is called. The quicker you pick up your food, the better for everyone around.

Be patient! 
One of my biggest observations is that people get mad and impatient while waiting for their orders. The cold sandwiches obviously have a much shorter wait time than the hot sandwiches. They will not call your number for pickup until your entire order is completed. Do not bug the staff and say "what about my number, I was here first?" If #55 has 3 cold sandwiches, and you are #33 with 3 hot sandwiches, don't be surprised if #55 gets their order first. Relax! This is not "fast" food.

Call ahead!
If you are in a hurry, or are generally just impatient (see above), call in your sandwich order ahead of time. When the time comes, go to the Pick Up side and tell them your number. Your order will be prepared and ready for you to take it back to the office or home. And for goodness sakes, if you are ordering for the whole office, call ahead! (727) 321-2400

Be strategic!
Baskets and carts are located at the entrance of Mazzaro's. Pick up a basket as you walk in, because you will walk away with more than 2 items! If you order more than 1 sandwich, have a basket handy to carry them to the patio or to the register. If you are with a group, send someone to grab a table outside, and another to get drinks and/or dessert while another waits for the sandwich order. The drink case is located to the right of the patio entrance, or tea is available on the patio.

Relax and enjoy!
Mazzaro's is a one of a kind place in St. Pete. Go in with plenty of time available to browse everything the store has to offer. Stroll through the wine and cheese area, browse the fresh made pasta, and stop and smell the coffee! There is something for everyone inside. If it is busy, be kind and considerate to those around you. The space can get tight, but just enjoy!

Fresh produce welcomes you into the market

What's for dinner tonight?

So much olive oil, so little time

My favorite part.

Mazzaro's is open 9-6 on weekdays and 9-2:30 on Saturday.

Check out what others are saying about Mazzaro's on UrbanSpoon:
Mazzaro's Italian Market on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

  1. I love this place!! I always feel like I am running for my life....but the food is worth it!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the heads up with the menu link

    ReplyDelete