Arts & Leisure

Chow Lines: Sandwich bliss at Cortina’s

CORTINA’S in Anaheim has a warm, friendly dining room (Orange County Tribune photos).

By Jim and Marilyn Tortolano

When we make a list of the kind of eateries we’d like to see in our neighborhood, we add places like Cortina’s, a hip but warm Italian eatery-market with locations in Anaheim and Orange.

On the recommendation of a friend, we visited the Anaheim store.  Needless to say, we were not disappointed. Cortina’s has the perfect blend of a warm homey vibe and modern sophistication in presentation and marketing.

As you approach, you’ll see that the restaurant is on the right and the market on the left. Right away in the eatery, you find a no-nonsense but mouth-watering menu board with 26 sandwich choices. Additionally, there is a good selection of pizza, pasta and salad choices.

HAM (top) and pastrami sandwiches of the highest order at Cortina’s.

Fountain drinks are from a slick Stubborn Soda dispenser device with draught-style handles. The device is fun, but the drinks are superior; the root beer here makes the stuff you get from Carl’s or Burger King soda bars taste like Kool-Aid.

The dining room is pleasant and a bit crowded, given the popularity of the place. There are big screen TVs on the walls showing sports, and the east wall is exposed brick that lends an old style look to the place.

We ordered the pastrami sandwich (Jim) and the ham sandwich (Marilyn) and both were among the best we’d ever had.  The “homemade” Italian rolls were fresh and delicious, and the generous makings of the sandwiches were in a class by themselves. We felt ashamed for having eaten at fast food sandwich places and thought we had enjoyed those pale imitations.

The sandwiches are in 6-inch and 10-inch sizes, priced generally in the $7 and $10 range and well worth it. We haven’t tried their pizza yet, but plan on it. The adjacent market contains a stunning assortment of Italian goodies including a long counter of pastries such as Napoleons, tiramisu and canoli’s. No dieters need apply.

Cortina, which dates back to 1963, does catering and allows you to order online. Go to http://www.cortinasitalianfood.com.

Cortina’s Italian Market is located at 2175 Orange Ave. (just east of Brookhurst). Market hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed on Sunday). Eatery/pizzeria hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday (closed on Sunday).  Call (714) 535-1948.

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