Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tortellini Originali, Half Moon Bay, California

There comes a time in every man’s life when he’s decided he’s experienced the best “whatever” in his life; the best martini, the best massage, the best book. Recently, on a trip to California, I had a Best Sandwich Experience. As my portly nature would lead you to believe, I have had a few really tasty sandwiches in my life…then came “The Louie”. At Tortellini Originali in Half Moon Bay, California I had the best sandwich I have ever had.
Tucked away in a small strip center, Tortellini Originali is a shiny diamond waiting for you to find it. Here’s a little back story about the place. Granddad started a bakery in San Francisco. He made the wedding cake for Jumpin’ Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe. He didn’t take a picture of them because he wasn’t star struck. He thought they were just a ball player and a blond. I love that! Dad took over for him and added the deli and moved to Half Moon Bay. Annalisa Miranda, the daughter, took over day to day operations with mom and dad still involved. Dad still makes all the pastries. Oh dear, the pastries! More on that later. It has all the atmosphere of a classic Italian deli with meats and cheeses, olive oil, fresh baked bread, and pastries. They also have a menu posted with some wonderful Italian deli fare including the best sandwich in the world “The Louie.”
The Louie seems pretty basic according to the ingredients listed on the menu. Breaded chicken cutlet, grilled onions, mozzarella, sun dried tomato, and arugula on either sweet bread or sourdough bread. What isn’t listed is how it’s seasoned and prepared. I opted for the sweet bread which hadn’t quite made it out of the oven when I ordered. To tide me over, Annalisa brought a little sourdough bread and butter to munch on. It was delicious, but I was anxious to bite into the sandwich.  It wasn’t long before the bread was done in the oven and the chef had masterfully put this monster together. The cutlet was pounded flat and lightly breaded with seasoned crumbs and fried in a light tasting oil. The chicken was laid upon a thick slab of fresh gooey mozzarella and topped with seasoned grilled onions and sun dried tomatoes. To top it off, they added crisp green arugula. I took my first bite hoping for a decent sandwich to end a great day at the beach. What I got was a tasty explosion that caused me to make a face like Guy Fieri makes after he tastes everything, that “Holy Mother of God, this is incredible” look. Since I have taken a vow to not stuff myself at every meal, I ate half of the sandwich and took the rest with me for later…which I ate heartily as a midnight snack. The Louie has lovingly entered my Food Hall of Fame right at the top.
To round out the great day my family and I were having, I told everyone to go find a pastry in the display. I am a sucker for lemony things so I got the lemon cream puff. It was the exact right thing to have after the world’s best sandwich. The whole meal, with bottled water, was completely reasonable. My wife, daughter and I had an outstanding meal for a little more than fast food and a little less than a sit down restaurant. If I lived on the West Coast, I would make it a point to travel down Highway 1 to visit Tortellini Originali again and again.

Again, they are located in Half Moon Bay, 225 Cabrillo Hwy, Suite 102C. Phone is 650-712-1408 or 415-286-0042. Go to there! Take in the beach and the ocean, and then go have some great Italian! Ciao. 
Here is the link to their Facebook page. Go like them!

See more reviews at