By Jano Tantongco
There’s a new hero in town, ready to save the day by piling on fresh, sliced meats and cheeses, paired with homemade sides. Village Hero, a new deli at 295 Main St. in Huntington village, launched with a soft opening on Monday, and is expected to celebrate a grand opening later this month.
Manager Mason James Salese, son of owner Michael Salese, explained that as soon as they saw the location available, they pounced on the opportunity.
“We needed a place in the village because of how busy it is,” said the 21-year-old manager. “There’s really nothing like this place in the village.”
The sandwich shop also offers a 10 percent discount to local heroes.
“We liked the idea of real village heroes: police, firemen, EMTs, veterans, doctors, nurses and teachers,” he said. “We wanted to give them a place where they could feel like they are really appreciated.”
The shop may be new, but the Salese family are no strangers to the industry. Frank Salese, Michael Salese’s father, opened Southdown Kitchen in 1967.
“Our family’s been surrounded by food for 50 years. The amount of experience that goes into it, the amount of insight, the amount of years of experience we have here alone is well over 50 years,” Mason James Salese said.
Before your hero, get in your greens with a fresh chopped salad ($8.50), including varieties like Caesar, house, Greek, club, spring, antipasto and grilled chicken. The Spring Salad features a mix of strawberries, plums and grapes with lettuce, topped with sliced almonds and balsamic vinaigrette, the salad delights the palate with a tantalizing blend of flavors.
Among the heros to be enjoyed is a customized version of the Chelsea’s hero ($9.75) from the menu. It featured Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey topped with swiss cheese and roasted peppers. The balsamic vinaigrette, with olive oil from the nearby Olive Tree, paired with the peppers to produce a swell of bold taste with a touch of sweetness. It’s paired with a side of potatoes adorned with bits of bacon and a homemade, crunchy coleslaw.
The specialty heros all take their names from former local bars and restaurants including the Artful Dodger, Lighthouse, Sunshines and Lion’s Cage.
Additionally featured on the menu is Sunny’s Mac ‘N Cheese ($8.25), named after Salese’s daughter. It’s served in a fresh bread bowl, with offerings including classic cheddar, three cheese, bacon and chicken, seafood medley (market price), veggie, peppers and onion, and cheeseburger.
Also served are traditional sandwiches, wraps and small fare like French fries and onion rings. Breakfast sandwiches are available all day, with a variety of breads, egg offerings and toppings.
The Village Hero
295 Main Street, Huntington Village
Cuisine: American Deli Classics
Atmosphere: Traditional Hero Shop
Hours: Monday-Sunday 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.