PENNY GOURMET SAYS:
Written by Penny Gourmet
This is where the real Seacoast in-crowd dines - standing up. Now in his 27th
year making unique Italian take-out, Emilio Maddaloni is a Seacoast institution
- if you can find him.
87 Daniel Street, Portsmouth, NH
Open Tues-Sat to 5pm
Closed when Emllio feels like it
Emilio sells lunches and Italian groceries from a one-room shop across from the
US Post Office on Daniel Street - when he's in the mood. If he's not, look for
a piece of wood blocking the window and a locked door.
The sign in the window reads: "Sorry, We're Open!"
Visitors who don't want to make conversation should stay away. Emilio likes to
banter with the customers, and may ask probing psychological questions, offer
advice, tell a joke or sing a song. It's all part of the service. His slogan:
"Our lunch is an Emilio in itself!"
Political exiles from Massachusetts, Emilio and his wife Linda (often seen in
the back room) feed the stomachs, hearts and minds of a loyal crowd of regulars.
In his day, Emilio has been honored in a rap album, featured on the PBS special
"Ciao Italian" and quoted in countless newspaper accounts and recipe books. When
Hillary Clinton visited the shop during husband Bill's initial presidential run
in NH, Emilio told her to keep her eye on him - just as the Jennifer Flowers scandal
broke. This clip even appears in a filmed documentary.
We cannot recommend a meal, since we never know what Emilio will offer. Go for
the Italian tuna if the calzones and pizza are sold out. Frequent favorites include
artichokes, pasta fagioli, beans and rice with spicy beef, meatball or "eggmeat"
subs (eggplant and meatball - our invention), risotto, polenta, "four wheel drives",
fishcakes or, in summer, the "Prescott Park Special", a mixture of whatever is
available ready to take to the waterfront. There may be chutney, salsa, chili,
cold beets, a humus tahini, potato kale soup, rarely a turkey soup, beans, beans
and more beans. Did we mention that we eat here almost every day?
READ: Digitizing Emilios in AS I PLEASE
Photosby J. Dennis Robinson, Allrightsreserved.
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