Catch an Italian break down at the market – Metro US

Catch an Italian break down at the market

Lina’s Italian Market

  • 2202 Centre St. N.E.
  • 403-277-9166
  • Hours of operation: Weekdays 9 a.m.-7 p.m., weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Rating: ***
  • Reservations: No

Picking up Italian groceries becomes much more pleasurable when you can sit down and enjoy a grilled panini, hot cappuccino and sweet gelato at Lina’s Italian Market.

Using meats and cheeses from Lina’s deli, half a dozen paninis are on offer for less than $8. The tantalizing Calabrese mixes hot salami with provolone and spicy marinated eggplant, while a roasted pork sandwich is also popular.

Basic thin-crust pizzas ($5.95) — from pepperoni and cheese to anchovy and olive — the size of dinner plates are heated to order. The underlying tomato sauce is sweet but overall, the pizza is a tad bland.

Seeing kids around me gleefully sink their teeth into creamy pastries, I end my lunch with a cannoli. The fried pastry tube stuffed with ricotta and chocolate is satisfyingly crunchy, sweet and creamy.

Ordering can be chaotic — separate lines for sandwiches, pizzas and gelato; one line for paying — but staff are friendly.