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For the Quintessential Italian Shopping Experience: “B & A Pork Store”

I was born from an Italian mother and an Irish father. But as my Aunt Anna once told me: “you are Italian and your brother is Irish”. You didn’t know my aunt but trust me you didn’t argue you with her, and if you did you didn’t win. So I took this as my truth to my core. 

My Italian side has always been the dominant side. Being Italian and the big family that came along with it has taught me everything I know about life, love, compassion, and strength. It has also given me the ability to know a good piece of cheese, bread, or pastry when I see it. 

Thus I have spent many years perfecting my list of where I can find what I love most to eat. 

B & A Pork Store is the latest addition on that list. 

As per usual Instagram is making me drool. 

This unassuming Italian delicatessen in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, first opened in 1976 and sells literally everything one could desire for a quick lunch, dinner prep, or holiday feast. 

Upon entering I almost had a panic attack because I didn’t know where to look or what to order first. 

Well, that is not entirely true. 

Thanks to their Instagram account I knew I had to have an eggplant parm panini with vodka sauce. I also knew I was getting some of their infamous mozzarella carrozza, which for all of you none Italians, is a mozzarella stick in the shape of a square that is infinity better than the version you are the most familiar with. Then I ordered two rice balls because I loved fried balls of rice. Lastly, there was a package of chicken rollatini that would become dinner two days later that only required me to pop it in the oven and cut up some potatoes and scallions for a side. 

The panini was still warm when I got home and I could only eat half it was so hardy. But when I did eat it, it was even better than it had looked, and it looked GOOD. This is easily my most favorite eggplant parm meal I have ever had. I will be going back whenever I am remotely in the area just to get one to go. 

However, I could not wait for the drive home to dive into the other treat I purchased. That fried block of delicious cheese got sampled the moment I got back into my car. It was heaven! As are most things that are fried and filled with cheese.

Much later on I popped the rice balls into the microwave and enjoyed them as a small snack. 

When I did cook the chicken rollatini it was different from any other I have ever seen, and I mean that as a compliment. It was filled with cheese, spinach, and I believe delicate but robust pieces of prosciutto that gave it a hint of a smokey flavor. 

Those familiar with this area will also remember this neighborhood for its spectacular Christmas decorations. When I was a child we would just drive around looking at all of the lights and elaborate displays. 

These sights and sounds have become such a draw that there is now an official tour of the area. With the holiday season already beginning in stores there is no better time to plan your visit and a stop for a snack on the way.

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