It’s hard to miss Joey Zaza’s, an American-Italian-style sandwich bar on the St George’s Terrace strip. The bright yellow kiosk (formerly a Caffissimo) might be small, but it punches well above its weight with a menu of Italian- and Asian-inspired subs.
The impressive sandwich shop, which opened in 2020, is the brainchild of husband and wife Joe and Michelle Rechichi. The duo combined their names (Michelle’s maiden name is Xa, pronounced “Za”) and family recipes to create an extraordinary menu of Italian- and Asian-inspired subs. Joe’s family hails from Calabria in southern Italy and Michelle has Chinese and Vietnamese heritage.
Those influences certainly shines through in the menu. There’s the classic conti (layers of cold meats, cheese, roasted peppers, marinated eggplant and artichoke), the vego bossy eggplant parma panini (roasted eggplant, secret Napoli sauce, red pepper, mozzarella and romano cheese), and the banh mi-inspired razzle dazzle pork crackle filled with in-house porchetta, house pickles, chilli and crackle. Joe and Michelle believe no one should have to settle for sandwiches from the cabinet, so all the subs are made to order. There are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, too.
Signature Italian subs might include nonna’s famous meatballs and the mean boss parma. The integral Napoli sauce is cooked for five hours (Instagram posts have shown Joe’s family deep in sauce day) and the parmas are crumbed by hand. Joe’s nonna makes the meatballs and personally rolled 600 in opening week.
Joe’s nonna isn’t the only local supplier. The cold meats are from Mondo Doro, and sweet treats such as vanilla-frosted cinnamon scrolls are from Spirals Cinnamon. Coffee is from Dimattina.
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