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The Avenue Delicatessen: Jewish-Italian fusion in Lansdowne

Laura Frangiosa is Italian. Joshua Skaroff is Jewish. So's the food.

Laura Frangiosa is Italian. Husband Joshua Skaroff is Jewish.

The Avenue Delicatessen - a retro-looking sitdown/takeout/catering operation they opened last week at 27 N. Lansdowne Ave. in Lansdowne (610-622-3354) with friend Brian Flounders - is both.

As in, straightforward Jewish cooking (house-cured corned beef) and Italian cooking (meatballs), as well as a fusion that you might term "Jewtalian." Jewish wedding soup, a riff on Italian wedding soup, includes "sinker"-style matzo balls, mini-veal meatballs and escarole. Reuben arancini are those familiar fried rice balls but they're stuffed with chunks of house-brined corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. The lineup of knishes includes hot dog/mustard/onion and broccoli/leek.

Everything is made from scratch, including the mayo (but not the Heinz ketchup), says Frangiosa, chef-in-residence at Audrey Claire's Cook demo kitchen, working with chef Becca O'Brien, formerly of Green Aisle Grocery.

So, as Frangiosa says, it's not a "cold-cut hut."

Go early. The locals are jamming the lunch counter and dining room, which seat about 50.

Check the menu here. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.