Photos and Words by the Trio
When we think of the North End, we picture big bowls of spaghetti bolognese, heaping plates of chicken parmigiana, and outrageous cannolis from Mike’s (or Modern Pastry, as Jordan and many other Bostonians will contest). Little did we know that unassumingly nestled among other amazing Italian restaurants on Salem Street, The Trio’s new favorite lunch spot was waiting to be discovered, Pauli’s.
Pauli himself is a true Bostonian. He started working at his family’s food business in the North End when he was only eight years old. He prides himself and his restaurant on “food that’s always served wicked fresh, that always tastes crazy good and that doesn’t cost a lot of money.” With this approach, The Trio couldn’t wait to see what Pauli had in store for them.
As is typical for North End restaurants, Pauli’s is a bit squeezed for space. One wall has a few tables pushed up against it, while another is stuffed with assorted beverages and chips. At the front is the altar itself, the sandwich counter. Above and to the side of the counter are seemingly hundreds of menu options that coat the walls. Though this can be overwhelming for some, nobody likes to peruse a menu more than The Trio. We took our time to read each option and make our selections.
Ever since starting school in Boston, Jordan's grandma (affectionately called G-ma) has been on a quest to find the best lobster roll. Being the good granddaughter she is, Jordan made the sacrifice and ordered Pauli’s famous Lobster Roll. A classic buttered and toasted hot dog roll was filled to the brim with fresh lobster lightly coated in mayonnaise. Jordan appreciated Pauli’s delicate treatment of the lobster and that it wasn't overdressed. Because of this, Jordan was able to savor the sweetness and freshness of the lobster. After every single bite was devoured, Jordan immediately texted G-ma to tell her that she had found the next restaurant they needed to roll through.
Always up for classic Italian food and plays on words, Amanda went for the Pauli-tician. Feeling particularly nostalgic just before Thanksgiving, Amanda chose a sandwich that made her think of home. As most of her family memories were made around a table, Amanda always associates chicken cutlets with an Aunt on her Mom’s side of the family, and prosciutto with her Grandpa on her Dad’s side. Add some fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to the mix, and it’s no wonder that Amanda loved this sandwich. The generous amount of meat and Caprese ingredients came together to make a monster of an Italian sandwich.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Marisa ordered the Turporkey. It just might be the biggest sandwich she had ever eaten (of course, this didn’t stop her from eating the whole thing). The whole wheat wrap was filled with oven-roasted turkey, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and- last but not least- cranberry mayo. Digging into the Turporkey was like taking a bite out of Thanksgiving. The turkey was fresh and delicious, but the perfectly crispy bacon and sweet cranberry mayo were the stars of the show. The sandwich made Marisa even more excited to go home for Thanksgiving and all of the delicious food that comes with it.
Pauli’s certainly lived up to its owner’s philosophy. Our sandwiches were tasty, fresh, and, some would say, “wicked good.” The next time The Trio goes to the North End, it might not be JUST for the cannolis. We’ll definitely be stopping for some sandwiches at Pauli’s before we head over to Hanover Street to satisfy our sweet tooths.
**Our sandwiches were provided courtesy of Pauli’s, but this article only contains the honest and true opinions of The Trio.**