The purpose-built Pasta Deli at Glynde is an upsized version of Pasta Deli at Burnside Village: a pulsating 500sqm hive of food production and consumption.
Former Fasta Pasta chef and franchisor Frank Taddeo is behind the operation. Wearing a white hairnet and not a shred of embarrassment, he moves from behind the kitchen door with a tray of fresh pastries, to operating the stainless-steel machines at the deli counter to make pasta and slice prosciutto, to entertaining customers as he stops beside their tables to chat and pick up dishes.
To create this monolith to food, Taddeo and his wife Anna Scuteri acquired the old Glynde fire station on Glynburn Road, gutted it, added a four-storey building and spent $13 million fitting out the entire space with multiple state-of-the-art kitchen facilities, as well as areas dedicated to staff training, retail sales and café service.
Pasta Deli closed the original production and sales facility at St Morris and opened Glynde Pasta Deli in Febuary 2014. It provides a takeaway outlet for fresh salads, ready-made pasta dishes, pizza slices and panini, but is also much more. Everything you see in the store is prepared or cooked on-site by a team of 49 people – including 13 chefs – to produce a broader offering for people with dietary restrictions, daily roasts, more diversity in the bread and pasta, more continental cakes, biscuits and gelati, as well as seating for around 80 diners at long benches and smaller tables.
“Everything is made here, except the smallgoods, cheese and drinks,” says Taddeo.
There is no menu and no alcohol, with no plans for a licence. “It’s a family restaurant and it’s all about the food,” explains Taddeo. “We buy what is fresh and affordable, and we embrace homemade, local and clean food that is organic and free-range. We don’t use any preservatives or flavour enhancers.
“It was my wife Anna’s idea. She was a school teacher and saw many children with allergies. We wanted to cater for the elderly also, so it has to be affordable. It’s Jamie Oliver stuff.”
Being Italian and being located at Glynde, Pasta Deli has a distinct Italian style,” says Taddeo.
“This area is full of Italians, so the culture here is Italian.
“Customers will bring in their excess lemons, apricots and apples and we swap; it’s the Italian way. We’re doing what we know.”
The serves are enormous. And the food is good. Ask for a serve of roast chicken and vegetables ($14.90) and your plate is piled high with half a chicken and enough vegetables for two. A bowl of hand-rolled gnocchi Amatriciana ($16.90) is filled with tender potato dumplings that are each more than a mouthful. The chicken breast in the chicken parmigiana ($14.90) is the plumpest we’ve ever seen. And the freshly made panini ($6.90) are close to a foot long. Taddeo says that he often sees couples sharing, and we saw a few doggy bags going home.
How does he balance the books at those prices? “I’m all about the numbers,” says Taddeo. “And we work.” Both he and Scuteri work seven days a week. He says Pasta Deli serves around 400 customers each week day and up to 900 on Saturdays. “We’re selling 200 zeppole a day.”
The ordering system and till is automated in such a way that each serve of salad or pasta that is sold is recorded. As soon as something starts to run low, the kitchen is alerted so the chefs can start preparing another batch.
“This concept doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world,” says Taddeo. “We designed it down to every cable; each tap runs with filtered water – it’s been the biggest challenge of my life.”
He has plans to add a juice bar and home deliveries in the near future, and a proposal for a second store of the same size is in the pipeline.
Favourite dish: Prosciutto panini ($6.90). A fresh-baked olive-oil panini is filled with organic and free-range Princi prosciutto, slices of Casa del Formaggio bocconcini made just around the corner, and slices of fresh tomato and basil drizzled with locally made olive oil. The panini bread is similar in texture to brioche but much lighter.
Other dishes: Roast pork loin ($14.90) with a choice of hot or cold vegetables. Arancini balls (large $3.30 each) – balls of Arborio rice filled with Bolognese sauce and cheese and deep fried until golden. Fettuccine with SA gulf prawns, sautéed zucchini and roasted roma tomato ($18.90). Chicken tortellini with sautéed mushrooms, white wine, cream and parmigiano reggiano ($15.90).
Something sweet/to drink: Ofcourse we had to try the custard cream zeppole ($3.90). The plain zeppole are $2.50 each. But the Sicilian casatta ($3.90) is a real specialty: a soft shell of green marzipan filled with ricotta and fruit. Taddeo says Pasta Deli is the only place that makes it in Adelaide and that he has one customer who likes it so much he gets it flown to Dubai. The coffee was excellent.
Open seven days from 8am to 7pm.
31-33 Glynburn Road, Glynde, 8365 0539
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