Ever since I read Michael Mayo‘s 2017 South Florida Sun Sentinel review of Boca Raton’s V&S Italian Deli (https://www.vandsdeli.com/), I desperately wanted to go to there, except I’m almost never in South Florida anymore. Even on the rare occasions I get to visit my parents down in Kendall (the boring Miami suburb where I grew up), Boca is still over an hour north of there, and over three hours south of where I live. But a while back, pre-pandemic, while I had a quick-turnaround work trip to Miami. It was a perfect opportunity to make a lunch detour at V&S on my way back to Orlando, since it’s only about ten minutes off I-95. Long-time Saboscrivnerinos know how much I love a good Italian sub, and how delis are my absolute favorite, so I was very glad I drove a little out of my way.
V&S (named for co-founders Vinnie and Sal Falcone*) has been in operation since 1985, in a small storefront space along US-1, also known as North Federal Highway, in Boca. They serve Boar’s Head and Citterio meats and cheeses in their huge, overstuffed sandwiches, and also sell them by the pound. They also feature salads, pasta dishes, and Italian desserts like cannoli. I would have loved to bring home more stuff to try, but I had that three-hour drive ahead of me, and it ended up taking over four due to stopping for this lunch and hitting rough rush hour traffic once I finally hit Orlando.
Beautiful cured meats, just waiting to be sliced by true sandwich craftsmen:
So I ordered two cold subs loaded with cured Italian meats, cheeses, and tasty vegetables, figuring they would hold up okay in the car without spoiling, and would probably even get better over time, with the ingredients melding and marinating together. I devoured half of each of them while sitting at one of the six stools at the little lunch counter in V&S (back when you could do such a thing, but they also have a few small outside tables for those attempting it now), and brought the other halves home for later — a standard Saboscrivner style whenever I visit a new, faraway sandwich joint.
I got the V&S Special, with sopressata, mortadella with pistachios, and provolone, and the Italian Combo, with genoa salami, capicola (GABBAGOOL!), and provolone. I loved how thin the very patient Nick sliced all the meats, fresh for both sandwiches. They both came dressed with finely-shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, thin-sliced onions, hot and sweet peppers, on fresh-baked crusty Italian rolls covered with sesame seeds. I saw they also offered softer Cusano’s rolls, which my beloved local LaSpada’s uses, but I figured for an extra quarter each, go with the fresh bread. Each sandwich cost $13.86 after tax and the minor upcharges of the fresh bread and hot and sweet peppers.
And as if there was any doubt, they held up fine on the long drive back to Orlando, and were even MORE delicious the next day:
V&S is a tiny treasure in Boca Raton, the kind of Italian deli I just love. We’re so lucky here in Orlando to have some real options for great Italian sandwiches: LaSpada’s, Stasio’s, Manzano’s, Tornatore’s, and Bad As’s Sandwich whenever they bring back the Capone sandwich. But I’d add V&S to my regular rotation if it was closer, or if I was. If you’re ever driving on I-95 through Broward or Palm Beach County and find yourself near the Yamato Road exit, definitely make a detour. And if you already live in the area, you’re officially on notice! Next time, though, I’m gonna leave more cash and take the cannoli.
*I draw attention to the names of the founders in part because I have occasionally used the name “Vincent Falcone” as an alias or fake name at random times throughout my life. It’s just a cool-ass name, right? I can think of only one of my regular readers (my best friend) who will grasp the significance and know the backstory, but I’ll be amazed and astonished if any other stalwart, steadfast Saboscrivnerinos figure it out.