|At Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood on Friday afternoon, there were free samples at stations throughout the store, including hard and soft cheeses, bread, crackers and focaccia, above and below.|
|At other stations on Friday, customers could sample farm-fresh milk, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can try Italian wines.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
When I'm in Englewood once or twice a week, I always try to stop at Jerry's Gourmet & More for a delicious Italian takeout dinner at an unbeatable price.
I usually don't get to the specialty food store until late in the afternoon, so I make a beeline for the refrigerated case holding the complete dinners, called Meals To Go, which are marked down to $5.99 from $7.99 after 4 p.m., if there are any left.
On Friday afternoon, I could choose between dinners with grilled branzino or tilapia, along with vegetable dumplings, cooked carrots with garlic; and two salads, snap peas and fava beans with walnuts.
I grabbed a branzino dinner, and then set out to have a few appetizers, courtesy of Jerry's, before paying and driving home.
I tried a half-dozen cheeses, three or four slivers of focaccia, farm milk and crackers.
If it's from Italy and you can eat it or drink it, you usually can find it at Jerry's, 410 S. Dean St., Englewood (201-871-7108).
Jerry's Meals To Go also are available on weekends.
|One of the samples was a spicy Wasabi Gouda ($4.99 a pound), a different take on green cheese.|
|Jerry's own Neapolitan-style Pizza Margherita was $5.99.|
|After 4 on Friday afternoon, the remaining Meals To Go were marked down with a $5.99 sticker. The restaurant-quality dinners are said to be prepared from Jerry's family recipes.|
|At home, I plated the Grilled Branzino with Balsamico and Cherry Tomatoes; vegetable dumplings, snap peas and carrots, and reheated them for 2 minutes in a microwave. I also poured a glass of red wine.|
|My takeout dinner also included a Fava Bean Salad with fresh fava, walnuts, arugula, fennel, radish and radicchio, and I ate that cold from a separate plate. This is a great salad, but I've never seen it on a restaurant menu.|
|I also purchased a 20-ounce container of pitted olives for only $3.99.|