PARMA deli: Italian sandwiches and third wave coffee in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Something’s buzzing in Old Saint-Jean! On Richelieu Street, alongside the river of the same name, you’ll find a delightful gem for coffee and sandwich lovers: PARMA deli.

Launched in May 2023 by Mike St-Amand (former chef at Chien Fumant) and Glen Le Gall, both co-owners of the Glen Morgan pub and Bistro La Morgane a few steps away, PARMA deli revitalizes the neighbourhood’s culinary offerings with its delicious Italian sandwiches. Judging by the line in front of the counter at the time of our visit, it’s clear that the place has regulars in droves, which is always a good sign.

The small café can seat a dozen clients and offers a dozen choices of delicious Italian sandwiches on panini or focaccia bread, along with excellent homemade gnocchi in pomodoro sauce, served with or without meatballs. An extra burrata is also available for each of these options if indulgence is on the agenda.

At Chef Mike’s suggestion, we opted for the house specialty, the porchetta romana sandwich, with thin slices of pork reminiscent of pancetta – not to be confused with porchetta (a stuffed pork roast), also on the menu. Garnished with rapini, cipollini onions, bomba peppers, basil, and spicy oil, it was simply superb!

Italian sausage, prosciutto cotto, eggplant parmigiana, prosciutto, mortadella, salami, and meatballs round out the short menu.

For dessert, it’s hard to resist the “chewy & chunky” cookie, a big, decadent chocolate chip cookie. The secret to the recipe: pork tallow instead of butter and more chocolate than flour, the chef whispers to us.

Good to know: Wednesdays are cannoli day at PARMA deli. These little rolls of happiness come directly from San Pietro bakery in Montreal with the weekly delivery of fresh bread for the sandwiches.

For drinks, you can opt for an Italian soda (Sappi, Brio) or a delicious coffee from Escape Coffee, which you can also purchase by the bag. Mike tells us that Julius coffees in Bromont will also soon be available.

For a quick lunch or a picnic on the banks of the Richelieu, there’s nothing like a stop at PARMA deli.


Photography by Mikael Lebleu / PARMA deli

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