Sandwiches at Morucci’s Si Mangia Bene, Walnut Creek

by foodhoe on May 26, 2011

1218 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek | 925.939.2426
hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 7pm; Sat-Sun 8am – 5pm

This hidden gem is located on such an obscure backroad that feels like you have taken a wrong turn.  It’s less than half a mile from downtown but you drive through a quiet residential section which winds through a forest that eventually opens into a commercial stretch.  There we saw the unassuming sign, behind a patio crowded with tables and were able to park right in front.  Ahhh the suburbs… Despite the remote location, there is almost always a line because Morucci’s makes some rocking good sandwiches.  We found this on Yelp, where they have a 4.5 star rating with 261 reviews.  Their sandwich menu has an unusual numbering system.  Some of the most popular items are #00, #1-1/2, #6-1/2, #6-3/4 and #16-1/2.  While you stand in line, you can lose yourself in the quaint mural of the Italian coastline, or you can peer into the deli case and admire the mounds of salads, meats, cheese and other delicious looking prepared foods.

The line to order can be long.  Once you order at the back counter, you go to the front register to pay, then you stand around and wait for your food.  The line moves along fairly quickly, there are shelves jammed with pretty much every known addictive chip on the market along with sundry snacks, and bags of some cookies thrown in.  By the register are evil display cases full of delicious looking sweets and treats to torment you while you wait for your sandwich…  However, be warned that my co-worker Chris got a red velvet whoopie pie and said that it was soggy and not that good.

The sandwich assembly line is well organized, the rolls are all cut and stacked up, ready to run through the toaster

This is my favorite so far.  #6-1/2. Prosciutto w/Tomato Mozzarella ($6.99) fresh mozarella, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Italian herbs, layered with thinly sliced imported prosciutto with roasted red bell peppers and pesto served on a ciabatta.  This particular sandwich is sure to rouse even the most jaded tastebuds.

The #8 Hot Steamed Pastrami and Melted Swiss ($6.75), is also very addictive.  Piles of steamed pastrami gooey with melted swiss cheese surrounded with crusty sourdough roll.

Le Reuben, piles of tender salty meat layered with sauerkraut, slices of red onion, crunchy sprouts and drizzled with creamy thousand island dressing.

#9 Veggie Delite ($5.99) hummus (ground garbanzo beans), shredded lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, carrots and sprouts on whole wheat.  We found it to be a bit on the bland side.  I was hoping for a replacement to the Noah’s version which is no longer on the menu…

#11 Popeye & Olive Oil ($6.99) sliced turkey layered with pesto, provolone cheese, chopped artichoke hearts and briney kalamata olives, fresh sliced tomatoes and fresh spinach on a baguette.  The flavors are brightened with a drizzle of flavorful vinaigrette.

The #16 Warm slices of Tri-tip combined with melted cheese and Italian peppers.

This is the High Maintenance Salad ($9), a bed of spring mix with a mountain of grilled chicken breast cubes, thick slices of bacon, avocado, slices of cucumber, avocado, tomato topped with mozzarella and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, pepperoncinis and sprouts.

The Greek Salad ($9) was recommended to me by a woman who leaned over conspiratorily while standing in line and told me that she always orders this to go because it is too much to eat.  It was.  A bed of chopped romaine lettuce topped with chunks of grilled chicken breast, tomato, slices of cucumber and red onion, handfuls of kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese.  Got the balsamic vinaigrette on the side, which was a little sweet for me, but was tempered by the briney olives and feta cheese.

While the environment of the restaurant leaves something to be desired, and the long lines suck, the food served here is quite delicious and worth all that waiting around.  Morucci’s is really good food and is definitely in the lunchtime rotation.  Which is why you can look forward to trying the famous lasagne sandwich, and the BLT which is served on a flaky croissant…

Morucci's Si Mangia Bene on Urbanspoon

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa May 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

Glorious sandwiches!

Cheers,

Rosa

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grace May 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm

those are some big honkin’ sandwiches! colorful, too. nice find!

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Bonnibella May 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Great find! I visit my cousin in Walnut Creek occasionally and always looking for a great lunch place. I think the pastrami is calling my name.

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