Marzilli’s Bakery | Fall River Flavor | Bakery Bests

Review by: Michael Stern

Sit-Down Bakery

Fall River Flavor includes some great Portuguese-accented bakeries. In them you find sweet snacks and breads to take home, as well as fried malasadas, which are a cultural cognate of beignets. But in this part of the world, another kind of bakery thrives. I’m talking about the kind of bakery where you can sit down and enjoy not just pastries, but a savory meal.

Italian, Portuguese, Yankee

For example, step into Marzilli’s. A sign outside reads “Grinder – Pizza.” The menu resembles ones you find in casual, sleeves-up, Mediterranean-menu eateries throughout Southern New England. People come to eat pizza and submarine sandwiches. In this region, from Connecticut through some of Rhode Island and southernmost Massachusetts, eaters call those big sub sandwiches grinders. Marzilli’s has all that, but with a distinct flavor unique to the area around Fall River. In this place, calzones are called chourico rolls. They come filled with crumbled sausage. Here also you will find South Coast stuffies (stuffed quohog clams), kale soup, and Portuguese custard tarts.

Pizza Is a Tray and a Slice is a Square

Pizza comes bakery-style, medium-thin like focaccia. Folks call it a tray. People eating on premises buy their pizza by the individual piece, known as a square. Traditionally, people eat a square without cheese on it, at room temperature. Other than chourico, nobody gets their square with pizza toppings.

Grinder Choices

Grinders come on soft, fresh loaves that are delicious in and of themselves. You have a choice of three sizes, the largest being a good two feet long. The choice of grinder ingredients reflects Fall River flavor in full glory. Of course, you can have a full chord of Italian cold cuts dressed with oil and vinegar. Chourico earns local loyalty. How about a grinder of chourico, chips and cheese? A Thanksgiving grinder complete with turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce? Veal and cheese? Steak and onions? Broccoli rabe and sausage? Last time I looked, the menu listed 30 different grinders.

What To Eat

Pizza Slice

Chourico Roll


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