WILMINGTON — In an apparent first for the region, you can now eat a sausage sandwich served by an Italian American singing into a headset from his food truck.
When Dominic ‘Dom’ Pirozzolo was trying to figure how to make his business stand out in a crowded market, he kept thinking back to an Italian restaurant he used to visit in New York City.
“I’ve been singing my whole life, and I wanted to do something different,” Pirozzolo said. “I used to go to Mama Leone’s when I was young, in Manhattan, and they had the people walking around singing at the tables. You paid them five bucks and they sang. And I always thought that was cool.”
He later discovered a restaurant in Orlando, Florida that employed singing waiters. When the time came he decided to incorporate two of the things he loves most — music and Italian food — into the Cape Fear region’s newest food truck, Papadom’s Singing Sangwich Truck, which launched last Friday.
The menu features a classic Italian sausage roll from an old family recipe. In 1906, the Pirozzolos emigrated from Italy to a town called Elmira near the Finger Lakes of central New York. When he was a kid, his family served homemade sausage at the Italian American Veterans Club and at their annual church festival.
“It was a very popular sausage recipe in my hometown,” Pirozzolo said.
Also on the menu is a slow-roasted pork sandwich inspired by what Pirozzolo calls a fusion of Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban cooking methods. He also serves Cuban sandwiches using the same pork.
And there is Pirozzolo’s version of the spiedie sandwich — so popular in central and western New York that a festival has been held in it’s honor in Binghamton, where it originated, every year for more than 35 years. The sandwich is made of marinated chicken, lamb, pork, or beef that has been cooked on skewers and served on a hoagie roll.
“It’s the Italian version of shish kabob,” Pirozzolo said.
Asked if it was natural for him to sing and cook at the same time, Pirozzolo replied, “Yeah, I come from an Italian family.” He’s been cooking since he was 10 years old, he said, when his grandmother and dad were showing him around the kitchen. In the late 70s and early 80s he sang in a few bands around Elmira, and ever since he’s stayed involved as a DJ.
Pirozzolo’s love of music is evident when you call the number listed on the menu — instead of a normal ringtone one is greeted with the lyrics of “Walking in Memphis.”
For now he’s “hitting the bricks” looking for venues while he puts together a schedule, he said, and he’ll focus on breweries in Wilmington (he served at Waterline Brewing Company on Monday night) and other venues throughout the Cape Fear region.
Pirozzolo lives in Winnabow, about 10 miles southwest of Wilmington.
View the menu below (click to enlarge):
Reporter Mark Darrough can be reached at Mark@Localvoicemedia.com or (970) 413-3815