‘Watts for Dinner’: The arresting flavor of ‘Frankie’s Felon’

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is Frankie's Authentic Italian Deli in South Naples. Frankie’s is in the shopping center with Walmart, close to the 951/41 intersection.

I was happy to see the deli doing brisk business this Monday afternoon. I worry, as this pandemic has closed so many good places. But fewer in Southwest Florida than most. We know how to support businesses here.

There are two things I look for in a place that calls itself an “authentic Italian deli.” Stacked subs and chewy pizza. And Frankie’s has both in abundance.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Mango's offers Great food and relaxing waterside dining

From the specialty hot subs menu, my dining companion picked the latest addition to the menu, “Frankie’s Felon,” ($15.95) featuring sliced ribeye, mozzarella, grilled onion, mushrooms, and peppers. This sandwich earned high praise. So much ribeye. The absolute perfect toppings. I’m guessing it will be sticking around. I highly recommend it.

From the specialty cold subs menu, I selected the “Frankie’s Chicken Cutlet” ($14.95) featuring lightly breaded chicken, fresh mozzarella, arugula, roasted peppers, and a balsamic glaze. I love this sandwich. The all-white meat chicken is piled high with a generous serving of thick mozzarella. And it all goes so well with the toppings. Pure sandwich heaven.

And the bread on both. Fresh, chewy, and delicious!

From the pizza menu, we ordered the #25, the “Pizza Calabrese” ($23.95) featuring prosciutto, garlic, and olives. As regular readers will note, I’m not a big fan of ham. But I was told I must try this pizza. Just look at the picture. Doesn’t it make you want to rush out and buy it? You won’t regret it.

Highlights from past visits include ...

“The Fifth Avenue,” featuring roast beef, turkey, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and horseradish sauce. I held on the horsey sauce and added mayo and mustard to the mix.

The meat and cheese are Boar’s Head; my favorite supplier of deli ingredients (and bacon). The bread is soft and chewy, just like you’d expect. There’s a great balance of ingredients. My only regret? I wish I had specified yellow mustard instead of Dijon.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Jackie’s – Lots of great food choices for little money

Another standout sandwich, the “Frankie’s Fat Boy” from the hot sub’s selections. The sandwich features thinly sliced ribeye steak, hot and sweet peppers, onions, and mushrooms. But that’s not all. Oh no! It’s topped with French fries and brown gravy. The smell of the garlicky gravy filled up my car as I placed the to go order inside. This sandwich is everything you could possibly want; except perhaps healthy. But we all deserve a treat every now and then.

If you are not hung up on tradition, the buffalo pizza, featuring, you guessed it, buffalo sauce, chicken and blue cheese is a real winner. The crust was thin and amazing. The toppings plentiful. A huge thumbs up.

I’m also a big fan of the arancini, stuffed rice balls which are coated with breadcrumbs and then deep fried. Although they come with an assortment of ingredients inside, these ones featured rice, chopped beef and mozzarella. Simply amazing. I’ve been to some of the best Italian restaurants in Southwest Florida, without finding a dish this good.

Back to this visit, we had the limoncello cake ($3.75) and the toasted almond cake ($4.25). While both were good, the almond was the best by far. Happy eating!

More:Hey Marco Island, looking for a place to eat?

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

Frankie's Authentic Italian Deli

  • 6654 Collier Blvd #106, Naples
  • 239-304-9033
  • frankies-authentic-italian-deli.business.site