John Pinelli had lived across the country, but he always returned to one place: Philadelphia. Each year, no matter where he was, he would come back to that city like a boomerang. A very hungry boomerang. During his visits, he devoured cheese steaks, Italian hoagies, water ice, and Tastykakes snack pies. He just wished he could bring one of those restaurants back to his home in Denver. Instead, he opened South Philly Cheese Steaks in 2004.
Pinelli's decision to leave his corporate job perplexed his family, but he knew he was on to something. After all, he knew how to make italian hoagies and hot roast beef. He knew how to bake Philly-style pizza, and of course, he knew how to assemble an authentic Philadelphia cheese steak. It all proved successful, and South Philly Cheese Steaks now has several locations across Denver and its surrounding areas—with more likely to come.
At each restaurant, a simple dining room greets patrons with casual tables and a custom mural of Philadelphia's skyline. In the kitchen, cooks work with many ingredients sourced right from Philly. In addition to the classic cheese steak, they assemble special varieties, such as a pizza cheese steak with provolone and marinara.
Although it may feature all the amenities of a convenient neighborhood store, Stellato's Grocery & Deli embraces its role as an Italian-style grill. The deli area features dark wooden tables scattered across the floor, creating the ambiance of a bistro as opposed to a standard convenience store. While the deli offers take-home orders of homemade pastas, Boar's Head deli meats, produce, coffees, and other home necessities, the menu demonstrates the establishment's true roots. The staff prepares hot and cold deli sandwiches stacked with everything from egg salad and onion to sausage and peppers, as well as hot soups and classic Italian entrees—including baked ziti and chicken parmesan—to be taken home and reheated in the oven or roasted above the kitchen's open flames.