Reno isn’t short on sandwich spots, that’s for sure. But not all of them are created equal either. Not to mention, calling Paisan’s Old World Deli & Catering a “sandwich shop” is a bit of an understatement.
Located on Longley Lane, those of us looking for a quality sandwich outside of the downtown/Midtown hustle and bustle, can turn to Paisan’s, an Italian deli with a menu of Mexican food. Yes, you read that right.
The counter-serve eatery is huge, certainly large enough to constitute a full sit-down restaurant, but Paisan’s stays true to the fast casual model. And when we say fast, we mean it. One of my favorite aspects of Paisan’s is that you don’t have to wait 20 minutes after you order your sandwich to eat. Instead, most deli meals come up in about five minutes or so. I’ve never waited more than 10.
The main part of the business, which opened in 1995, is the Italian deli, which has a line-up of specialty sandwiches as well as a make-your-own-option. Sides consist of pasta salads, green salads, soups, chips and cookies, and for just $15.99 you can make a meal out of those options, complete with a drink.
The list of specialty subs includes global delights like the Greek, with peppered turkey, kalamata olive spread, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, red onions and cucumbers.
Nonna Ben’s gourmet sub is a taste of the Italian culture, with salami, coppa, mortadella and Swiss cheese. The hot Italian muffuletta also falls in this vein, stuffed with pastrami, mozzarella, muffuletta mix, lettuce and tomato.
For an American sub, Sammy’s grilled garlic tri tip features lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and a tasty pesto spread.
If you’re looking for a sandwich that feels a little more like a quick lunch and less a full experience, making your own is the way to go. My go-to is a honey turkey with smoky cheddar on sourdough, which offers a balance of smoky and sweet, loaded with veggies and finished with an avocado spread. I always like to point out that while it’s a spread and not sliced avocado, it is made from fresh fruit and not a pre-packaged, guacamole-style spread.
Every day there is a new soup to try and the dessert list is dangerous, loaded with European favorites like cannoli, tiramisu, baklava and homemade biscotti.
While I come for the sandwiches, there is more to the menu—and the business model. Paisan’s also carries breakfast boasting burritos, sandwiches and baked goods and a Mexican menu, loaded with all of the staples (burritos, quesadillas, tacos, nachos) and some lesser-known options.
For a real treat, finish your order with an Italian soda. There are plenty of flavors to choose from and they (arguably) beat out the Pepsi products available at the self-serve station.
In addition to service at the restaurant, Paisan’s does deliver, and they offer catering for larger events.
6550 Longley Lane Suite 110, Reno, Nev. 89511
Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.