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Send me to … Cugino’s

Photo: Beverly Poppe

The Details

Cugino's Italian Deli & Pizzeria
4550 S. Maryland Parkway, 895-7561
Daily, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

I'm waiting in a long and slow-moving lunch line, and I'm standing behind this old dude with super-white hair, pokey ears and one of those squatty, tan faces that looks like it was crushed. He's ordering before it's his turn, and no one can tell what he's saying. But it's okay, because this place smells like a fresh garlic knot and I'm starving.

The fine folks at Philly's Famous Italian Ice told me I had to try Cugino's, and so I'm not surprised to see their sweet treats available at this old-school Italian deli and market. But I'll shout them out because they're right: Cugino's does it all. It feels like a college hangout, and it should, since it's directly across the street from UNLV's Dungan Humanities building. So there are students here choosing between slices of pizza and awesome, affordable sandwiches of chicken parm or homemade sausage and peppers.

But check that deli case, full of Boar's Head meats and cheeses and mozzarella made fresh daily. The soup of the day might be classic Italian wedding, like these nurses are having, or two different kinds of clam chowder. Upgrade decent thin-crust pizza to hearty Sicilian-style. Pasta ranges from straight-up spaghetti to lobster ravioli. And the market is legit, too, stacked with Costco-sized bottles of imported olive oil, cans of roasted pear tomatoes or sweet scungili. But why play chef at home when Cugino's does it so well?

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Brock Radke has been working in media in Las Vegas for 15 years. Prior to being named associate editor, he ...

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