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Bites Nearby: Charm Seasons Specialties at Marchone's

Authentic food and friendly service inspire loyalty at an Italian deli in Wheaton.

A deep affection for Italian tradition is evident from the moment you pass under the red, green and white awning and enter Marchone's Italian Specialties in Wheaton. Owner Filippo Leo brought it with him when he left Antillo, Sicily, to follow the girl he married 37 years ago.

"We knew each other. We grew up together over there," said Leo. "Then she came to the United States, and I followed her. I call that love."

Leo fell in love again, this time with a place, as soon as he started working at his uncle's Italian delicatessen and grocer in Wheaton. When Tom Marchone decided to sell, Leo wanted to continue providing the experiences customers have enjoyed at the same location for nearly six decades.

"I love it. I love the people. I love to serve the people. Every day is an adventure," said Leo. "To make new friends or see old friends all the time over here is wonderful."

The old friends include patrons from Kensington, Silver Spring, Bethesda and the District who stop by 11224 Triangle Lane every week, if not several times a week.

Sylvia Seuss became a Marchone's fan 30 years ago. Now, the Four Corners resident comes in with co-workers and other friends she has introduced to the deli.

"We just love their food. It's fresh. It's always good. The service is wonderful. They are friendly. It just feels like a second home," said Seuss.

She and other patrons are also fond of the convenience Marchone's offers those who want to make or heat up an Italian dinner at home. "They sell the pizza dough, the sauce and everything to go on it. My grandson loves that," said Seuss.

The lasagna, chicken parmesan, baked ziti, manicotti and spaghetti with meatballs are all made fresh by Leo's wife, Maddalena. The dinners are frozen and can feed two people for $7.95.

"All our food is very authentic Italian; all the meats, cheeses, pasta and olive oil," said Leo. What he doesn't get directly from the old country, he buys from Italian companies in the U.S., including dried pasta and canned goods. The fresh baked breads come from a bakery in Baltimore, the sub rolls from Philadelphia and the array of Italian cookies from his cousin's company in New York.

The deli sandwiches at Marchone's turned Earl Clime into a loyal patron more than 16 years ago. The retired Montgomery County fire captain and Hillandale Fire Department volunteer is fond of the Italian cold cut sub.

"When I worked in the county, we would come by on the fire engines when we were in the area. We'd pick up our lunch or dinner and take it home with us," said Clime.

The large submarine sandwiches cost between $6.95 and $9.95. The small are $4.95 to $6.10. Other choices include ham, turkey and roast beef. Chicken, shrimp, and chicken salad are available. You can get a large, hot meatball parmesan sandwich for $7.75

There are daily soup choices and for dessert, try the cannoli Leo's wife makes fresh with Vaccaro's shells. Before you go, chances are Leo's devotion to customers will spark an enduring fondness for Marchone's.

"I believe there is no gimmick to people coming back," said Leo. "You've got to give them great food, great service, and make them feel welcome."

Need a party platter? Marchone's does meat and cheese platters or giant sub sandwiches. The deli requests 24-hour notice for most catering orders. Call 301-949-4150 for prices.

The deli and grocer is open seven days a week. Meter parking is plentiful near 11224 Triangle Lane in Wheaton. Additional information is available on Marchone's website.

Note: This is a restaurant profile, not a review. Opinions expressed do not represent the ideas of the writer or Patch.

Jason January 23, 2013 at 01:14 PM
We needed a lasagna for 15-20 people for a party out of town and I stopped in the night before--an hour before closing--planning on buying a bunch of smaller lasagnas that could be put together. Maddalena was on her way out for the evening and asked about my plans. When I told her, I expected her to say my plan was as good as I was going to get. Instead, she told me that she could make a lasagna but couldn't cook it (which was obviously understandable). I was amazed and appreciative of her willingness to take her coat off and spend another 20 minutes preparing--with fresh pasta--a large lasagna at 6:15 at night when the shop closes at 7. Leo then helped bring the lasagna to the car to ensure it didn't tip over. I live near Marchone's but am rarely nearby during their weekday hours. When I am, I will be sure to pick up more goods (I love the cookies and Manhattan Special coffee soda from New York). The lasagna and other foods at Marchone's are delicious. But the service is even better.
Anne Goodwin January 23, 2013 at 02:08 PM
We love Marchone's! The food is always fresh and delicious, the sweets delectable, and the breads crusty and lovely. A wide selection of Italian cold cuts, cheeses, and olives is available; Italian subs are the best in the area. There's also a wide selection of frozen/refrigerated foods, such as lasagna, homemade red sauce, and pizza dough. We buy the dough, sauce, pepperoni, and cheese, and make our own pizza. Long live this wonderful institution!
Phyllis Armstrong January 23, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Thanks for your comments, Jason. I was really impressed with the graciousness of Filippo Leo, the owner of Marchone's. He praised his wife, Maddalena, and her cooking. Marchone's menu says they "will always try to help you in a pinch" on catering orders. Your comments let us know that the owners' caring attitudes toward customers is genuine.
Phyllis Armstrong January 23, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Anne, It is clear that you are quite familiar with this Wheaton gem. I hope you will continue to spread the word about Marchone's. It is definitely a place that deserves to be around for at least another five decades. Thanks for your comments.
B. Williamson, Hardware City January 23, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Love you guys! You are the best!
Joe Galvagna January 24, 2013 at 05:54 AM
I CAN REMEMBER GOING THERE WITH MY PARENTS RIGHT AFTER CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY. THAT WAS BACK IN THE EARLY 50s. STILL A GREAT PLACE. Just going in the smells will make you hungry. Glad to finally see something worthwhile reported on here. Congratulations to who ever made sure this artical was done.

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