Amo Italiano Foods
Foods from Amo Italiano Foods

2012 Jun 22
This location of DiRienzo's is no more. Or, rather, it's the same place and the same owners but with different signs. He finally got his new signs in.

Please edit this entry.

2011 Jul 26
This is less a review and more an editorial, but I thought I'd share anyways...

Scene 1: A few days before the actual visit, and prior to realizing that the Meadowlands and Beech locations of DiRienzo's are not related.

My wife's desire for a yummy DiRienzo's sandwich had been growing; it soon morphed into something of a foodie quest that needed to be conquered. Finally, unable to take it any more, she succumbed to her primal desires and we headed off.

...only to arrive 15 minutes after the store closed.


Scene 2: The visit.

It's the following weekend, lunchtime; the place is packed.

Even though I'm not eating, I'm already excited. If this place is anything like the DiRienzo's on Beech, it's going to be an experience. And my excitement increases exponentially when I notice they have a listing for a vegan - not just vegetarian - sandwich. Oh deity of trees and leaves, could this really be true?

As we wait in line, the anticipation building, an older man comes out from behind the counter to chat with the customers. He makes his way through the crowd, engaging people with a casual "hello!" or "how ya doin'?" before stopping for a longer conversation with the couple in front of us. When he was done, he turns, takes a look at us, and goes back behind the counter. We get no form of acknowledgement whatsoever.

Finally it was my wife's turn to create the sandwich of her dreams.

While she ordered I noticed two things: first, the lady making the sandwich lacked the same 'passion' as those at the Beech location; and second, the gentleman manning the cash register - who later went on to assist with the sandwich prep, albeit with gloves thankfully - picked his nose. Yuk!

Now I get that there are more exciting things to do than make sandwiches, but it seems to me that when you order at Beech they know you're about to have such an amazing sandwich and they're really jazzed for you. Here, not so much. Again, eating out for me is more than simply putting food in my tummy, it's an experience. So far this one was anything but.

I was, however, still interested in what was on their vegan sandwich. "Any toppings except meat and cheese" I was told. Now I'll save my opinions on what I consider constitutes vegan eats for another day, but suffice to say it's a little more complex than simply cutting out meat and cheese.

At this point my initial excitement had long dissipated. We paid, left, and my wife had what can only be described as a mediocre sandwich, the memories of which have long been forgotten.

We won't be back.

Scene 3: DiRienzo's on Beech.

Mission accomplished!

2011 Jul 11
I still really enjoy the Meadowlands location, but it's true that things have changed.

I've never had a problem with the bread that they've used, but I'm still kinda miffed that they're now cash-only after countless years of accepting credit/debit.

2011 Jul 11
I knew something was up when I saw Marianne at the Beech location... she was the DiRienzo family connection at the Meadowlands location, but it seems that she's no longer a part of that business (I used to work with her before her foray into the food industry). The Meadowlands location (which was run as a completely separate business, to my knowledge) is actually being renamed, I think, after a new sign was posted on the building entrance (saw it a couple of times over the past couple of weeks). It's too bad, really, I preferred the Meadowlands location to Beech when Marianne was working there :(

2011 Jul 11
I could be wrong or perhaps something has changed, but if i recall correctly, Meadowlands is completely separate with the original Beech location.

There's some distant family connection going back a decade or so, but otherwise the two places are unaffiliated.

I find the Meadowlands location to be fine, but Beech is still my first choice for sandwich fix in this city.

2011 Jul 9

I've been an adoring fan of the sandwiches from the Little Italy location since my first visit, and I finally tried the Meadowlands location today. I'll be sticking to Little Italy.

At this location, the bread ( no choice other than white or brown) is not Italian crusty bread. It's crumbly and dry, more like quick bread than yeast bread. Big thumbs down.

They are incredibly stingy on the meat, and from what I saw behind the glass they use grocery store brands (Butterball etc). They have more toppings to choose from, but they don't save the sandwich. I'll take lettuce mustard and mayo from the other location any day.

The sandwich was dry, meat was not as tasty, and service was not friendly at all. Really disappointed.

2010 Aug 24
I worked with the co-owner, Marianne (you often see her in the back cooking), she is such a pleasant lady, and she worked at the original DiRienzos after her 9-5 job before opening her own shop with her husband on Meadowlands. The two businesses are run as separate entities, so the only relation would be familial. Lots of long hours and hard work to make her dream come true to quit the public service. I find the Meadowlands location has better sandwiches (seems fresher?) & hot foods in a clean environment. Time to go back to say hello...

2010 Aug 24
If there is one thing I’m REALLY good at making – it’s sandwiches. I LOVE sandwiches in every way possible – making them AND eating them of course. If I could choose one food to live with for the rest of my life it would be sandwiches – various ones OBVIOUSLY! :P

However…when I don’t feel up to making any myself, there is one place that I trust for my “love food“…DiRienzo’s. Even saying that word makes me salivate. Here’s the deal. There are 2 DIFFERENT DiRienzos in Ottawa, and some people like to say that one of them is an imposter – I’d like to make it clear that I don’t co-sign that statement AT ALL. I love BOTH locations yet oddly enough (well maybe because I live closer) I end up at the Meadowlands store.

* One spot is in Little Italy (DiRienzo’s) – 111 Beech St. 613 729-4037

* And the other one is on Meadowlands and Fisher Ave (but it’s actually called DiRienzo Foods) 1121 Meadowlands Dr 613-723-4664

Di Rienzo’s stocks an inventory of gourmet and specialty products imported from Italy but the real secret weapon is the sandwich bar and ready-made meals.

Both joints are MOUTH WATERING. But remember – I’m specifically talking about the Meadowlands location.

No matter which sandwich you construct, always, always, always ask for spicy eggplant. The buns are always baked fresh and you can ask for white or brown bread – which I really appreciate; Any kind of meat (and cheese) you can think of: from turkey and prosciutto to chicken parmigiana or meatballs; And of course they have authentic FRESH Italian desserts like no ones business. They also have a pasta bar that you can choose from and fresh fruit as well if your going for a lighter desert.

Their direct competition is a place called Nicastro’s – but I don’t feel like that place is anywhere CLOSE to the D!

If you are as passionate about sandwiches as I am – or even if you want to satisfy a serious belly rumbling – this place is a MUST!!!!

The price range is between $6-$10 but the sandwiches are HUGE! You’ll be full for HOURS!

Bon Appetit!


2009 Nov 23
F&T, I may have been the one who deleted the other comment. I agree with the rest of your statements. :-)

2009 Nov 23
User 2258 - Ok we get it you are a disgruntled employee... You posted the exact same comment as this one (November 22, 2009) as you did on the other DiRienzo Foods (Beech off Carling) - DiRienzo Foods a couple of days ago (November 19, 2009)... BUT because it was marked INAPPROPRIATE you removed it, and are now posting those exact same comments (word for word) for this DiRienzo location.

Won't change anything... you have not submitted a Review, this is a RANT, plain and simple, and as such does not belong here.




2008 Apr 18
The DiRienzo/Nicastro sandwich war (if you can call it that) has to come up as a tie for me.

DiRienzo sandwiches are really good, and really cheap, but the shop itself is pretty cramped.

Nicastro sandwiches are really good, and a bit more expensive, but the shop itself is more welcoming.

Nicastro's may actually win, simply because they're closer to my work!

But I like 'em both, and the variety of sandwiches at DiRienzo's is staggering.