Wilmette, Community

Smells Like Summer: Pop-up sandwich shop is back in Al’s Meat Market

The Bollito has returned to downtown Wilmette.

The hot-sandwich sensation debuted last summer in a pop-up shop at Al’s Meat Market, 1165 Wilmette Ave., and its creators, Keith and Molly Veneziano, have brought it back under their larger brand, The Rome Sandwich Company.

The pop-up is open for just three hours — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. — every summer Friday, and started its 2022 run on Friday, June 3, and it continues at 11 a.m. Friday, June 10.

Only 75 sandwiches are available, so the Venezianos encourage pre-ordering using an online form. The sandwich is priced at $13.

The Bollito plays off a classic Chicago Italian beef, but Keith Veneziano — who began a second career as a chef in 2020 — uses brisket that is boiled for 12 hours in bone broth. The meat is chopped, placed on a dipped roll and joined by two dressings: “a drizzle of green,” what the Venezianos describe as an Italian salsa verde that leads with parsley; and “a dollop of red,” a relish made from the Italian Calabrian chili pepper.

While the Bollito is a favorite, the Venezianos have hinted at other hot sandwiches coming down the pike. While applying for a special-use permit with the Village of Wilmette, Keith Veneziano told village officials the shop may offer new options that at “inspired by the old-school butcher shop — simple, rustic sandwiches that use high-quality ingredients.”

The Rome Sandwich Co. serves the Bollito and possibly more this summer.

Al’s Meat Market opened in downtown Wilmette in the early 2000s. Alongside fresh cuts of meat, pork and poultry, Al’s offers other groceries. The proposed pop-up sandwich shop serves out of a sandwich station in the corner of the market.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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