DOWNERS GROVE – When college kids come home for spring break and summer vacation, one of the first places they head for is Berto’s.
Berto’s Deli & Pasta Shoppe in Downers Grove not only serves up fresh, homemade Italian fare, but for nearly 20 years, the family-owned-and-run deli has been the place to meet friends and relatives.
Janet and Mike Lucadello bought the business in 1998 after finding out it was available, bringing their three children, then ages 4 through 13, with them from Franklin Park. Today, their kids still help out in their spare time, and their daughter Gianna, who graduates college with a degree in business and marketing this year, plans to help open more locations.
“We're known for our high-quality meats, fresh pastas and homemade sauces,” Janet said. “We’re not fancy by any means. We’re a neighborhood place where you would come in and feel comfortable, and we know a lot of customers by name. I've seen a lot of kids grow up. They come home from college, and this is the first place they hit. It’s like a piece of home. I love hearing that.”
A customer favorite is the classic Italian sub, although the meatball sub is popular too.
The variety of subs, however, is pretty much endless, with ham, turkey, salami, tuna, roast beef, and corned beef on the menu, along with vegetarian and various specialty subs like the Berto’s Sub, with ham, salami, capocollo, provolone, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise or oil.
Customers can eat inside, or outside in the summer, or take out all the fixings for a homemade meal.
“In our freezer section, we have fresh pasta and homemade sauces and meatballs, so you can pick up a quick dinner,” Janet said. “We make marinara, a meat sauce and we do a vodka sauce and a pesto sauce as well. It’s in containers in the freezer. Just grab it out, heat up, boil your pasta and have dinner.”
Berto’s also does catering, offering fresh, homemade salads, cold cut party trays, pasta trays, entrees and even desserts like tiramisu, cannolis and homemade pizzelle.
“We also make our own Italian ice in summer,” Janet said.
Customers also can find lunch meats and cheeses by the pound, like ham, turkey, salami, roast beef, American, cheddar, provolone, muenster and mozzarella.
“Everybody loves our homemade potato salad and our pasta salad,” Janet said. “Our favorite thing is all tables full and everybody's enjoying themselves. Our main goal is to keep everything fresh.”
Becky Nelson-Patsais has been going to Berto’s since she was in high school.
“I love them,” said Nelson-Patsais, manager of business development for Chamber630. “The family is amazing. Berto’s is the go-to place for the most amazing sandwiches and catering that the Downers Grove area can offer. Not only are they a family-owned business, but I couldn’t be more thrilled they’ve continued being a part of the community for so long.”
If you go
What: Berto’s Deli & Pasta Shoppe
Where: 5004 Main St., Downers Grove
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday
Info: 630-493-0643; bertosdeli.com