Pasadenish in the know have shopped at Roma Italian Deli & Grocery for imported cheeses, meats, olive oils and other Italian delicacies for over 50 years. You can buy special pastas, interesting wines, and even produce at a more reasonable price than at the supermarket. But the real find at Roma is Rosario, the market's owner.
When he was 14 years old, Rosario came to the United States from Sicily with his father. They bought a house at the corner of Lake and Mountain Avenues in Pasadena in 1955 (Rosario will show you the photocopied picture behind the deli), where they established the Roma Market. In 1964, Rosario tore down the house and built the current structure. Rosario says he's worked behind the deli at Roma Market every day since 1955.
When you go, tell Rosario what you want in general terms and he'll make specific suggestions. He knows his inventory and what goes with what. On my last visit I told Rosario I don't like strong cheeses and he gave me samples to taste of the most delightful, delicious, buttery delicacies--I wanted them all. Give him a little guidance then let him show you his expertise. You'll be amazed at the quality, the flavors and the low prices.
I know I sound like an ad but I love this unassuming, charming little market. Don't let the mini-mall look fool you. It's right out of the old world.