East San Jose Italian deli mixes family with flavor for famous ravioli

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Thursday, June 13, 2019
San Jose deli famous ravioli secret: family & flavor
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Antipastos Deli in East San Jose has been serving customers their famous foods for over thirty years. Customers come for the dishes and stay for the family.

EAST SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- For 32 years, Antipastos Deli in East San Jose, Calif. has been dealing with nothing but long-lines and consistent crowds.

Their customers come for their famous dishes such as their ravioli, but they stay for the family atmosphere.

This is a family owned and operated shop, the brain child of its late owner.

"It was our dad's original idea," Manager Gino DeRose said. "He came up with the idea that the East Side doesn't have a go-to spot. Let's do some good meat, good homemade products with great service to make people feel like they're at home. 32 years later, we're still here."

"You can think of it as the 'Cheers' of the East Side," Manager Nick DeRose said. "People come here and everyone knows each other. It's a real 'homey' environment."

The regulars say they have "better than steakhouse" quality meats and delicious sandwiches.

But their specialty is something right in line with the DeRose's Italian roots.

"Our raviolis," Gino said. "People come from all over to buy them or come here to eat them. That was my dad's go-to."

Now, the store sells out hundreds of boxes of their homemade ravioli weekly.

It's hard to believe there was a time where they weren't on the menu.

"When we first originally opened, we weren't making our raviolis," Gino said. "We were sourcing them out. My dad thought if we were going to do this, we had to make our own. For months on end, he researched and mixed recipes until he got it to the perfecta ravioli that he wanted."

Once the flavor was correct, the shift focused on how these delicacies would be made.

Again, Mr. DeRose found a way with another great idea.

"The ravioli machine that we have actually made the raviolis for my mom and dad's wedding. He found that machine and we started to make our own."

The process takes two days and each batch creates 100 boxes filled with 98 raviolis in each.

"I love what I'm doing and I really like to do this," Antipastos Head Chef said. "I love it. It surprises me when I see people walking out with 8, 10, 20 boxes. I think obviously I'm doing a good job."

If you were to ask the loyal customers, they agree that he is indeed doing a good job.

"It's the best food in East San Jose," Leta Leggitt said. "It's family run, the food is excellent and the lines are long but worth it."

"It's awesome to see people from other areas and walks of life and enjoy this awesome homemade food," Mike Garcia said.

As said before, the customers come for the delicious food, they stay for the dedication of the DeRose family.

Antipastos Deli has become more than a "go-to" spot in East San Jose, it's home.

"We take pride in the product that we put out and pride in how we treat our customers," Gino said. "We try to make them feel at home."

"Every day that we come in, it's home for us," Nick said. "I have my mom, my two brothers working here with me. We've got a great crew that comes in with us that are almost like family. It's just home for us. It's what we know. We've been doing this 32 years and people come in and feel that."

Visit Antipastos in San Jose or on their website by clicking here.