Of course, most of my habits can only be sated in Queens. I’m jonesing for a slice of fresh mozzarella and marinara pie from Mama Carmela’s in Astoria at least once a week; I tremble for a piping hot bowl of spicy beef pho from Pho Bang in Elmhurst almost every day. And now, after a recent trip out to Corona, I’ve added yet another tasty treat to help heal my hungry soul: Leo’s chicken and tortellini soup.
If you work a municipal job in the Corona area, this place certainly doesn’t need an introduction. You know and love it. For me, it’s a whole new world of mouthwatering goodness. Walking into this neighborhood deli is like stepping into grandmother’s kitchen. The cozy vibe, heartwarming smiles and aromas envelope you like a familiar hug. The food served up is truly comforting for the soul.
Steps away from the 7 train, Mama’s is a can’t-miss landmark. The place is practically an institution- family owned and operated for over 80 years. Since Mama DeBenedittis’s passing late last year, her daughters Carmela, Irene and Marie have taken the reigns and they go out of their way to make every patron, including this newcomer, feel right at home.
From the hearty delicious sandwiches (hands down the best in the borough) to the decadent pastries, including the buttery, ricotta filled “clam shell” and mini chocolate cannoli, to the frothy cappuccino, everything is made to order and you can taste the love in every bite.
And then there’s the soup. Oh, that soup! Grab a Mama’s Special sandwich from the deli and mosey down the block to the patisserie for a bowl of the rich, silky, soothing chicken soup with cheese tortellini (made in-house, of course, and served with crunchy breadsticks). It’s an incredible combo that’s sure to cure any blues.
Leo’s Latticini (a.k.a. Mama’s of Corona), 46-02 104th St., Corona