Meet the Straccos.
“Hi I’m Rico. I’m the owner. This is my son Mark on the grill. This is my daughter Olivia. And this is my wife Antoinette.”
They’re a love-able, tight knit family who work side by side making making big portions of Italian fare out of the tiniest kitchen in all of Plymouth at a place called Stracco’s.
“Stracco’s is a unique eatery.”
“Stracco’s is a family-based business.”
“We are a takeout and delivery place.”
“We specialize in Italian food.”
“We have a little bit of everything.”
“Some people say they make it with love, we literally make it love.”
“We love feeding people, so we have-something for everybody.”
Here, it’s all about food, fun and most importantly family.
“We try to greet all our customers, and make you feel at home like your family.”
“We try to keep everyone feeling like that because not everyone gets the family atmosphere at home.”
All of the food is made with old Stracco recipes.
“We cook no differently at home. It’s all homemade stuff. We make it just like my great grandmother would. If we did it any other way, she would probably hit us over the head with the wooden stick.”
“We’ve grown up that way. Both my husband and I, we came from old school Italians, we never ate anything out of a can. We always made everything from scratch, and that’s just how we kept it along, and we hope to pass that on to our children as we go along.”
“We make the sauce here, the meatballs, the chicken cutlets all here. We probably roll about 500 meatballs a week and probably fry about a 100 pounds of chicken cutlets a week, and probably 30 gallons of sauce a week.”
“By making it yourself, you know what your serving your customer.”
And Rico and his family definitely do it all- including making each and every arancini by hand.
“After the rice is cooked you shape it in the form of a ball.”
“You funnel it out in the middle.”
“You’re going to take your filling and put it in the middle then close it right up.”
“You can eat ’em as a meal.”
“It’s like if you put tomato sauce and cheese over it, it’s like having a pasta meal with a little something special in the middle.”
If you want an old school Italian meal, Stracco’s offers plate tipping portions of chicken parm smothered in their homemade red sauce
“Everybody laughs because I scream all day. Stir the sauce. Talk to the sauce. Love that sauce!!!”
There are also big bricks of Lasagna with generous layers of creamy ricotta. And pillowy raviolis – all made by hand in an old press passed down from Rico’s grandmother.
“We have our great grandmother’s machine. We use it the same way as if she does. ”
“It’s a labor of love. My grandmother did it, her mother did it, and her mother before that did it, so guess what, I have to do it.”
But the one recipe Rico perfected himself over the years is for the signature Lobster Tails.
“His lobster tail. Man, if you haven’t had it, you have to have it. It’s really that good.”
“He puts a lot of love into it.”
“They are to die for. One of my favorite pastries.”
“It’s a time-consuming pastry. One of the most time-consuming pastries that you can make from scratch. I just make ’em the way that I was taught: good quality ingredients and fresh.”
One bite and you’ll be hooked.
“When you get a nice fresh lobster tail, you get that nice crisp crunch. The inside, the filling, it has three of the nicest best tasting creams in the bakery which is a Bavarian cream, a ricotta from a ricotta cannoli. You have your whip cream and you blend them all together, so it’s almost having like three different desserts in one.”
“The filling is so amazingly good. It’s like light, too. It’s not like a heavy cream. It’s like a light cream, so it fills you up very good. I would say it’s one of most incredible pastries you can eat. When they’re fresh, it’s nothing better.”
Of course, this is a sub shop at heart, and the sandwiches here are not only tasty- they go way beyond what you’re used to. There’s Rico’s own Pulled Pork piled high over coleslaw on fresh ciabatta and something called the Double Play which combines both chicken and eggplant parm. The Baby Ree has both texture and taste- loaded up with grilled orange chicken and chow main noodles. And what would a sandwich shop in Plymouth be without a Pilgrim.
“That’s our heritage. Pilgrims, turkeys, stuffing. It’s served on a fresh sub roll, and it’s our homemade turkey breast, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayonnaise on there. It tastes like the day after Thanksgiving.”
If you want a taste of Philly- order yourself a Cheese Steak- topped with creamy Velveeta like they do in the City of Brotherly Love.
“This thing is huge. Get ready to grab a fork and napkins because it has mushrooms, peppers, onions, pepperoni, steak, and it also has the orange Velveeta cheese on top. And this thing, no matter what, makes a mess.”
“When I have it, I like to just put it on a plate and pick at it with a fork. It’s the easiest way to do it.”
And for a taste of Italy stuffed into a spuckie, there’s The Sicilian.
“It’s almost like a sausage and meatball cacciatore made into a sandwich. You can taste the peppers, you can taste the onions, you can taste the meatballs and our marinana sauce is like a signature sauce. Nobody in this area has that sauce. You could drink it.”
And once the raviolis are cut, arrancinis are rolled and subs are stuffed and sent on their way- this family gets ready to do it all again tomorrow- but for Rico that’s ok, because there’s no place he’d rather be.
“I don’t mind getting up in the morning and doing what I’m doing because I love what I do. If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.”