Anthony’s East Side Deli only opened in April, but it feels like it’s been in the East Arlington neighborhood for a century. Locals tap on the display case, ordering cold cuts and cheeses (Boar’s Head is carried here), and inquiring, amid small talk, which fresh-made sides are best on that particular day.
But when a 30-something woman with a baby carrier asks about gluten-free options, the sepia-toned daydream takes on a very modern hue. Anthony’s recalls a bygone era in aesthetics only. The deli can meet the demands of today’s customers, thanks in part to the nearby gluten-free bakery Something Sweet Without Wheat. “I have gluten-free breads now served with gluten-free Boar’s Head cold cuts,” says Anthony Masci, who owns the deli with his wife, Denise. “That was a head-turner as far as, ‘Wow, we really hit the sweet spot for what people are looking for as far as gluten-free stuff.’ ”