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East County Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2009 8 years ago

NEIGHBOR: David DiMarcantonio

by: Pam McTeer

David DiMarcantonio doesn’t just like sandwiches.

He loves them.

“It’s the perfect food,” he says. “You can eat it sitting driving. You can eat it sitting down or watching TV. It can be a meal or a snack. It can be anything you want it to be.”

And now the Lakewood Ranch resident is eager to bring his passion for the nation’s most famed sandwiches to the East County. He and his wife, Lindsay, recently opened Big City Grille in the former site of Wing Factory.

The restaurant offers everything from New Orleans Po’ Boys and New England lobster rolls to Carolina barbecue, the Pittsburgh strip district sandwich and New Jersey pork rolls, among others. The menu also includes many of Wing Factory’s old recipes, including its famous wings, Greek salad and gyro sandwiches.

“I had this idea (for this restaurant) since I was in college,” DiMarcantonio says. “My friends and I used to travel and that was the big thing — the sandwich of that town. Wherever we ate, I asked, ‘What are you famous for here? I want to eat that.’”

As a native of Philadelphia, DiMarcantonio says his personal favorite is the Philly cheesesteak sandwich, but he’s also partial to the Pittsburgh strip district.

But wherever customers are originally from, DiMarcantonio says he hopes they find a taste of home.

“We have simple sandwiches that people know,” DiMarcantonio says. “They are large portions. It’s a taste of your home that you were used to when you were a kid.”

The DiMarcantonios moved to Florida from Philadelphia in June to open their new restaurant. They took over Wing Factory about two months ago, using the transition time to prepare regular customers for the changeover.

DiMarcantonio said he already is looking for space to open a second location, hopefully within the next six months.

Big City Grille is located at 8742 S.R. 70 E.. For more information, call 739-9464 or visit the restaurant’s Web site,

Renovation reality

“I love home improvement shows,” DiMarcantonio says. “I could watch them all day long.”
In fact, his fascination with them ultimately led him to remodel a 90-year-old Dutch colonial home himself.

‘Lil bit country
Although DiMarcantonio grew up in Philadelphia, he loves country music. His favorite group is the Zac Brown Band.

Putting around
DiMarcantonio doesn’t have much free time these days, but he tries to get in at least one round of golf each week. “I’m not good at it,” he says, laughing. His favorite local course is University Park.

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