It’s easy to get lost inside Guercio & Sons. The venerable West Side grocery (250 Grant St., 882-7935) has long served as a reliable source for imported Italian specialties. But in recent years, its displays, reflecting the needs of the neighbors around it, are stacked high with a distracting array of spices, sauces, canned goods and all manner of edibles from around the globe.

Thread your way to the back of the store, where deli manager Pat Liberatore and her staff work, and they’ll make it worth your while. Guercio’s sandwiches pull regulars from miles around to stand in line and wait for the ladies to take their order. Regulars know better than to hold a cellphone conversation while they order. They also know there’s no sandwiches after 3:30 p.m. weekdays, or any time Saturday.

But they’ll wait, because every slice of meat and cheese is cut after it’s ordered for maximum freshness. The proteins are piled high, usually on crusty fresh rolls from Luigi’s Bakery, a few blocks away.

Plus, they’re inexpensive, topping out at $4.99. For that princely sum you may encounter the “Guercio,” sporting imported salami and prosciutto, plus cappacola, provolone cheese and peppery arugula greens on a long roll.

Liberatore said the idea for that sandwich came from owner Sam Guercio. “We’ve been selling a lot of those,” she said.


Taste of Paradise

Tropical drinks, tastes and desserts, plus live music, under real palm trees at 6 p.m. Friday in the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens (2655 South Park Ave.). Tickets are $30.