Capri Sausage: The stuff of local legend

TIME TO MAKE THE SAUSAGE — The crew at Capri Sausage and Meatball Carryout, 1400 University Blvd., was hard at work carving meat to grind into the stuff of local legend — Capri sausage patties. The little shop that has made sausage and meatball sandwiches for carryout, as well as selling sausage to cook, opened in 1972. It’s been featured in an article on the website Only in Your State.com. From left are John Slates, Henry Mieczkowski, Rocco Lopresto and Alfred Carducci. -- Paul Giannamore

STEUBENVILLE — “This tiny sausage shop in Ohio serves a sausage sandwich to die for.”

That’s the headline on an Only In Your State article highlighting Capri Sausage and Meatball Carryout, 1400 University Blvd.

Capri is the stuff of local legend. A social media check of out-of-town friends and relatives who moved away usually will eventually include a comment or two about missing the Italian delights that have come from the little brick shop near the top of the hill since it opened in 1972.

Bob Carducci, whose family recipes are the secret stuff that makes Capri the memorable food purveyor that it is, said the honor on the website was a surprise.

“It just popped up. People keep on talking about it and showing it to me on their phones,” he said. “It means we’re doing a good job. We try to keep everything the same. It gives us the confidence that we’re doing a good job.”

A visit to the shop hours before it opens at 10 a.m. will find men cutting and grinding and mixing meat into the distinctive square sausage patties that are the hallmark of the Capri sausage sandwich. Meat is mixed for the meatballs. Sauce is cooking.

Just when the workday starts depends on the workload, Carducci said.

“I was in here at 4 a.m. today,” he said on a recent Thursday. “We get busy at Memorial Day and for graduations and around Christmas.”

On a busy day, 600 pounds of meat are turned into sausage.

“If you ate one of our sandwiches today, it would be the same as what you ate in 1972, exactly the same. A lot of Franciscan University of Steubenville kids come back and say that when they’re in town for reunions. And, it keeps the costs down and it’s consistent.”

The web article featured several photos of the shop, sausages, sandwiches and commented on the low prices.

To see the page, visit onlyinyourstate.com and search for Capri.

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