The Super Bowl happens Sunday, and if you don't have your culinary ducks in a row yet but still want to feed 10 in style at the last minute, have I got some killer advice for you: run, don't walk, to one of these five fantastic Twin Cities Italian take-out joints.
535 Tedesco St., St. Paul, 651-774-5961 An old-school, on-a-budget option, you should never forget about Morelli's perched on the bluffs above downtown St. Paul. It's old world, tasty, and this week they’re selling a six-pound tray of lasagna for $20! And the prices on beer and liquor are similarly cheap as a twelver of Brau Bros for $12 is just the tip of the ungodly-affordable-beer iceberg. A couple warnings, though: they're cash only, closed Sundays, and a little grumpy, but, hey, that's literally a small price to pay if you’re trying to host a party for 10 people for a hundred bucks.
981 Sibley Memorial Hwy., Lilydale, 651-905-1080, bgimarket.com The Taj Mahal of Italian take-out, Buon Giorno has frozen trays of everything—pumpkin ravioli, chicken parmesan, lasagna, you name it—ready to go, as well as a spectacular array of olives, meats, cheeses, and cannoli. It truly is a palace of joy, I tell ya. Like Morelli's it's also not open on Sunday, so you better get there now if you want it.
2308 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-925-3113, broders.com If you live in the southwest quadrant of Minneapolis, Broders' will deliver to you! If not, you can haul over for the area's best New York pizza, cheese manicotti, and chicken parmesan. It's not cheap, but they make close to perfect pasta, and that’s saying something.
211 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-222-3476, cossettas.com Not just freezer cases with lasagna and ziti stacked like cordwood, but spectacular sausages, not the least of which is a cheese sausage that is phenomenal. They've also got the best Italian pastries and breads in town, and if you really want set yourself apart from the chip-and-dip-bringing masses at your friends' Super Bowl party, bring a dozen Cossetta cannoli. Oh, and they're open on Sunday.
2280 Cliff Rd., Eagan, 651-895-1088, briannos.com This small, cash-only deli might be in Eagan, but it's worth the drive as it has the best Eggplant Parmesan sandwich in Minnesota. I also love Brianno’s for the good spicy tomato sauce, which is not too sweet and very homemade. But, as for why I ranked it number one, well, it's open on Sundays and they serve an excellent Chicago beef.