Deli Fare, Ice Cream Shop Now At Tonto Plaza

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It's the perfect combination for lunch, a deli sandwich, soup or salad, topped off with ice cream. That's what Rim Deli 'n Ice Cream Shop in the Tonto Plaza offers the working folks and students of Payson.

Mark Boccardo and his brother, Scott Boccardo, opened the shop at the site of the old Frozen Cow in mid-February.

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Scott Boccardo (left) and Mark Boccardo have taken over the old Frozen Cow building for their new venture, Rim Deli 'n Ice Cream Shop. The Boccardo brothers opened the shop in mid-February at 408 South Beeline, behind the Time Out thrift store.

It is the third restaurant the two have operated in the Rim country. Previously they had The Ranchhouse in Pine and Two Brothers' Barbecue Grill in Star Valley.

"We wanted to be in town," Mark said. "It's rough being on the outskirts."

The Rim Deli 'n Ice Cream Shop is the first of the restaurants the two have owned, but they bring more than 30 years of experience in the food industry to the business. Mark has worked as an executive chef in Laughlin, Nev., Lake Havasu, Sedona and Flagstaff, and Scott has worked as a sous chef.

"We've had an excellent response," Scott said.

"And we do deliveries," Mark added.

Fax in orders in the morning to (928) 468-1400, or call in to (928) 474-3506. Mark said call-in orders will take about 30 minutes to be delivered.

The shop is open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with plans to expand the hours in the summer as customer demand dictates.

Beginning in April the Rim Deli will also be open Friday and Saturday nights, featuring hickory smoked meats and grilled seafood.

Mark said the menu will include smoked turkey, pulled pork, beef brisket, pork ribs, oysters, grilled salmon, shark, swordfish and alligator.

The shop has the capacity to seat about 47 people, Scott said.

The ice cream end of the business is complete, with specialty Cascade Glacier products.

"We can make any kind of sundae or shake imaginable -- Orange Scooters, which are like an Orange Julius," Scott said. They will also be adding smoothies and Italian sodas, as well as frozen yogurt.

"We have sugar-free ice cream too," Mark said.

He said he smokes the meat himself and they make huge sandwiches.

"But we can also do Atkins-friendly," Mark said.

The Arizona natives are proud of the fact the new Rim Deli 'n Ice Cream Shop is a family-owned and operated business. Currently, in addition to the Boccardo brothers, the shop has four employees.

"We offer fast, friendly service," Mark said. "Once I get a ticket it usually takes less than 10 minutes for a customer to get their food."

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