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Knish Press

+ = knish press

I read something in the New York Times today (honestly other newspapers…why do you even try?) that blew my socks off. It was nestled in an article about new, unknown sandwiches, and it was simply a revelation.


The owners of Press 195, a sandwich joint with stores in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Bayside, Queens, may have avoided putting the word “panini” on the menu. Nonetheless their futures are staked to pressed sandwiches: they have more than 30 on the menu. “Every deli in New York has panini now,” said an owner, Chris Evans, who grew up flipping burgers at the estimable Donovan’s Pub. But what the delis don’t have — yet — is the knish press: a sandwich built on a split potato knish, the brainchild of Brian Karp, the chef and co-owner.

Squeezed in the hot press, the knish’s crust becomes thick and crunchy, and the peppery, onion-tinged mashed potato inside melts into the filling. The pastrami version is thought-provoking, but even better is London broil with gobs of spicy brown mustard and an “onion jam” that takes you right back to the hot dog cart. The knishes are brought in daily from Gabila’s in Coney Island. These square, deep-fried specimens are generally considered inauthentic by knish purists, who prefer them round and doughy, but this is an excellent use for them. “When we got to a certain level of production, Gabila’s agreed to supply us fresh, not frozen,” Mr. Evans said. “That was the day we felt like we made it.” Order it well-done and be prepared to wait.

Press 195, 195 Fifth Avenue (Union Street), Park Slope, Brooklyn, (718) 857-1950, and 40-11 Bell Boulevard (40th Avenue), Bayside, Queens, (718) 281-1950.

A pressed knish sandwich! I mean, I’ve seen latke sandwiches and grilled sandwiches, and various types of bread sandwiches, but this one just seems so right I’ll definitely have to try it in New York next time I’m down. Wow. Makes me want to start stuffing knishes right away.

13 Responses to “Knish Press”

  1. Steven Langer Says:

    I’m 81 years of age and lived most of my early years in Coney Island. FYI, the knishs sold by little old ladies on the beach at Coney Island iln the 1930s and 1940s were ALWAYS square and deep fried.

  2. Stu Shiffman Says:

    Finally, we know what Gabila knishes are good for!

  3. Stu Shiffman Says:

    Finally, we know what Gabila knishes are good for!

  4. Steve Brooks Says:

    You can make fun of the block-like Gabila knish…but I’m living in Nashville which only has an ersatz deli of two with not-so-great sandwiches. I’d kill for the Gabila and the subsequent heartburn.

  5. Stu Shiffman Says:

    I must have had a hiccup.

  6. Jerry Joven Says:

    This is nothing new. 40 years ago I worked in Buddies Restaurant in Marine Park, Brooklyn (Flatbush & Utica Aves). Sam & Paul Kusnick owned it then and I saw Sam split a knish,(Square Gabila) stuff it with pastrami and top it with cole slaw. I just shook my head because it was just too much to get your mouth around. Since then, I’ve seen them stuffed with cheese, ham & cheese, bacon & cheese and your traditional Rueben sans rye bread.
    I now reside in Greene County, NY and have a store in Catskill, JERRY’S (not so famous but quite popular) DELI. Most people here have never heard of a knish (until I opened) round or square and pronounce it nish at first. After we get the name right they always ask, “what can I put on it?” I tell them “anything you want!”
    I still shake my head sometimes.

  7. Brian Karp Says:

    Thanks for the mention, its true we do make some great sandwiches with the knish!!!! They take a bit of time but worth every minute of wait! Thanks for the kind words! We have already received much acolades for the knish press but The New York Times is the ultimate! please come on down to the store, try one for yourself and say hello~
    brian karp

  8. Sy Ginsberg Says:

    Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor opened in 1982 with a knish sandwich on the menu, made with pastrami and spicy mustard. I should know…they named the sandwich after me.

  9. Howard Binstock Says:

    Didn’t someone just enter a Foodnetwork contest using the knish as the basis of a sandwich? If I remember correctly the judges were really impressed and I’d love to have the recipe.

  10. NewYorkDave Says:

    Sigh… I don’t get why people diss Gabila’s. They’re the best FRIED knishes I’ve ever had. As far as baked knishes go, I like Knish Nosh in Queens.

  11. Odon Says:

    How much of an unique piece of writing, preserve penning spouse

  12. technews Says:


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