Save the Deli

A Mishmash of News: Awards, New Delis, and Pop Up Mania

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A whole bunch of stuff to cover today.

First, my article in Saveur about the Roots of the Deli has been nominated for an International Association of Culinary Professionals award. Whoop whoop! Awards are announced in early June at a ceremony in Austin, TX.

Next up, I’ve just received word that a new deli has opened in Philadelphia, a city with a fair number of great delis. So glad the momentum keeps building. This one’s called Schlesinger’s and it looks legit. Here’s what their website says:

Schlesinger’s Delicatessen is Center City Philadelphia’s answer to the traditional deli. For nearly a century, delis have been a staple in the United States. Even more than their home-cooked dishes, cured meats and rich pastries, the atmosphere of the Jewish delicatessen served as a gathering place for community and conversation, inspired by nostalgia for the old country. In the 1930s Joseph Schlesinger owned and operated a deli/luncheonette in West New York, New Jersey. More than eighty years later, his grandson Allan Domb continues the family tradition with Schlesinger’s.

Schlesinger’s Delicatessen follows this century-old tradition. Best known for its oversized sandwiches, smoked fishes, massive desserts and traditional deli sides such as knishes, kugels, and potato pancakes, Schlesinger’s is reminiscent of the country’s original delis. The decor is authentic-hardwood floors, wood tables and chairs, tin ceiling, mirrors and stainless steel deli cases. Expect to find lox and bagels, corned beef specials, brisket platters, kasha varnishkes, black and white cookies, a case of Dr. Brown’s soda and good conversation.

My favorite sounding dish is this: Fresh Chopped Liver mit Diced Onions mit Schmaltz

(215) 735-7305
1521 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA

And finally, pop-up and food truck mania continues to sweep the deli eaters of the nation, this time in DC. Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn will be opening a kosher food truck next month outside the Sixth and I synagogue/community center. As reported by Rachel Tepper on :

Named ‘Sixth & Rye,’ the truck will serve traditional Jewish items like corned beef sandwiches and knishes. Micheline Mendelsohn, his sister and spokeswoman, told The Feast exclusively that Spike is “going to try to make it as deli-like as possible.” The idea, which was hatched with consulting chef Malcolm Mitchell, was inspired by a lack of good Jewish delis in D.C.
The truck will be a Friday-only lunchtime affair, parked outside Sixth & I, a former synagogue that has experienced a rebirth as a Jewish center and secular concert venue. Micheline says the plan is to roll out toward the end of April.

7 Responses to “A Mishmash of News: Awards, New Delis, and Pop Up Mania”

  1. Julia Says:

    Fantastic, David!!! Your wonderful article is well- deserving of this recognition! Mazel tov – everyone should go to a deli and toast you with a black cherry or CelRay, washing down a sandwich that owes is origins to this eastern European legacy.

  2. Marshall Says:

    While in Philly recently for business, I thought I would grab dinner at The Kibitz Room on Locust where I had been a number of times previously. When I arrived I saw that The Room was now Schlesinger’s. One look at the menu, and I knew that this was legit. And it is. Great Matzo Ball Soup, excellent dinners (Turkey London Broil was recommended by my server and was amazing), crunchy Latkes and nicely seasoned Kasha Varnishkes. And desserts that will knock you out. It was that good, that I went back the next night. I’ve been to a few of the delis in Downtown Philly, and am confident that Schlesinger’s will be around for the long haul.

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