Kosher Deluxe (aka the beauty of the laffa- and free salad bar!)

With nothing in mind to eat last week, I was wandering down 46h St. (btw. 5th & 6th) when I stumbled upon another one of those Kosher versions of the ubiquitous midtown deli.  Sandwiches, Salad bar, etc… but a quick look at the menu in the window, and I discovered they had Chinese food!  Now, I was brought up Jewish (a reform Jew, so we didn’t keep Kosher at all)- which means I love Chinese food (the goto meal on Sunday nights and Christmas).  But what’s Chinese food without pork (and shrimp for that matter)???  I love pork.  A lot.  As a matter of fact, with all the pork I’ve eaten in my lifetime, I was sort of surprised that an alarm didn’t go off when I walked into Kosher Deluxe.

I bypassed the salad bar and shwarma station on the right, and headed straight to the back, where they serve a variety of sandwiches, dinner type dishes and of course- the Chinese food.  The menu had most typical Americanized Chinese dishes (all served with chicken or beef)- like Lo Mein, General Chow’s, Beef or Chicken and Broccoli, Moo Goo Gai Pan, and my personal favorite- Pastrami Fried Rice, in case you had forgotten where you were.  The big problem was the price.  Almost every Chinese food item was over $12!!!! (And you didn’t even get shrimp!)  I did a quick u-turn, figuring that it wasn’t worth the money- but something caught my eye on the way out.  On the menu above the Shwarma station I saw it…. ”Shnitzel in Pita”.  Helllllllo???

Now, I’m a big fan of wiener schnitzel (german fried veal cutlets), so how could Shnitzel be bad???  I spotted some delicious looking fried stuff below the Shwarma, next to the falafel that I was betting was the Shnitzel.  I ordered it- and was not disappointed… (It is actually a misconception that wiener schnitzel is some sort of sausage- despite “wiener” being part of the name.  In German wiener actually means vealServes me right for just assuming crap.  Wiener actually means Viennese… and a traditional cutlet from Vienna is usually Veal.)

The pics, +/- and the Midtown deal of the century… after the jump.

Shnitzel (which I believe translates loosely to be what we would call ”cutlet”) was indeed the fried “stuff” underneath the Shwarma… and the “stuff” was actually chicken (I was hoping for veal- but oh well).  They stuffed some in a hollowed out piece of pita, slathered with hummus and gave you a small plate to load up at the “salad bar”.  The fried chicken fingers were super crispy and delicious (despite being lukewarm), and went well with the hummus.  The pita bread was not the best- but much better than the stuff you get at most of the stands on the street.

At $7.95 the sandwich was too expensive but they make up for it a little by giving you the small plate to load up at the “salad bar”, which is more like a “pickled items” bar.  The plate is small, but I saw people really loading up- so don’t be shy!  At $8 for a pita sandwich, you’re entitled.  The salads were what you would expect at a kosher deli- a few different kinds of shredded cabbage dishes (or slaws)… one sweet, one vinegar’y and one made with red cabbage; pickled cucumbers, straight up pickles, a carrot salad, a couple of “salsa” type salads, some delicious fried potatoes and gigantic fried pieces of eggplant.

I returned a few days later with my wife to check out the Falafel and Shwarma- and to show her the oh so sweet pickled salad bar.  I ordered the Shwarma on Laffa, which I had seen on my first visit.  Laffa is this gigantic, plush pita thing (that looked amazing!) filled with chicken shwarma and hummus.  They offer to put your “salad” on the inside if you want- but I opted for the small plate again figuring I would get more if I spooned it onto the plate myself.  (I could always take some off the plate and add it to my sandwich if I wanted)  The shwarma was really nicely spiced, and the laffa was as good as it looked.  At $9.75 it seemed really expensive at first, but the sandwich was gigantic, and between it, and the salad it is enough food for two meals (even for me).

But the deal of the century is by far the falafel on pita.  For $4.50 you get a standard falafel sandwich in the same pita as the shnitzel… but here’s the best part- you still get the small plate for the salad bar!!!  That’s right.  A falafel sandwich on pita (covered in hummus) and a free salad bar for four dollars and fifty cents!  Amazing.  I will never go to Moshe’s Falafel cart again… for only an extra half an avenue, you get a free salad!

If you want the falafel on the laffa, you can have it, although the price jumps to $8.  You can also have Shnitzel in a laffa, or shwarma in a pita.  They pretty much will do whatever you want.  If you don’t want a sandwich, they have platters as well.  A big plate of shwarma with hummus, and you get the salad bar with that as well.  You pretty much get the salad bar with everything… so the high prices are somewhat justified by the ginormous amount of food you get, no matter what you order.

THE +

  • Delicious Shnitzel, Chicken Shwarma and Falafel
  • Everything comes with hummus
  • Everything comes with a small plate to load up on the “salad bar”
  • The laffa (a bigger fluffier version of pita bread) is delicious
  • The falafel on pita with the salad bar is a steal at $4.50
  • The laffa sandwiches are enough food for two
  • They have Shnitzel!!!  (Another excuse to eat fried chicken…)
  • They have a nice size seating area… something you don’t get eating from a cart

THE -

  • The price.  With so many cheap shwarma options, some people may not want to spend $8-$10 on lunch (even with a salad bar).
  • If you are looking for lamb shwarma, you are out of luck… only chicken.
  • Sometimes at peak lunch times, the line for the Shwarma station can get pretty long… but it moves quickly.

Kosher Deluxe, 10 w. 46th St. (btw. 5+6th), 212-869-6699

26 Comments

  • I can’t wait to check this place out. A small correction to your German… “Wiener” does not mean “veal.” In German, Vienna is known as “Wien,” so someone or something from Vienna is “Wiener.” (so hamburgers are from Hamburg?) The traditional Wienerschnitzel is veal, but it comes in many variations, including Jagerschnitzel, which has mushroom gravy. Mmmm… gravy.

  • I have eaten at Kosher Deluxe tons of times. The food there is delicious! In my opinion, the shwarma is the best around!!! And we must not forget the HUGE pieces of deep fried egglplant. Heart attack on a plate but who gives a damn when it’s that good.

  • Nice choice with the Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry soda. Dr. Brown’s makes the Kosher deli experience authentic.

  • Mm, looks delish. Laffa looks so plush, I want to sleep in it, hehehehe. Maybe I’ll find one of those places down here! :)

  • what is shwarma?

  • Are you sure the schnitzel was chicken? In Israel the schnitzel is usually made with turkey (at least, the after school snack kind of schnitzel).

  • Yeah… I’m pretty sure the guy behind the counter told me it was chicken.

  • i don’t care what the guy said, this was classic schnitzel and the hamutzim (pickle bar) – ah, makes me homesick for tel aviv. excellent recommend, i never would have voluntarily gone into a glatt kosher establishment otherwise.

  • I work hereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • I work here. I’m in the second picture all the way on the right, I am holding a white bag.

  • having this for the first time today, amazing

  • FYI, first time I visited KD in about a year. The food is amazing still but they raised the prices of the sandwiches about $1. Still, the food is unbeatable!

  • why do they employ homeless men to deliver? i ordered a couple of times and it was the same smelly homeless dude i see begging for change at the subway. needless to say i don’t order from there anymore

  • That can’t be true — homeless men aren’t even kosher.

  • thanks! This was an awesome cheap lunch. I took your suggestion and loaded up on the yummy salad bar. Thanks for mentioning that otherwise I would have been self conscientious. I noticed the guy after me stacked twice as much on his plate! LOL. I was stuffed for hours. Fried eggplant, coleslaw, red coleslaw, peppers, tomato salad, hummus, pickles, cucumber salad….mmmmmm. The falafel was not great though– too dry. No Moshes I must say. But definitely a great lunch with the salad bar thrown in.
    Lots of seating but was PACKED by the time I left.

  • A small correction to your geography… Vienna is in Austria, Wiener Schnitzel is an Austrian foodstuff.

  • I visited KD for my Falafel Friday, the price of a falafel pita is now $6. They do have the best free salad bar though. Eggplant, peppers, carrot salad, it was almost better than the falafel.

    Best value still goes to falafel + fries on laffa at Olympic Pita.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I’m always torn with Kosher D. The Chinese food is consistently horrible and most of the food is overpriced as a lot of kosher places tend to be.

    The matzo ball soup though is lovely. And really, their fried chicken is the best in midtown. No question. It tends to be my comfort food place when I’m at work and my mood or the weather is particularly horrible.

    Plus, you can always be assured of a Dr. Brown’s.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    You would never go wrong with thier food..LOVE thier food.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I always pass on KD’s laffa for the baguette. There is not much similarity between their laffa and real laffa.The baguette itself is not as good as Mr. Broadway’s, but it is OK. If there was no baguette, I would just take it with the pita on the side.

    I haven’t noticed homeless delivery men working for KD. It is possible. I’m sure. There’s an irritable, older black man, and the rest seem to be Indian. Although there doesn’t seem to be much turnover, the delivery guys really vary in when they will show up, how confused they are, etc. One guy is famous for shuffling through the bags to find your name, and then leaving two bags with you. If you luck out, you will get a guy who knows what he is doing. Don’t get it delivered if you are really hungry since there is no telling when the food will actually arrive. Getting it 45 minutes after it was promised is par for the course.

    By the way, if you eat in, you sometimes can get both the fries and the shnitzel hot. This is a problem not just at the lunch hour rush but during their slack times. The whole dining experience suffers as a result.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.