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 veal. Serves 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.
- 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 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