I got my first taste of quintessential Jewish deli cuisine at Lansky's on the Upper West Side yesterday before the NYC Marathon fireworks show in Central Park. I've heard plenty about Katz's, and other Lower East Side establishments, but I've never had a big ol' sandwich full of pastrami or corned beef or whatnot. Turns out dinner at Lansky's wasn't going to solve that problem either.
We sat down and waiters brought us a bowl of pickles and coleslaw. We noshed while poring over the menu. The half-sour pickles were very good: about the size of your thumb, still green and almost cucumber-y, just with a little bit of salt. The actual pickles were extremely salty and sour, not as good. The coleslaw was a bit too wet for my liking (there was a puddle of watery mayo at the bottom of the bowl), but it was very fresh and tasty. The cabbage and other veggies were sliced into bigger pieces than usual, so they retained a good crunch.
The waiter taking our order was regretfully tell us that they were out of pastrami AND corned beef AND brisket. Alex let out an indignant "WHAT?!" and I definitely was thinking that in my mind, too. What's a Jewish deli without pastrami, corned beef, or brisket? A place that sells...bread. Were they meshuggener!? I thought they musta had some chutzpah to not order enough meat for the day. Schmucks. (Sorry, I just had to use up all my Yiddish vocabulary)
We got an order of onion rings to start, and a Maryland crab cake sandwich and a chopped liver/roast beef sandwich.
Onion rings were impressive. They were massively-cut, thick, and lightly breaded. Piping hot, these onion rings were actually pretty good. There was a legitimate ring of onion inside it, unlike other places where I've had some chopped onion mixture in a ring shape. The breading had good texture, instead of just being a crunchy crumb coating.
|What a hunk o' meat|
My crab cake sandwich was pretty good. To be honest, I haven't had crab cakes before, so I don't really know what makes a good one anyway. There was a lot of visible crab chunks in the cake, which I took as a good sign, that it wasn't all filler and crap. There was a tomato slice and lettuce leaf also in the puffy roll. There was a chunky tartar sauce on the side. It didn't really taste like tartar sauce that I'm used to dunking my seafood in, kind of mild. Overall, I liked the sandwich a lot. It was a little difficult to eat, but a unique take on a sandwich, I thought.
|The bread looks a tad seedy|
Neither of us finished our sandwiches and we both took the second halves to-go. We ended up leaving, kvetching a little bit about our dinner experience.
235 Columbus Avenue