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57° Good Morning
57° Good Morning

Where I come from, the word "deli" refers not just to a kind of eatery but to the food served there. In the same vein, "appetizing" - i.e., lox and cream cheese, chopped herring and bagels - is frequently a noun, not an adjective. Only in New York would "For lunch, I'm having appetizing; for dinner, we'll eat deli" make sense.
At Deli King, your meal starts with a plate of pickles, pleasingly sweet coleslaw, and a platter of chopped iceberg lettuce with croutons and a fine lemony vinaigrette. Chopped liver makes a rich, satisfying indulgence. I would drive miles out of my way for a bowl of Deli King's matzoh ball soup, probably the best sampled to date outside a home kitchen. Mushroom barley soup is homey and flavorsome (but in need of a little salt), split-pea soup fine and fortifying.

If you're having a sandwich, the pastrami, peppery with just the right-sized ruffle of fat, is not to be missed. Other sandwich standouts include the hearty corned beef, great rare roast beef, winningly salty turkey, terrific tongue and melt-in-the- mouth brisket. Forego the falafel wrap; who orders a vegetarian dish like falafel in a deli anyway?

Romanian tenderloin steak, topped with a thatch of fried onions, is savory, if a bit chewy. Crisp-skinned, succulent roast chicken comes with great mashed potatoes laced with sauteed onions, what you'd expect to find inside a good knish. Speaking of good knishes, order the baked (round) potato knish, not the square (fried) one. Both sweet potato fries and regular fries are cut in enormous slices and addictive.

For dessert, at dinner, you'll get a gratis plate with halvah, meringue cookies and surprisingly moist dairy-free carrot cake.

Joan Reminick 

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