Liebman’s Kosher Delicatessen
552 W 235th St, Bronx, NY
web site: http://www.liebmansdeli.com/
I love Jewish delis. The sad reality remains that they are quickly fading from the American landscape as generations of people who loved and prepared this type of food are dying off. Additionally, the climbing prices of urban real estate make it all to tempting to sell off and bulldoze these cultural landmarks in favor of condos or shopping centers. This realization that the days are numbered for the Jewish delicatessen makes me crave a good pastrami on rye with a kasha knish and a Cel-Ray even more.
One such deli that appears to be defying this unfortunate trend of decline is Liebman’s, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, which remains a very strong bastion of older Jewish American residents.
Liebman’s, clogging Jewish arteries with love since 1953.
A trip to Liebman’s is like going back in time to the good old days when Jewish delis were in every major NYC neighborhood. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link for more.
The Liebman’s Deli storefront on 235th Street in Riverdale.
A view of the knish/hot dog grilling area. Liebman’s makes 3 kinds of round knishes in-house, kasha, potato and meat. The square ones are made by Gabila’s, the most common type of knish sold in NYC.
These are potato latkes, made with a mixture of potato and matzo meal. Each of these is like the size of a 12 ounce hamburger.
A close-up of the hot dog grill area.
Liebman’s hot dogs and salamis are Hebrew Nationals, which are the few items that are not made in-house.
Liebman’s smokes its pastrami and brines/cures its corned beef in-house, one of the few remaining Glatt Kosher-certified Jewish delis that still does. The “legendary” NYC delis such as Katz’s and Carnegie are Kosher-style delis, meaning that they serve Jewish foods, but are not actually supervised by a mashgiach and cannot be given certification. This is also due to the fact that by virtue of their food offerings they cannot follow strict Kosher guidelines, in that they serve dairy items alongside meat items and have dairy mixed in the same dishes (example, a Reuben Sandwich has swiss cheese on it). New York City’s most notable Kosher deli, The Second Avenue Deli, closed in 2006 and is expected to re-open at a new location in Fall of 2007.
Here’s some of the pastrami which we bought from Liebman’s. While it is machine sliced and not hand-sliced like Katz’s, they are nice thick consistent slices and the meat is very well marbled. The quality of the meat is top notch, the seasoning is excellent and I’d easily put it up there with Katz and Carnegie.
Pastrami: The Breakfast of Champions.
Rachel’s breakfast, a chopped liver sandwich.
Knish cross-sections. Kasha/Potato mixture (bottom) and Meat (top)