NYC Dining: 2nd Avenue Deli

2nd Avenue Deli
162 E 33rd Street, New York NY

Web Site:

One of the things I regretted most about going on this new health kick was giving up on Jewish delis. Oh, I know, they are really only supposed to be a treat anyway, but when you think of deprivation, Pastrami sandwiches on Rye go right to the top of the list. So when I had an actual excuse to eat at the recently re-opened Second Avenue Deli — as a means to collect on a bet I made between my boss and myself on the winner of the last Super Bowl, he being a smug New England Patriots fan — I finally decided to take the opportunity.

The newly rebuilt Second Avenue Deli, near the corner of 33rd and 3rd Street in NYC. The original location, that was founded in 1954 on 2nd and 10th was closed in January 2006 due to rent negotiation problems.

Ready for some Pastrami? It doesn’t come too often here on Off The Broiler these days. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for some… SCHMALTZ!

A peek inside the interior.

Part of the Appetizing display.

More Appetizing.

Hey, mustard is low in fat! I can get a mustard sandwich!

Kosher salamis. 2nd Avenue Deli has the distinction of being the only major Kosher deli of significance left in Manhattan (other than Ben’s or Artie’s, which I don’t include in the same league). The other famous Jewish delis, such as Katz’s, The Carnegie, Sarge’s and The Stage, lack Kosher certification, even though they might serve some Kosher goods. Katz’s is even known to serve cheeseburgers and cheesesteaks, which is a big no-no. However, 2nd Ave is open Saturday and Sunday, not following the practice of Shomer Shabbos which is also a no-no for strict Orthodox Jews. Well, you can’t have everything these days.

Need a Shabbos meal in a hurry? Grab a kosher rotisserie chicken.

The counter sells all kinds of bric-a-brac.

Oh man.

Pile-o-Rugelach. I didn’t bother to ask if they had sugar-free versions.

Please stop.

2nd Avenue is a smaller restaurant than either Katz or Carnegie but its got a nice area here for single diners. The atmosphere is more of “a classy joint” than either of the two, as my grandfather would say.

A Pastrami on Rye. An excellent specimen, although machine-sliced. 2nd Avenue lacks the interactive experience of dealing with the deli men who hand slice your meat like at Katz, but the sandwiches here are generous, around a half a pound of meat per.

Salami and Liverwurst cross sections.

This was a container of soup one of the workers was eating on his break. Brisket with Chicken Noodle soup with spinach — it looks like Ashkenaze-Asian Fusion.

The shrine of Dr. Browns. Noticeably missing is the Diet Cel-Ray, which was discontinued by Canada Dry some years ago. I guess I’ll have to settle for Diet Black Cherry and Diet Cream.

Menu Page 1

Menu Page 2

Menu Page 3

Menu Page 4

Menu Page 5

The obligatory plate of Sour and Half Sour Pickles.

An Amuse Bouche of Gribenes (fried chicken skin with onions). Oh man was that good.

My dining companion ordered the mushroom barley soup.

Recovering from a bad flu this week, I got the Matzo Ball.

Mushroom Barley, plated. He said it was quite tasty but a bit heavy on the salt.

Matzo Ball, plated. It was a picture perfect version, perfectly skimmed of fat. Almost too perfect, I like a little bit of fat/gelatin still in the soup, but maybe because I am used to my wife’s version. Flavor was excellent though, and the matzo ball had a perfect texture. Just enough spring but not rock dense and not falling apart.

Extra challah and rye bread for the soups. No I wont be needing that.

Kasha Knish.

Kasha Knish, bisected.

Yeah, we can now say that I fell off the wagon. This is excellent fatty pastrami, although less heavily spiced than other versions I’ve had, such as from Katz and Liebman’s.

My dining companion had the Corned Beef and proclaimed it excellent.

We each were given a complimentary shot of Egg Cream to finish up. The Jewish version of a Happy Ending.

A happy New York family enjoying the pleasures of Jewish deli cuisine.

13 Responses to NYC Dining: 2nd Avenue Deli

  1. Melissa says:

    The gift from God for the sufferings of the Jewish people over the centuries …

    On the eighth day, there were kasha knishes and gribnes and God saw that it was good .. oy, was it ever good!

  2. Molly says:

    Oooh, that’s what makes me miss NY/NJ. The pickle shot made my mouth WATER. One question, if the deli you went to was Kosher, what was the egg cream made with? Yes, I know there is no cream in an egg cream but isn’t it supposed to be made with milk?

    Best of luck to you getting back on the wagon.

  3. MissGinsu says:

    Thanks for the mouthwatering photo tour… and welcome back, 2nd Avenue! That new address is going straight onto my comfort food list for the next time I’m illin’. (Although I may have to visit sooner for some pastrami and pickled beets.)

  4. John Fox says:

    2nd Ave. Deli also serves a very good kosher frankfurter from Empire National (not to be confused with Empire Kosher) out of Brooklyn.

  5. Joan says:

    This is why we Korean chicks like them Jew boys… sigh.

  6. Steve says:

    Ahn yong ha seo, Joan! Come join the Tribe for a nosh sometime…

  7. Michele L says:

    Oh Gribenes – Cholesterol be damned!

  8. 7nGood idea.4s I compleatly disagree with last post . dzy
    купить ламинат 3t

  9. Judy says:

    Tomorrow I will be here (from Colorado) for the pastrami on rye and barley soup

  10. Sandy Lebowitz says:

    To Molly (a little bit late),

    It’s chocolate soda, not egg cream! and it’s perfect (having grown up in a candy store in Brooklyn

  11. […] and I may even have to downgrade that dozen to less than a handful, including Katz’s, 2nd Avenue Deli (which re-opened in 2008 in a new location) , Carnegie, The Stage, Sarge’s and Junior’s […]

  12. allan says:

    to bad 2nd ave deli doesn’t serve orwashers rye i think that would complete the picture.the best past
    trami and the best jewish rye. why not? i do not get it!!!!!

  13. […] in this country, let alone the New York/New Jersey metro area. In New York City’s Katz,  2nd Avenue and the Carnegie are perhaps the most well-known and somehow Manhattan is able to sustain a number […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: