This story was updated to correct the source of the restaurant's breads.
Knishes, kugel and matzoh ball soup, oh my!
There’s now a slice of Manhattan’s Lower East Side in Guilderland.
Nosh NY Delicatessen, which opened a couple of months ago on Western Avenue, between the entrances to Crossgates Mall, is serving a wide assortment of authentic New York deli food to satisfy all your cravings for smoked meats piled high on rye bread with Russian dressing, smoked fish, mayonnaise-rich salads, schmears and any other noshes you might imagine.
A colleague recommended the place, and we stopped in recently for lunch.
Beverly immediately noticed the background music — Sinatra and pals — and was on her way to being charmed. The menu held more pleasant discoveries — a remarkable array of real deli food, things you don’t find every day, like tongue, chopped chicken livers and stuffed cabbage.
Nosh NY Delicatessen
WHERE: 1645 Western Ave., Guilderland. 464-6674, www.noshdeli.com
WHEN: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday
OTHER INFO: All major credit cards accepted; children’s menu available
It’s not inexpensive, but you do get your money’s worth. The triple-decker sandwiches ($10.95-$11.95) are easily enough for two people. (We didn’t discover this until we had ordered one each, and we ended up taking home enough food for lunch the following day.)
Among the freshly minted staff was our server, Rena, who was as good as they come, friendly and open to all of our questions, even offering to take our picture after Beverly had pulled out her camera to shoot some of the food.
Great rye bread
Nosh’s house bread is a delicious Jewish rye, but you also can get white, wheat, challah and pumpernickel. All of the bread comes from the New Mont Pleasant Bakery in Schenectady. The classic deli sandwiches come with a pickle and choice of macaroni or potato salad or coleslaw. Dressings are Nosh’s own Russian, a great deli-style mustard or mayo.
The classic deli sandwiches range in price from $6.95 (egg salad) to $9.95 (hot pastrami, corned beef, brisket or tongue), but you can order the “fressen” version for another $4, adding another quarter-pound of meat. (“Fressen,” Beverly noted, refers to eating voraciously, “like an animal,” as opposed to “essen,” the German word for “eat.”)
Or you could just order the triple-deckers, which have names like “Delancey” and “Canal,” references to Lower East Side street names.
Beverly ordered “The Elliott” ($11.95), hot pastrami and corned beef with Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing. It was an epic sandwich, which she ended up deconstructing to eat.
Similarly, my “14th Street” was enough to feed a small family — rye bread with hot corned beef, roast beef and turkey with Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian, all for $11.95. Both sandwiches came with a dill pickle and a side salad, and I chose the macaroni, which was fresh-tasting and mercifully small.
The sandwiches, while too large to navigate gracefully, were delicious, the pastrami and corned beef both warm and savory treats.
Knishes and kugel
We promised ourselves we’d come again to Nosh to try more of its other traditional deli fare — like the sliced Nova Scotia salmon (lox) served with cream cheese, red onion, capers and sides on choice of bagel, challah or rye bread or the potato knishes, Bubbe’s Noodle Kugel and Barbara’s Hot Meatloaf, one of the dinner choices available.
Dinners, each including soup or salad, also include mac and cheese ($8.99), stuffed cabbage in a traditional Eastern European sauce ($12.95) and roasted brisket with caramelized onion (also $12.95).
As for the brisket, the soup of the day was a vegetable beef made with roasted brisket, and I ordered it while Beverly chose Gram’s Famous Matzoh Ball Soup (each $3.95). The brisket soup was thick with morsels of savory beef and vegetables in a flavorful broth, and the matzoh ball soup arrived with one outsized — and delicious — matzoh ball in a savory broth of its own. Each was a treat that we would order again.
There is a selection of salads on the menu ranging from a basic green salad to a chef salad for $9.95, a Greek salad for $9.25 and salad platters — tuna, egg or chicken salad with tomato, lettuce, onions, cucumbers and olives — for $7.95.
Nosh also offers catering, pre-ordered meals to be picked up at its drive-through, and food by the pound like sliced tongue at $12.99, pastrami at $11.99, and chicken salad or chopped liver at $7.99.
We had no room for dessert but we did linger for a few moments at the glass case where the confections were displayed: New York cheesecake, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, “3-Story Red Velvet Cake” and rice pudding.
We drank iced tea and diet soda with our lunch, but you also can order an old-fashioned egg cream or one of Dr. Brown’s sodas.
Rena, our server at Nosh, is one of those joyful souls who love what they’re doing for a living. She told us she moved to Albany from Columbia County because she loves waiting on tables, and there are only three restaurants in her hometown. We believe her count’s a little low, but here’s hoping she has a long and happy career in the Capital Region.