Excellent | Worth a Detour
Review by: Michael Stern
Following mouthwatering tips from users of the Roadfood.com forums, we took an hour out of our schedule in Washington for lunch at Chutzpah. Located at the far end of a Fairfax shopping center, it is a modest-size storefront with an immodest personality. Billing itself as a REAL New York deli, it features gigantic sandwiches, smoked fish platters, bagel plates, hot or cold borscht, and a full repertoire of Dr. Brown’s sodas.
We started with a bowl of matzoh ball chicken noodle soup, which was as homey as can be; and of course I devoured the sour and half-sour pickles that are presented to the table with a bowl of good cole slaw. Jane went for wiener schnitzel, a big, thick slab of juicy meat in an envelope of crunchy, dark brown crust. It is served with lemon wedges and a large side dish of serious meaty gravy. We both thought the gravy superfluous; but the latke (potato pancake) on the side was excellent. I had a hard time choosing from among the pastrami sandwich (which is annotated on the menu with the advice, “Please don’t embarrass yourself and ask for mayonnaise”), hot brisket, chopped liver and a white fish salad platter. So I went for a Reuben, which is an extremely unwieldy heap of steamy corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Russian dressing between two crisp-grilled slabs of rye bread. It comes with thick-cut steak fries and it is delicious!
High on the list of must-try dishes for the future are matzoh brei, blintzes, corned beef hash, chicken in the pot with matzoh ball and kreplach, and noodle kugel. We walked out with a nice black and white cookie, forgoing the seven-layer cake, carrot cake, and genuine New York cheesecake.
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