Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sarge's Deli: A Kosher-Style Staple That Rivals Trendier Counterparts.

Photo by Meredith V.
Photo by Meredith V.
When I was growing up, whenever anything was ailing me, my mother would serve me matzo ball soup from the local kosher-style deli.  "Jewish penicillin" we called it.  My mouth still waters whenever I recall those comforting soup bowls.  In fact, anytime I see mazto ball soup on a restaurant menu, my endorphins immediately enter hyperdrive.  So when I decided to try a local Murray Hill staple, Sarge's Delicatessen and Restaurant (for the first time, although it has been a neighborhood favorite since 1964), I was delighted to see matzo ball soup on the menu.
Photo by WGINY
Upon first walking into Sarge's, pass by the large butcher-shop style counter in the front, and head towards the dining area in the back, where you will find a pleasing arrangement of free starters waiting for you at your table.  While most delis give just cole slaw, pickles and rye bread, Sarge's steps it up a "nosh," and includes a complimentary side of freshly made chopped liver.  My dining companion and I devoured the liver, which was uniquely mixed with chopped hard-boiled egg and a hint of blended spices.  

Next up was the matzo ball soup, that warm broth from my youth which is hard to replicate, but Sarge's did a fine job.  I must admit I was initially disappointed by the nakedness of the soup-- no noodles, vegetables or poultry-- but I still savored every drop and enjoyed the perfectly packed matzo ball.  Moving on to the main courses, Sarge's truly serves up some monster sandwiches!  (True story: there is even a sandwich on the menu called "The Monster"!).  One sandwich is definitely enough for two people to share, and if you decide to dine alone, you may want to opt for the more economical "soup and 1/2 sandwich" option, self-explanatory.  We had the opportunity to try both turkey and corned beef, and I would highly recommend either, or any of the combination sandwiches offered.  

Don't be fooled by the no-frills diner atmosphere of Sarge's, the fact that the tables around you may be full of local senior citizens rather than hip tourists, or the lack of celebrity photos on the wall... this is a solid dining establishment that can certainly rival the likes of the trendier Katz's and Carnegie Deli, and with much more reasonable prices.  

Sarge's Delicatessen and Restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is located at 548 3rd Avenue, between E. 36th and E. 37th Streets. Sarge's also delivers throughout Manhattan, and offers a catering menu for large parties.


  1. Great post!

  2. Chicken soup for what ails you has been passed from my mom to me to you. May the tradition continue. Love MOM