Posted On: 12/01/2017
The case at Kohnís Kosher Deli & Restaurant beckons with mounds of savory knishes, noodle kugel and all manner of meat, fish and fowl. The sandwiches are piled high, stacks of black-and-white cookies charm, and the staff is friendly, efficient and a bit boisterous. Are we in New York City? No, no we are not. This little gem of a deli is in Creve Coeur. The food offers no surprises, but just like a beloved grandmotherís kitchen, every dish is exactly right.
This is about as perfect as a sandwich can be, and a welcome reminder that the simplest things are often the most satisfying. The pastrami is deeply flavorful with edges rimmed in a peppery rub. Layers are sandwiched between your choice of bread Ė go for the rye. I had mine warm with the works: lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard and mayonnaise. The portion size is far from dainty, making it a great option when youíre dying for a killer sandwich.
Smoked Whitefish Plate
The only tasting note I wrote after trying the smoked whitefish plate was A+. I was far too busy admiring the delicately smoky fish, which crowned a cream cheese-smeared everything bagel along with tomato and red onion. Every element was perfectly dialed in, from the chewy bagel and mild cream cheese to the acidic bite of the red onion and, of course, the fish. Be warned that a little deboning is required Ė a small labor for a truly exceptional lunch. If you donít do bones, try the lox plate.
Chicken Caesar Wrap
Is it weird to call a wrap elegant? Either way, thatís exactly what the chicken Caesar is. A standard flour tortilla enfolds perfectly seasoned, grilled and sliced chicken breast, tomato slices and an abundance of fresh, deep green romaine. Just enough house-made dressing added a punch of flavor without becoming gloppy and overburdened.
Asian Salmon Salad
Eating this salad is like jumping into a cold pool after sweating in a hot tub Ė damn refreshing. Not to mention itís a literal rainbow on the plate. Every bite offered something different, from meaty red and yellow peppers to crisp sugar snap peas, crunchy noodles and tart mandarin oranges. The accompanying house teriyaki dressing tied it all together with a lovely hit of umami.
Matzo Ball Soup
I have a weirdly intense love of soup, so I consider myself qualified to deem Kohnís matzo ball soup a panacea for all that ails you. Itís simple as can be: large, soft matzo balls float in clear chicken broth. I almost never say this about restaurant soups, but it wasnít too salty Ė the broth was clean, flavorful and perfectly seasoned. I already plan on demanding a cup next time I get sick, but you really donít need an excuse.
Prepare to wait for your food if thereís high lunch traffic. The wait is absolutely worth it, but if you donít have time to spare, you may want to shoot for an earlier meal.
Kohnís Kosher Deli & Restaurant
10405 Old Olive Street Road, Creve Coeur, 314.569.0727, kohnskosher.com
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