To me, Saratoga Springs has always felt like a little neighborhood someone cut out of Manhattan and pasted in Upstate New York. It has the pulse, hipness, culture and arts scene of the Big Apple. The only major thing that seemed to be missing (other than, blessedly, the NYC traffic and noise pollution) was a good Jewish deli.
Well, those days are finally over. Today, July 17, marks the opening of Saratoga’s Broadway Deli, which opened its doors for the first time, just in time for the lunch-hour rush. Opening day included a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and lots (and lots) of eager customers, looking to dig in to its menu of delicious Jewish deli delicacies, such as chopped liver, matzo ball soup and the hot pastrami sandwich. Did I mention the fried latkes? It was well worth the wait. I know because I buzzed down there for lunch today with my girlfriend. It’s located at 420 Broadway, right behind Kilwins, in what used to be Berkshire Mountain Bakery. (Basically, right below saratoga living‘s headquarters in the Washington.)
The store has an entrance from Broadway (just look for the little chalkboard sign next to Kilwins – see below) as well as one inside Northshire Bookstore, so you can eat your Reuben and browse the fiction section at the same time (actually, those sandwiches have a lot of dressing on them, so that’s probably not such a good idea).
Scores of locals came by for lunch today—including a few of my colleagues from saratoga living. Some patrons didn’t even know that the store had just celebrated its grand opening. Andrea Toole and Anna Knapp, who both work at Fingerpaint Marketing across the street, came on their lunch break. “I had no idea it was their first day,” said Knapp. “The pastrami’s good, the coleslaw’s good.” Toole got the latkes with smoked salmon and said, “It’s delicious. It has great flavor. I would definitely recommend it!”
It’s not easy to find good Jewish deli-style food this far north of NYC. “I thought there were really only three things missing in Downtown Saratoga: a diner, a deli and a taco place,” says Saratoga’s Broadway Deli’s Owner, Daniel Chessare. “But I didn’t feel like working nights anymore, so I went with the deli.” Chessare started in the Saratoga restaurant scene while in high school, busing tables at Little India when they were still located on Broadway. Since then he’s worked in various restaurants around town, working his way up to sous chef at the Wine Bar and Head Chef at the Merry Monk. But after such a long time in the restaurant business, he wanted a place he could finally call his own. “It’s more stressful than just working in a restaurant—but more enjoyable,” says Chessare of his deli’s opening.
For vegetarians like me who wish they could get the full Jewish deli experience like they did back in their meat-eating days (glorious bacon, drool), don’t worry that you’re missing out: Saratoga’s Broadway Deli has a number of tasty vegetarian options, including what I ordered, a creamy hummus wrap with a side of latkes (sans lox). But if you want to get a knish, you better go early, because they’re selling like hotcakes.