628 NW 23rd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97210
503-242-1027 | Fax: 503-242-1027
Hours: M-F: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat & Sun: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Lunch money: $$-$$$
Oh, the New York City-style deli dilemma…. It’s seems to be a rather important argument here in Portland. Yep, we’ve got Kenny & Zuke’s and their offshoot SandwichWorks, we sorta still have Rose’s…then…ummmmm?
So while we were walking around doing some sunny afternoon shopping on NW 23rd we happened upon Kornblatt’s Deli and promptly decided to give it a try. Having firsthand knowledge of the delicious true NYC deli experience and having visited Kenny & Zuke’s on a number of occasions, with only so-so results, we weren’t going to hold our breathe about Kornblatt’s. It could easily be hit or miss.
The first thing we noticed at Kornblatt’s was the massive number of menu offering on the equally massive-sized menu. Not just your usual corned beef, pastrami and bagels with cream cheese and lox, Kornblatt’s offers a wide arrange of breakfast, lunch and dinner options—and the full menu is available all day! Score one for Kornblatt’s!
Our lunchtime pal warned us that the popular Empire State Sandwiches were “bigger than your mouth can handle” (and the menu warns “no wimpy appetites allowed”), so we decided to try something a tad lighter.
Since the bagel options take up an entire page of the menu, we decided that would be the more reasonable route we’d go for. We decided on the Salami Tires (salami, deli mustard and provolone) on a garlic bagel. This is one of Kornblatt’s Hot Top bagel sandwiches, served open-faced and with the melt-y cheese broiled to perfection. It turned out to be the perfect sandwich size for lunch. The bagel was garlicky and chewy, the salami was tangy, the provolone was smoky and the deli mustard was spicy and seedy. The side dish we opted for, the coleslaw, was fresh and crunchy, but a little on the mild, watery side.
Our lunch pal was more in the mood to nosh and ordered the “Double Header,” two challah roll sandwiches—one with pastrami, one with corned beef—served with sauerkraut and a side of macaroni salad. While two sandwiches might seem like a lot of food, the Double Header dish was surprisingly manageable. The sandwiches are about slider sized, but heavy on the meat—perfect! We tasted both and couldn’t decide which one we liked better (probably the corned beef, but just by a smidge).
While it was a fairly big meal, we totally cleaned our plates and didn’t have that “oh my gawd, I’m too full” feeling. Good sign! In fact, we loved the bagel we tried so much we HAD to order a half dozen to take home with us (which were devoured within two days).
Although NYC-style delis tend to run on the meat-heavy side of the dietary spectrum, Kornblatt’s does offer a few hearty veggie options like the vegetarian Rueben, the Super Vegi sandwich, the Swiss, cheddar & provolone Sloppy Joe as well as lots and lots of bagel flavors and spreads to pick from.
Kornblatt’s even offer “The Big Salad.” (You should already be familiar with that reference…unless you’ve completely avoided TV since the 1990s.)
Overall, Kornblatt’s is a great gem of a NYC-style deli in the heart of NW Portland. If you have a hankering for some meat, bagels, lox, pickles, matzo ball soup, latkes, potato knish, etc., we can’t think of a better place to go!
-Better (and a little cheaper) than the overhyped Kenny & Zuke’s
-Breakfast all day
-Send your lunch order by fax and pick it up at lunchtime
-Parking (but it’s terrible all over the 23rd area, right?!)