Fleishik's
 

Photo credit: Joshua Lurie

 

The Seder Plate sandwich (photo credit: Joshua Lurie)

Eric Greenspan’s ode to the Jewish deli, with a twist

By Joshua Lurie

Chef Eric Greenspan isn’t exactly known to stick to scripts. That adage holds true at Fleishik’s, the modern Mid-City sandwich shop he founded with Jim Hustead, James Moon, Avi Heyman, and Daniel Uretsky. Fleishik’s takes Jewish tradition seriously, down to hiring a full-time mashgiach to monitor Kosher cooking practices, but also strays from classic recipes in key ways—and serves whiskey.

“I didn’t want to compete with anybody’s Bubbe,” Greenspan says. “Winning Iron Chef is easier than winning a grandmother competition.” As a result, he’s tweaked every sandwich, salad, and nosh (snack). For instance, “modern” chicken soup features a peppery blend of chicken stock and vegetables that’s packed with shredded thigh meat and topped with crispy fried kreplach (dumpling) skins.

Cholent is basically Jewish chili, stewed Friday afternoon and kept in a pot until Shabbat ends. Barley, beans, brisket, onions, and paprika are common in this Ashkenazi dish. Greenspan loads his cholent with all of those ingredients, and adds salami, beef fry, and pastrami. Chickpeas and harissa give it a nod to Sephardic Jewish traditions.

Under the sandwiches, the Zayde translates from Yiddish as “grandfather,” and any Grandpa would no doubt appreciate the thick-cut, grilled salami slathered with deli mustard and piled with sweet house-made pickles and caramelized onions. Toasted rye bread is a good match, though challah, white, wheat, and gluten-free are also available.
The Teddy Hertz honors Theodore Herzl, a founder of modern Zionism. Since he was born in Austria, this sandwich stars crispy chicken breast schnitzel breaded in pretzels and breadcrumbs, with tangy pickled red cabbage, crunchy cabbage and red onion, sweet-tart shaved green apple, and sweet-hot mustard providing balance.

The Seder Plate delivers a fun, far tastier play on traditional Passover foods. In this case, juicy rotisserie turkey breast subs for burnt meat. Cranberries oust apples in charoset, a walnut and red wine dip. A fried egg usurps hard-boiled egg, romaine replaces bitter herbs, and beet horseradish mayo supplants horseradish.

Greenspan called Fleishik’s “The Beastie Boys of sandwich shops, hip, Jewish, and unabashed.” Only one question remains: So what’cha want?

The Zayde sandwich (photo credit: Joshua Lurie)

BBE exclusive combo ($15)

Choice of one sandwich:
The Zayde—grilled salami, house made pickles, caramelized onion, deli mustard
The Seder Plate—smoked turkey with cranberry walnut charoset, fried egg, romaine, horseradish mayo
Teddy Hertz—chicken schnitzel with pickled red cabbage, red onion, green apple, sweet & hot mustard

Choice of one soup:
Cholent
Modern chicken soup

Choice of one canned drink

($15 does not include tax and gratuity)

hours

Sun–Thu 11 AM– 0 PM; Fri 11 AM–3 PM; Sat 1 hour after sundown–midnight

price range

$4 (cup of modern chicken soup) to $18 (The Babasooey)
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