By Ross Morrone
Address: 3135 Belmont Ave., Liberty.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Address: 311 S. Main St.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, closed.
I’m a sandwich guy. You can ask my wife, and she will tell you the same thing. She can’t figure out why I opt for an Italian melt over a steak when we go out.
I could say that I don’t know why I do this, but I do. It’s because I love the simplicity and flavors you can achieve between two slices of bread with a sandwich.
Combinations of meats, breads and condiments can transform an ordinary sandwich into so much more.
That being said, I feel like I should lie about the next sentence but I can’t. I had never eaten at Kravitz Deli before this review. There, I said it, and although I feel like a weight has been lifted, I am about to explain how I gained it all back.
Kravitz Deli was started in 1939 by Rose Kravitz. Her son, Jack, now owns the two locations. I had a chance to sit down with Marc Rockwell, operations manager, at their newer location inside the Poland Library and try some of their delicious sandwiches for myself.
I started with their two classics: The Corned Beef Sandwich ($7) and The Reuben ($8). Marc explained how they start everyday with fresh corned beef that has been pickled and brined to perfection, then it is slow cooked for three hours.
You can tell the difference in your first bite of either sandwich as the corned beef falls apart in your mouth. Both come in regular or extra-large portions, and if you know me, you know I went with the XL.
The Corned Beef Sandwich highlights the flavor, texture and simplicity a sandwich can have. The top of your bite starts into fresh rye bread and tender corned beef as your bottom bite hits bread, spicy mustard and then a slice of squeaky Swiss cheese until your teeth meet in the middle.
A few chews and I realized how different this corned beef taste is compared to what I have had in the past. The spicy mustard is Dusseldorf brand that they get in from Chicago, which brings a nice compliment of spice to the sour tendency of the beef.
Comparatively, The Reuben is corned beef piled high with a layer of kraut, and instead of mustard it has sweet Thousand Island dressing.
As I mentioned earlier, simply toasting the rye, adding kraut and sweet dressing transforms everything about the taste of the corned beef sandwich into this delicious Reuben. That’s the magic of a sandwich.
These two are the foundation of what Kravitz is known for. But I learned they are experts elsewhere as I moved on to the next two sandwiches.
The Kravitz Steak and Cheese Sub ($8) uses roast beef from the tough eye of round cut of beef. Their preparation of the meat makes it anything but tough.
Slow-braising the meat allows it to stay juicy, and then they slice it thin and pile it up on a large toasted sub. It’s bedded with roasted peppers and cheese that melt into the waves of warm beef.
No sauce needed with this sub because the slight char on the outer ring of the beef gives it two different flavors on your tongue.
The last sandwich of this review was my favorite: The Gyro ($8). I know what you’re thinking: “A gyro is processed meats spun onto a tube and reheated to order.”
For the most part that’s what you can expect ordering a gyro, except this gyro was completely different. It was a fresh leg of lamb slow cooked then cut to order. Piled inside a thick toasted pita with lettuce, tomato, onion, crumbled feta and tzatiki sauce, every bite had a ton of flavor for my brain to decipher.
Lamb is strong in flavor but not so much on this sandwich that you taste it all day. Each ingredient shines in this gyro, and I challenge you to find one better.
These four sandwiches were just the beginning of the large menu Kravitz has to offer. With two locations, Belmont Avenue and the Poland Library, you can get a lunch or dinner to go no matter what side of town you are on.
Their use of fresh ingredients shine in each bite you take, and when you are in the mood for a great sandwich and something different, make Kravitz your next meal.