Holy Cow! *BARUCH* Israeli Grill Sizzles In NYC!
I posted a msg. about this restaurant before I left work last night but it mysteriously dissapeared. Hmm.
In any event, the corner of 28th & Lex is home to a simple florescent-lit, inexpensive new Israeli kebab grill that has the most unbelieveably delicious shwarma and kebabs (try the baby chicken)!
The restaurant is glatt kosher under the strict supervision (someone's supervising the kitchen at all times) of the OK Labs (respected by observant Jews strict about their adherance to kashrut). Interestingly, the owner's of Kalustyan's market co-own this place.
Due to OK Labs guidelines, the restaurant is closed on shabbat but is open after sundown on Saturday. This place is going to be very popular, check it out and report back!
I have an office on 28th & Lex. So I have been to Kalustyan's & Baruch Deli quite a lot.
All I can say about Baruch Deli is that they are just as much a mixed bag as is Kalustyan's upstairs (the take-out bit). They make really nice falafels, but we have also had kebabs that were way overspiced, which we had a hard time eating. I got babaganoush and it tasked like they'd dumped a tablespoon of liquid smoke in it.
So it's hit & miss on a culinary level - but the main problem is the chaos in the place. The menu is not accurate, the staff is in a frenzy even when there are 3 customers, and no-one on the other side (our side) of the counter knows who is next in line, or how to order. This can create huge tension/competition between the customers.
The bottom line: Baruch (& Kalustyan's) should invest in a few signs; a new menu (Baruch's been open like 6 weeks, and there are already things that you can order right off the menu, and they look at you like you're nuts); standardize their recipes; and buy a goddamn "Now Serving" ticket machine and counter!
The food can be really good, but it's not consistent - so why endure a place that's such a pain in the ass?
re: Mike Nist
Man, you must've had one bummer of a hummus platter.
Anyway, it's a simple Israeli kebab place...not Le Cirque-o-witz! Besides the casual-ness of the place reminds me of the simple kebab stands in Israel, which I happen to like. Could you imagine a "Serving This Customer" ticket machine in Israel?! It would be comical, actually. In a heimishe (home-y) type way, it's part of the charm.
Sorry you had a bad experience there. Yours is the only "bad report" out of the rave reviews I've gotten. To each his own. Have a good Passover.
The OK alert page http://www.ok.org/alerts.html was last updated on 7-May; I don't know whether that means that no alerts have been issued since then. But the restaurant list http://www.ok.org/restaurants.html was last updated on 25-Jun, and it still lists Baruch.
So I just called the OK five minutes ago, and they informed me that Baruch is definitely still under their supervision, and that "it's fine".
Btw, I've tried both of the new upstart shwarma places in town, Barch (28th and Lex) and Alibaba (west 80s). Pita for pita, Alibaba offers a better product: the meat has more taste, doesn't contain gristle, and offers a larger portion. While both places offer a salad-bar approach to pita stuffers, the assortment and quality of the ones available at Alibaba are generally superior.