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Gary & Lenny's New York Delicatessen, Lawrenceville

Foody4life Mar 28, 2010 11:13 AM

Recently opened on Route 1 south across from Quakerbridge Mall in the old Denny's location.

We went today for lunch and had a great experience. J and I arrived at noon and were seated right away. Expect waits once the word gets out. The dining rooms have been spruced up and to the right as you enter, there's now a series of refrigerated display cases for desserts and takeout.

The menu is extensive and covers all the bases from breakfast to dinner. Jewish specialties are well represented along with smoked fish combos, a column of reubens and more. One highlight is their selection of Junior's cheesecakes by the slice! The real deal without having to go to NYC.

J ordered 2 eggs over easy with corned beef hash and I ordered the pastrami and corned beef reuben. Her eggs were cooked perfectly and the hash was home made with a good ratio of beef to potato. My reuben was outstanding. The plate included two baseball sized mounds (one corned beef & one pastrami) of ultra lean meat piled high on two crispy potato pancakes with coleslaw and russian dressing between the meat and the pancakes. Swiss was melted on top to finish it off. Would order again in a heartbeat.

Service was efficient and the kitchen was quick. All in all a great start and we look forward to returning for more. On the way out, we picked up a slice of Junior's cherry swirl cheesecake. It was gone 10 minutes after getting home!


note - Disregard the map and deli to the right. It is not the location or deli referred to here.

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  1. b
    BigGeorge RE: Foody4life Apr 2, 2010 07:45 PM

    After looking at the menu on line, I would like to ask NY (jewish) Deli serves bacon and ham?

    1 Reply
    1. re: BigGeorge
      MarkG RE: BigGeorge Oct 27, 2011 11:49 PM

      jewish doesnt necessarily mean kosher. and kosher doesnt necessarily mean glat kosher

    2. njfoodies RE: Foody4life Apr 5, 2010 07:47 AM

      Do they have pastrami or corned beef sandwiches that as are good as Katz Deli? That would be absolutely awesome! -mJ

      4 Replies
      1. re: njfoodies
        Foody4life RE: njfoodies Apr 5, 2010 07:55 AM

        I haven't had their traditional sandwiches yet, but J did order the corned beef reuben on our last visit. Lots of meat piled midhigh ... not as over the top as those in NYC. Looked good but I was enjoying the "L3 Pastrami & Corned Beef reuben" served on two potato pancakes - for the second time!

        1. re: njfoodies
          Bubblicious RE: njfoodies Jun 21, 2011 04:09 PM

          Yes the Hot Pastrami and Hot corned Beef are Excellent! Would recommend highly! A+++

          1. re: Bubblicious
            The Professor RE: Bubblicious Jun 21, 2011 06:00 PM

            I'll give it a try, but I have to say...the original post's mention of "ultra lean pastrami" would normally be a red flag to stay away.
            I'm willing to give them a shot, though. I hope they offer the option of pastrami the way it is supposed to be (with at least some fat on it). Otherwise, I'm afraid it would be a definite fail.

            1. re: The Professor
              Foody4life RE: The Professor Jun 22, 2011 10:03 AM

              OP here... Forget my description of the pastrami being ultra lean. My bad for an incorrect description of such an important aspect of any deli!

              I posted follow up pics below in this thread and one pic (and better yet - taste), is worth a thousand words! ymmv.


        2. c
          cranrob RE: Foody4life Apr 19, 2010 07:03 AM

          Finally made it here yesterday. The $5 bowl of chicken noodle soup was a disappointment - tasted sort of institutional. Pastrami was OK, but nowhere near Katz's or even Harold's. Nice to have a deli close by again, but I'll stick with Harold's for my cravings.

          2 Replies
          1. re: cranrob
            Check17 RE: cranrob Apr 19, 2010 07:35 PM

            I agree with you cranrob about Katz's and Harold's, just hope the quality of this new deli improves.

            1. re: cranrob
              Bubblicious RE: cranrob Jun 21, 2011 05:11 PM

              You should try the Cabbage Borscht! So gooood!

            2. s
              SarahEats RE: Foody4life Apr 20, 2010 06:18 AM

              My husband and I went here last night and had a good meal. I ordered the L-3 based on your recommendation and loved it. We also shared an order of pierogies and my husband got a crock of French onion soup with his sandwich. The soup was on the salty side, but everything else was great. I know this used to be a Denny's (many fond high school memories there) but I would have thought they'd do more to spruce it up. We asked the waiter about the menu being almost identical to Moish & Itzy's in Newtown, PA and he said it was the same owners.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SarahEats
                the taco gringo RE: SarahEats May 6, 2010 10:13 AM

                I had a Reuben there last week that was very good. By the way, they have 9 different Reubens on the menu.

              2. ellen4441 RE: Foody4life Apr 23, 2010 10:51 AM

                So what brand of pastrami and corned beef do they use???
                I doubt it's homemade, but I'd love a nice surprise!

                Perhaps their brisket and turkey is homemade???
                that's usually the case, as it's way easier to make that onsite , compared to smoking and curing pastrami !!

                1. menton1 RE: Foody4life Feb 24, 2011 02:17 PM

                  "Lean" Pastrami just has no flavor. (OP reported very lean pastrami) REAL NY Pastrami has visible fat content, and that gives it all the flavor. Supermarket pastrami is lean, and it's awful.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: menton1
                    LEOFONT RE: menton1 Feb 24, 2011 03:22 PM

                    MENTION-1 You are 100% correct....I think they described it as "ultra lean".....that's good for those with high cholesterol, and their Doctors advise them against consuming "fat'.....but I have always asked for fatty. (not too fatty) corn beef ...it gives flavor and taste

                    1. re: LEOFONT
                      Foody4life RE: LEOFONT Feb 25, 2011 04:58 AM

                      OP here ... I can't recall what the visible fat content was and maybe the "ultra lean" tag was a bit out there. Anyway, what's more important to me than fat content is - taste content.

                      The L3 pastrami and corned beef reuben was so tasty that I ordered it again, on our next visit. Just one guy's opinion, ymmv.

                      1. re: Foody4life
                        menton1 RE: Foody4life Feb 25, 2011 06:00 AM

                        I guess if you can't get to Katz in NY, this is a fair substitute...

                    2. re: menton1
                      ellen4441 RE: menton1 Feb 25, 2011 09:10 PM

                      I'm with you on this one , Menton !! Someone tells me "lean" or "extra lean" pastrami, it's just
                      plain WRONG , lol !!

                      1. re: ellen4441
                        menton1 RE: ellen4441 Feb 26, 2011 08:16 AM

                        If you don't want the fat, pastrami is just not for you!

                        And, there is absolutely NOTHING like Katz' pastrami. Hand sliced, no machines, and they cure themselves right on premises. Ahhhhhh......

                        1. re: menton1
                          Foody4life RE: menton1 Feb 26, 2011 09:13 AM

                          ahhhh you're so right ... but if every deli was as GREAT as Katz's, then Katz's would be just another deli!

                          Speaking of catz mention1, your two in the window look like our two - very happy eaters! : )

                          1. re: Foody4life
                            menton1 RE: Foody4life Feb 27, 2011 08:37 AM

                            Yes, alas, the first sweetie (Lily) has passed, she was so beautiful. The one looking out the window is Munchie Pie, also a darling, she's a big love bucket.

                    3. b
                      bakersma RE: Foody4life Feb 26, 2011 01:38 PM

                      Went there this afternoon.....I had deli sandwich, and my wife had breakfast items. Both very good; also enjoyed the pickle bar. Soft drinks were complementary refills, and our waiter kept our glasses filled. The seating/service was prompt and he did a great job. Prices and portion sizes were both quite reasonable. Overall, certainly no complaints .... happy we chose to eat lunch at Gary & Lenny's today .... and we will be sure to stop again next time we are over near Princeton on Rt. 1.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: bakersma
                        jfedorko RE: bakersma Feb 26, 2011 07:23 PM

                        Went there this afternoon as well. I ordered the over-stuffed pastrami on rye, my wife ordered the corned beef on rye. Both sandwiches were very good. The pastrami had a fair amount of fat and was very tasty. Very thin sliced & very tender, I'd have to rank it as one of the best pastrami sandwiches I've ever had. I've had fattier (at Irv's in Neptune), and prefer a fair amount, I think Gary and Lenny's was just right. Tasted my wife's corned beef, which seemed a bit leaner, and to me not as flavorful. FYI, according to the menu either sandwich is available "made lean 1.00 additional". Enjoyed the pickle bar as well, and of course, the Junior's cheesecakes.

                        One caveat, ordered the pastrami "overstuffed" and at a 30% upcharge I expected more meat. While there was a difference in size between the pastrami and corned beef, it wasn't 30%. Next time I'll save the $3 and just get the regular sandwich, it probably would have been enough.

                        1. re: jfedorko
                          Foody4life RE: jfedorko Feb 27, 2011 08:35 AM

                          We were there yesterday afternoon as well. Of course I ordered my fav - the L3 pastrami and corned beef reuben. J had a salad topped with grilled chicken breast. She liked it a lot.

                          Here's pics of their infamous corned beef and pastrami. Really tasted great!

                          1. re: Foody4life
                            ellen4441 RE: Foody4life Feb 27, 2011 09:51 AM

                            gr8 pastrami pics , Foody4life !! looks real good !
                            I'm such a tough pastrami critic, tho, & I can't wait to try it & give my 2 cents, lol !!!

                            1. re: ellen4441
                              Check17 RE: ellen4441 Feb 28, 2011 04:32 PM

                              Just got back from Gary and Lenny's. I had the pancakes and a nice side of home fries. My daughter had the hot corned beef sandwich which she ate rather quickly. She rarely finishes any sandwich she orders. The pickle bar has been a nice addition to the place, much better than giving you a bowl of a selection you might not like. They also had dinner rolls, sliced bread and little sweet corn muffins.

                      2. b
                        barisaxdoodle RE: Foody4life Jun 20, 2011 10:55 AM

                        I went there for dinner this past Saturday with my family. I must say it was the worst meal I've ever eaten.........or NOT eaten. I ordered a simple roast beef sandwich on rye with mayo. I couldn't bite into the sandwich because it was almost all fat. I opened up both halves, hoping for some meat, but all I got was fat. When I told the waitress, she stated that they could make me another sandwich but couldn't guarantee that it would be any better. I passed. My son ordered the chicken caesar wrap which was almost entirely lettuce. A caesar wrap was more like it......no chicken involved. My mother ordered the potato pancakes which were mediocre, at best. They didn't taste bad if you didn't mind the fact that they were dry and cold. Needless to say, we were quite disappointed..........and won't be returning.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: barisaxdoodle
                          Bubblicious RE: barisaxdoodle Jun 21, 2011 04:24 PM

                          Wow, I have never had anything bad from Gary & Lenny's! I eat there at least twice a week with my colleagues and Love Love Love the food! So sorry you had a bad experience. Maybe you should try the Pastrami or Hot Corned Beef. Looooove it! Just my opinion.. The desserts are bangin too! They have Juniors Cheesecakes and the famous 4th street cookies from Philly. So goooey and yum. I also had a lunch meeting catered and everyone raved about how great the food was. Hmmm dunno. Maybe you should give it another whirl...

                          1. re: barisaxdoodle
                            ellen4441 RE: barisaxdoodle Jun 30, 2011 08:31 PM

                            good detailed review, barisaxdoodle !!!!! Your roast beef, "chicken?" caesar wrap, and potato pancakes all sound very UNacceptable..!!

                            And , while I love all your exclamation points, BUBBLICIOUS, I'm a bit LEERY cuz it looks like you only have 3 posts on Chowhound, and they are all regarding Gary & Lenny's .
                            (perhaps its just cuz you love the joint that much, tho, ?!?

                            1. re: ellen4441
                              stillnotdon RE: ellen4441 Jul 1, 2011 07:50 PM

                              It certainly makes me leery that barisaxdoodle only has ONE post on Chowhound .

                              1. re: ellen4441
                                Bubblicious RE: ellen4441 Jul 12, 2011 07:06 PM

                                Yes I do Ellen.. The company I work for have events catered through them all of the time and we get nothing but praise about the food. I do Love it . The people are nice and I am addicted to the Turkey Pastrami. I simple clicked on a link through facebook via Gary & Lenny's fb to learn of Chowhound.. I don't think people give the new restaurant a chance. Seems like some of these people went in there looking for something to complain about. Looking for another restaurant to compare it to without giving it a fair shot. My husband and I have dined at many of restaurants and have not a problem with Gary & Lenny's... We Love the Pickle bar too :)

                              2. re: barisaxdoodle
                                Bubblicious RE: barisaxdoodle Jul 12, 2011 06:56 PM


                              3. s
                                stillnotdon RE: Foody4life Jun 20, 2011 06:11 PM

                                We've been several times--while I do agree that roast beef shouldn't be fatty and chicken wraps SHOULD have chicken--If you go to a "jewish-style" deli, ya gotta get the corned beef or pastrami. It's what they do. We were at Harold's in Edison once and a guy at the next table ordered a BLT. It was ridiculous---12" high---4" lettuce, 4" tomato, 4" bacon. Silliest looking sandwich I ever saw. All I'm saying is give it another chance, but get the pastami....

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: stillnotdon
                                  Bubblicious RE: stillnotdon Jul 12, 2011 07:09 PM

                                  I agree :)

                                2. o
                                  OGguy RE: Foody4life Jun 21, 2011 05:26 AM

                                  I had a brisket sandiwch there a few months ago - it was dry and tasteless.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: OGguy
                                    joestein RE: OGguy Jul 1, 2011 06:44 AM

                                    When we were purchasing a car at Princeton Acura a few months ago, I noticed the New York Deli, which is just down the road from there, and remembered the reviews I had read here and decided to stop by.

                                    First the Pastrami was EXCELLENT, but sadly everything else was horrible. Both the Kreplach and Matzoh ball soup were disgusting. Even the potato pancakes were bad. On top of it all the service was lacking.

                                    Would I go again if I found myself in the area, yes, because the Pastrami was that good. IMHO it was better than Katz (which I am not that impressed with). Maybe getting some sandwiches to go would be the best bet.


                                    1. re: joestein
                                      ellen4441 RE: joestein Jul 2, 2011 07:35 PM

                                      oops, it sounds like you mean GARY & LENNY'S New York Deli, not the "New York Deli", cuz that's in UNION CITY, by Hoboken, as it turns out, LOL !!

                                      As much as I LOVE real good pastrami, it's a HUGE turnoff when so many others items of theirs are "horrible". Besides pastrami, I also JUDGE a place by their MATZOH BALL SOUP, and I hate watery versions, etc, etc..

                                      IMO, it's better to have a SMALLER menu, and just concentrate on the things you can really dod WELL .....

                                      New York Deli
                                      201 New York Ave, Union City, NJ 07087

                                    2. re: OGguy
                                      ellen4441 RE: OGguy Jul 2, 2011 07:29 PM

                                      tnx OGguy, cuz DRY & TASTELESS does not agree with me !!!

                                    3. menton1 RE: Foody4life Jul 1, 2011 07:27 AM

                                      How does this place compare to Harold's in Edison?

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: menton1
                                        joestein RE: menton1 Jul 1, 2011 07:40 AM

                                        I havent eaten at Harolds in many years, I remember not being very impressed with it.

                                        I generally think that places that get a reputation of HUGE portions usually have sub-par food.


                                        1. re: joestein
                                          LEOFONT RE: joestein Jul 5, 2011 03:57 PM

                                          I AGREE.......huge portions and quality don't usually go together, but in Harolds,this is the exception to the rule,....he cures his own corn beef and pastrami 7 days, buys top quality beef, and you pay for it !!...$45.00 for a very tasty short rib dinner with veggies, ...but you have enough for two dinners, so it's no longer $45.00 for one dinner, it's $23.50 for each dinner

                                        2. re: menton1
                                          snuggsie RE: menton1 Jul 1, 2011 07:58 AM

                                          katz's is the best. Harold's is OK. Gary and Lenny's are OK for the Princeton area. They have no competition.

                                          1. re: snuggsie
                                            menton1 RE: snuggsie Jul 1, 2011 09:12 AM

                                            I hear the pickle bar at Harold's is awesome...

                                        3. Foody4life RE: Foody4life Feb 20, 2012 12:07 PM

                                          Gary & Lenny's, Lawrenceville CLOSED - as of 2/15/12.

                                          From their facebook page, they note they weren't making the numbers for the Lawrenceville location.

                                          They also note, they still have their original deli (owned for about 20yrs) nearby in PA . . .

                                          Moish and Itzy's Summit Square Delicatessen and Restaurant. It's located in the Summit Square Shopping Center on the boarder of Newtown and Langhorne - at routes 413 and 332 (Newtown bypass).

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