Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rascal's NY (in Blue Ash) Deli

I ran around the yard while Neil and Barbara moved some of the dirt pile that I like to scratch around in.  I wonder what they're up to?  Barky Charlie just watched us from the window.  I knew he wanted to be outside too, but I was the only one allowed 'cause it's my yard.

The Storefront Dining Room at Rascal's

      Barbara was still visiting and she and I were on our own for the day as Eric had to work.  We had done some yard work and a deli sounded like it would satisfy our appetite.  Our friend Paul had recommended Rascal's NY Deli in Blue Ash.  It was late for lunch, but the place was humming when we arrived.  We were immediately seated and brought a bowl of kosher pickles and green tomatoes.  We looked over the extensive menu where quite a few items seemed foreign, but both of us were intrigued by the chopped liver salad sandwich.  I asked Barbara if she had ever tasted chopped liver and we agreed that we had not and should give it a try.  Barbara asked our server about how it was made, which she eagerly described and asked if we would like a sample.  She brought a generous scoop and with one bite we had made our decision.  Well, part of it.  We decided that it would be best to share two sandwiches as the chopped liver salad was a bit rich.  For our second plate, we opted for the hand-carved turkey.  The sandwiches come with two potato latkes, cinnamon applesauce and a choice of breads (we went with rye for the chopped liver and Challah – an egg bread – for the turkey).  Wanting to try as much as we could on our first visit, we chose to substitute the slaw for latkes on the second platter.  

Chopped Liver Salad Sandwich on Rye
Hand-carved Turkey on Challah Bread
      As I mentioned, the chopped liver salad was not only richly flavored, but quite smooth and perfectly paired with the rye bread.  The incredibly moist turkey was piled high on the challah, which was light and airy.  Both came with lettuce, tomato, and onion accompaniments.  I liked the potato latkes, but Barbara thought she had tasted better.  We agreed that the slaw was a perfect mixture of cabbage, carrots, and just the right amount of dressing.  Service was attentive and friendly.  I asked about the spring chicken salad on the menu and joked about whether the "spring chicken" were young chickens.  Yuk, Yuk!  Again, we were presented with a sample.  Our server had described it as really good.  We found it to be a little bland.  I thought that the "spring" might indicate that it was made with asparagus or some other seasonal ingredient.  Instead, it was just chicken, celery, onion, and mayonnaise.  However, our slight disappointment was not enough to sway our satisfaction with our other selections.  

Rascal's Delicatessen
      In fact, Eric liked our report and we returned about a week later with Lisa on a Friday night around 8:30pm.  The scene was much quieter and, at first, seating us seemed to be a problem.  After that hiccup, service was attentive and friendly.  Lisa chose the sweet and sour cabbage soup of the day and Eric the chicken matzo ball soup.  Both were nice, but the flavors of the cabbage soup were especially satisfying.  Eric had the chopped liver salad and agreed with our earlier review.  Lisa had the triple-decker grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat that she found to be not grilled all the way through (hard to accomplish with three layers of bread), which left the cheese not thoroughly melted.  I had the avocado and cheese melt on the challah bread.  I wasn't sure if this light bread could take the grilling but it was really a good decision as all the flavors were perfectly melded together.  Eric eyed a black and white cookie for dessert.  He ended up passing it around as he wasn't too impressed and found it to be on the dry side.  Sometimes you just have to stay with what you know is good.  In this case, it's the chopped liver salad and soups.  At least those are our favorites so far.  I'm sure we'll be returning to sample more!

Rascal's NY Deli on Urbanspoon

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