It's August, which means there's much ado about Houston Restaurant Weeks right now. But last year, Ziggy Gruber of Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen Restaurant debuted a competing month-long promotion. And in its second year, New York Delicatessen Restaurant Month is even bigger and better. This year, there are 19 participating delis, from New York to Los Angeles, but also less obvious cities like Nashville and Cleveland.
In Houston, the two locations of K&Z are the only participants. In each city, the participating restaurants choose their own local charity. Gruber chose to partner with Holocaust Museum Houston. Ten percent of each three-course, $37 menu helps to fund the museum's educational programs. But besides an excellent meal, diners also get a voucher for tickets for two to visit the museum at its temporary location (which will open at 9220 Kirby Drive, likely in September) anytime from October through next May.
So what's on the table? Basically, scaled down (i.e. manageable) portions of K&Z's most traditional favorites. That means that tableside chopped liver, smaller (but still huge) bowls of matzoh ball soup, knishes and kishkas are among the starters, but there are no sandwiches to be found. Instead, entrées lean toward fare influenced by Gruber's Hungarian heritage: goulash served over egg noodles, slow roasted chicken and thinly sliced, gravy-enrobed brisket with a latke are among the offerings. For dessert, there's assorted rugelach, cheesecake with a choice of toppings, or perhaps the most Hungarian of all, Seven Layer Cake, a chocolaty confection descended from many-layered Dobos torte. Doing good is sweet enough, but we like it even better paired with our favorite cake.