Two weeks (or so) to kosher deli in Fulton -- and the early signs look good.
By early signs, we mean "pickles." Pickles are a quick way to see whether a deli is aiming for excellence, and Pita & Rye's don't just look good. They taste good -- correctly sour and smacking of New York, not a food court.
I'm still trying to tamp down my expectations, but Pita & Rye sold sandwiches Sunday after the half marathon in Maple Lawn. It was $8 for corned beef or pastrami, $6 for salami and a few others. We split a corned beef on a bench, and the details were good -- good meat, good bread, good mustard, good pickles.
They're aiming to open before Memorial Day -- maybe in two weeks. I know that restaurant owners can't pinpoint their dates as they balance contractors and inspections.
Pita & Rye is trying to be something special. They're already unique since they'll be the county's only kosher restaurant, but the owner Jay talked to us at length about his plans to bring stuff from New York and Baltimore, including bagels, breads, meats and more. They're even going to make their own turkey and corned beef, which sounds terrific.
Their purchased corned beef was really good. Very lean and thin-cut. I often think of New York corned beef as heavily spiced like Harold's. This flavor was more meat than "corned," but it went perfectly with soft rye, the zesty mustard and lettuce. I'm soft-selling because this was a single sandwich sold from the sidewalk, and lots of people have commented about how a deli needs to sell great food to really stand out. Give Pita & Rye some time to open and work out the kinks before people make up their minds.
Pita and Rye is going to be a lunch and dinner spot with a deli menu along with shish kabobs, falafel and other Middle Eastern items. That'll be regular meals, along with takeout and catering.
On top, they're hoping to offer some off-the-menu items like selling bagels or loaves of bread. Jay clearly hopes to have some unique items to make sandwiches, and he wants to work with people who might want to pick them up in bulk. They also hope to have a kosher shopping service where you could order meats or other items on-line, then pick them up at the store.