Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kahn's Deli

I grew up in Houston but my parents were from the country. Food in our house was pretty simple fare. Fried, roasted and braised chicken or beef. Maybe sometime a braised pork butt. And potatoes or rice and vegetables. I put potatoes and rice separately because you never served a meal without one or the other. Interestingly enough I don't remember a single pasta dish my mother prepared other than mac and cheese. The food was good but never exotic. I was in my teens when I realized there were other kinds of food. So I was truly amazed when I was taken to Alfred's Deli way, way across town. There was a long counter with all kinds of salads, concoctions with names I didn't know, slabs of meat with wonderful crusts and rinds that I had never seen before. And on the wall there were links of meats. I was tongue-tied not knowing what to order. In fact, I don't remember what I did order that first time. Alfred's has been closed for quite a while now but it was my introduction to Kosher food.

One of the best things about all the travel I did to NYC during my working life was getting to go to the NY delis for pastrami or cornbeef sandwiches served with crunchy kosher pickles. That alone made some of these business trips bearable. I'm always on the lookout for another NYC/Alfred's deli in Houston.

We had heard that some of Alfred Kahn's family had some connection to a Deli in Rice Village called Kahn's Deli at 2429 Rice Boulevard so we had to stop in. The pastrami sandwich was good but it was not NYC good. Still when my friend Debbie and I were ready for lunch and we were in Rice Village, we decided to stop in and try the Reuben. We split a sandwich. It was good but, you guessed it, not NYC good. Seems like I may just have to go to NYC for a Reuben or a pastrami on rye.

6 comments:

Mic said...

That picture is mouthwatering!!

pitchertaker said...

Well, it certainly looks good!

Babs said...

Ahh, billie the owner is Alfred Kahn's son. We talked and reminisced the last time I was in there. I too remember Alfred's - it was my introduction to Kosher food and one of my Dad's favorite places to eat. In fact, Alfred Kahn bought my Dad's house after my dad died!
Close ties and great memories.....
Thanks for jogging the old brain.

Billie said...

Babs, I "heard" that the son no longer owns it but some other younger member of the family owns it now. But you know how rumors are.....true/not true?

Felipe said...

Ah, Kahn's Deli in Rice Village, another place I sorely miss, one of millions.

Well, let´s head downtown for another pinche taco.

Billie said...

Felipe, If you want to see the East End of HOuston, take a look at this blog.
http://nextsma.blogspot.com/
Ned and I grew up on the East side and I'm loving this blog.