A New York state of mind

From Harry G’s New York Deli & Cafe: The Douglas, the Pittsburgh, and the Cobb Salad (counter-clockwise, from front). PHOTO BY MATT DETURCK


Odds are that many of Brandon Greenwald’s culinary-school classmates at the Charlotte, North Carolina, outpost of Johnson & Wales have spent their time since graduation last year making their bones under some demanding chef in hopes of becoming the next Rene Redzepi or David Chang. But not Greenwald, who took on a challenge that would test even the most seasoned pro: cooking up a restaurant from scratch. And just last week, with the backing of his girlfriend’s parents, Al and Marybeth Giglio, Greenwald launched Harry G’s New York Deli & Café, named in honor of his Bronx grocer grandfather.

            Located in the former South Wedge home of Obatala Shango (that’s now over on State Street, for all your Santería needs), Harry G’s is a bright, airy spot that features Heather Galler’s funky cityscapes on the walls along with tables that practically beg you to doodle on them as you await your order. “Quick, fresh, affordable” is the concise way that Greenwald describes his food, which runs the gamut from breakfasty selections like egg sandwiches and omelets to the homemade soups, baked goods, salads, burgers, and subs that Harry G’s serves well into the evening. The Thumann’s deli meats are free of both MSG and gluten, and whatever Greenwald doesn’t make in-house he sources from the best, such as bagels from Brownstein’s and rolls from Martusciello’s Bakery.

            Now, when the words “New York Deli” are found in a food joint’s title, you can’t help but expect certain things. Harry G’s doesn’t disappoint, offering chicken noodle and matzo-ball soups, potato knishes, and garlicky pickles, as well as pastrami and corned beef that can share the stage with cole slaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, or simply co-star with mustard on rye. You can, of course, create your own custom sandwich, or you can opt for one of Greenwald’s favorite builds, like The Pittsburgh ($7.99 for a 12” sub/$4.49 half), made from chopped steak, melted provolone, spicy Buffalo fries, cole slaw, tomato, mayo, and oil. You vegetarians are taken care of, too; try the Aunt Jill wrap ($5.99): eggplant, portobello, tomato, spinach, provolone, and spicy mayo.

            Harry G’s New York Deli & Café is located at 678 South Ave. Prices range from $1.99 to $7.99. It is open Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 256-1324, drop by the Facebook page, or visit harrygsdeli.com.

In with the new

The Upstairs Bistro at Canandaigua’s New York Wine & Culinary Center is now open, replacing the upscale Taste of New York restaurant with a more laid-back vibe that continues to showcase the best of the Empire State, from artisan meats and cheeses to locally grown vegetables to liquid refreshment from New York’s top wineries and breweries. Visit nywcc.com for more information, or call 394-7070.

Lunch bunch

Attention, midday eaters! You’ve got a couple more options in the city. Village Gate mainstay Lento (271-3470, lentorestaurant.com) has added an 11 a.m.-2 p.m. lunch service to its plate, offering salads, soups, and sandwiches like house-smoked turkey salad ($9) and a vegan quinoa burger ($8) alongside perennial favorites like duck-fat frites ($4) as well as that refreshing raw bar. And Stafford, NY’s Red Osier (413-0151, redosiercatering.com) recently opened the Metro Café in the County Office Building on West Main Street, serving the restaurant’s legendary prime rib (on weck, $6), as well as other sandwiches, salads, and sides, to downtown diners from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hops on top

Tired of all those fake suds you’ve been drinking? Rochester Real Beer Week goes down June 15-23, during which scores of local businesses will honor the art of craft brewing with tastings, food and beer pairings, concerts, and product launches. Saturday, June 16, will see a chunk of Gregory Street close down for the 6-10 p.m. anchor event, highlighted by boutique wines, local grub, hand-rolled cigars, and live music. Also: beer. Tickets start at $40; further details are available at rochesterrealbeer.com.

Saddle up

Rochester’s very first Food Truck Rodeo takes place on Thursday, June 21, 5-9 p.m. at the Public Market. Popular mobile munchies such as Le Petit Poutine and Sammich! are scheduled to participate, their wares augmented by a microbrew garden and music from the likes of the Public Market Band. Want to know more? Call the Market office at 428-6907 or visit the Public Market page at cityofrochester.gov. The Market is located at 280 N. Union St.

Dino bites

The second floor of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s historic 1905 building at 99 Court Street, formerly a passenger station on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, is now open for private events. Overlooking the mighty Genesee, the space features a full bar and seats up to 50 people in the mood for stellar barbecue. For booking info call Dino’s catering arm at 325-9127 or visit dinosaurbarbque.com.

Frank talk

In our May 9 column we wrote about Lettuce B. Frank, the mobile vendor selling a variety of healthier fast-food options from a cart near the University of Rochester Medical Center. Some things have changed with the operation.

            First, to clarify, Richard Schaeffer of Rochester’s Original Carrot Hots made the hot-sauce base we mentioned in the original story, and LBF’s David Potwin added the chopped-up soy dogs.

            Secondly, following the original article, Lettuce B. Frank and Rochester’s Original Carrot Hots parted ways, and LBF has moved to a new location. You can now look for Lettuce B. Frank’s green awning at 290 Crittenden Boulevard, in front of the Saunders Research Building. Visit http://www.lettucebfrank.com for more information about its revamped menu, featuring new items like grilled chicken, spinach, and feta sausage ($4), as well as a chick pea and carrot slider ($4).

            If you’re looking for the carrot hots mentioned in the original article, you can still get them through Rochester’s Original Carrot Hots, which can be found at both the Irondequoit and Fairport farmers’ markets, or sold exclusively via Shooters Curbside Grill.

Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to food@rochester-citynews.com.


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