Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Saul's Deli - A Mostly Review

The weekend before last, SweetPea and I went on an adventure with friends. They brought their boxer and we brought Gomi and we hit the huge dog park in Richmond called Point Isabel. While I was convinced that we had one good dog and one asshole, it turns out that we have one short asshole and one tall asshole. Apparently my pit bull thinks that mouthing the necks of strange dogs is an appropriate greeting. So that's awesome.

Anyway, after the dog park, a visit to Berkeley Bowl, and trying to figure out where the heck to stop for dinner, we ended up at Saul's Deli.

Saul's is a restaurant and deli specializing in Jewish and Eastern European cuisine. Some of the stuff on their menu I remember from my childhood, with both German and Jewish grandparents. SweetPea ordered the day's special - cabbage rolls - because it was something her mother used to make. We also got an order of potato latkes to split.

I ordered a sandwich.

Now, the thing about being a vegetarian and ordering a sandwich at a deli is that, often, that sandwich consists of all the veggies that would go on a meat sandwich and that's about it. In the same way that vegetarian pizza is often just a meatless combination pizza. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it's boring and kind of sad. There are so many truly awesome, inventive and delicious ways to feed vegetarians (and there are so many of us now), that it really sucks when you lack the creativity to do more than peel the meat off of a regular menu item.

At Saul's, this is not a problem.

I ordered the Eggplant Schnitzel. As you might expect, it came with eggplant cutlets that had been breaded & fried, roasted beets, roasted onions, pickles, arugala, harissa and mayonaisse.

Eggplant Schnitzel - hell to the yes!

It was kind of amazing.

The eggplant was crisp and warm, the perfect compliment to the cool, sweet beets, and everything else highlighted this pairing. It was perfect.

You can tell I'm not a food blogger, because that's all you're getting.

I had it with the potato salad, which was better than most offerings, but not grammy's potato salad. I also had a Trumer Pils, which I will blog about tomorrow.

SweetPea reported the stuffed cabbage rolls were good, although not exactly like her mom made. The latkes were good, but slightly more dense and less crispy than I would have expected. Having never before had latkes, I have no idea if they were right or not.

I also had baklava for dessert. It was served warm, and the kind of "made right here in the kitchen" flaky that I don't usually see. Most of the baklava I've had has been made elsewhere, so the layers have time to kind of soak into the honey. Saul's baklava was flaky, gooey, crispy, warm perfection.

Saul's is definitely worthy of a do-over, and may even be worth its very own trip to the City.

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