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Restaurant Critic & Food Blogger
The Essen Room
25 Hooks Lane, Pikesville, MD
Being raised in a Jewish Italian neighborhood, I was surrounded by Jewish and Italian cuisine. Since moving to Maryland, I lost touch with good Italian food. For Jewish food, I haven't had good traditional Jewish food in Maryland for a long long time, until recently last week, I was introduced by my friend to "The ESSEN Room" Deli. My heart was beating so fast, I was salivating for a nice Pastrami sandwich on rye, with a nice yellow mustard. The place was immaculately clean. Service was top level. The server asked how can they help me. I said, well I'll take a Pastrami on rye with fresh coleslaw, pickles were free, I asked for a Matza Ball soup, the matza ball was huge but fluffy with chicken noodle and carrots. They could had had a little more broth, but who's complaining. Then I saw fresh chicken chop liver with a balance combination of rendered chicken fat, saute onions was excellent. Believe it or not the secret to a good Patrami sandwich is the fat. Yes, most may say, let's take the fat out and eat a leaner Pastrami. I feel and strongly believe that fat not only adds moisture but most importantly, taste.
To complete my meal, I had to have the pickle, it was a half and half sour pickle. Nice crunch and fresh taste.
So, if your a transplant from New York, you gotta make this your place for delicious Jewish food. I want to go back for the fresh corn beef, the knishes and the natural casing hot dogs.
On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent, I give the Essen Room a 5.
By Chef Woo Can at www.chefwoocan
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