Kenny & Ziggy’s

Kenny & Ziggy’s is a spiffy restaurant just north of the Galleria that serves slick renditions of Jewish-American deli food and sports a multi- generational deli legacy. The restaurant seems to work hard: the corned beef is cured in-house; the pickles are flown in regularly from Manhattan; the smoked fish is sliced by hand at the restaurant; both Kenny’s and Ziggy’s business cards are proudly displayed at the counter for takeaway; and most notably service is usually very efficient. The cheeky menu is very lengthy, and there should be something for everyone, deli aficionados and otherwise.

There are many large-sized Jewish-American starters, soups, smoked fish, grilled chicken sandwiches, deli sandwiches, meat plates, dinners, salads, hamburgers, knishes, knockwurst and frankfurters, numerous sides, desserts. In true American style, abundance takes precedent over finesse here. The starters might not have a broad appeal with items like chopped liver, sweet and sour tongue, and pickled herring, but nearly all of entrees are fairly quite hefty.

The more familiar soups are served in pint and quart-size portions. There is chicken soup with matzoh ball, rice noodles, or kreplach (small stuffed dumplings); cold beet borscht; and a soup of the day.

Kenny & Ziggy’s probably has the biggest array of smoked fish in town: Nova Lox (brine-cured that’s less salty), sturgeon, sable, baked salmon and several more. There are nearly fifty types of sandwiches filled with the full range of deli meats and other American favorites. The sandwiches are served in several styles: hot and cold, open-faced and triple- decker. Though none of these is cheap for a sandwich, these are overly stuffed, and should satiate all but the most voracious appetites. Be forewarned that the triple decker sandwiches are nearly impossible to eat as a sandwich unless some deconstruction is undertaken. If none of the many sandwiches look appealing, you can always create your own. Each of these comes with a crisp cole slaw, and some also come with freshly made fries.

The two dozen hearty dinners include stuffed cabbage, Braised Short Ribs, grilled liver and onions, fish and chips, roast turkey, Chopped Steak, and a half of Roasted Spring Chicken. Either as dinners or starters there are also several eastern European dishes like potato-filled dough pockets, pierogies, goulash, potato pancakes and stuffed cabbage. The pierogies, a treat elsewhere, are nothing special here. Better are the grilled knockwurst served with sauerkraut and baked beans. These dinners are served with a small salad and a couple of side dishes. There’s even more: deli salad platters, knishes, hot dogs, about fifty sides, and ten or so more heart-healthy salads.

Most patrons seem to forget cholesterol concerns here, at least subconsciously, and desserts are a big draw. Their proper New York cheesecake is well done, and huge; it easily satisfies two. Other sweet finishes include a Chocolate 7 Layer Cake, Boston cream cake, apple pie, carrot cake and Ebinger’s Style Blackout Cake. Shakes, floats and egg creams are also popular.

This is a nice setting in which to enjoy overindulgence. The pleasing decor screams New York, New York, 42nd Street. The walls are covered with framed playbills of Broadway productions, posters of movies set in New York, and caricatures of New York area celebrities. Though maybe not the caliber of the celebrities whose images line walls, popular Houston Chronicle columnist and native New Yorker Ken Hoffman has proclaimed Kenny & Ziggy’s his favorite deli

Kenny & Ziggy’s
2327 Post Oak Blvd. (between Westheimer and San Felipe) 77056, (713) 871-8883

Copyright Mike Riccetti. Adapted from Houston Dining on the Cheap, and used with permission.

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