Just Like Grandma's

To some, comfort food consists of things like fried chicken, mac & cheese, or ice cream. But to me, nothing is more comforting than homemade matzah ball soup. So many great places in NYC to find a great bowl...2nd Avenue Deli, Katz's, the list goes on and on.

A few years ago, I discovered a hidden gem of a delicatessen named Cafe Edison near my office in Times Square that isn't completely overrun with tourists. Reason being it's in the lobby of the Edison Hotel, and has a very unremarkable storefront. But, once you step foot inside, it's like you are transported back to the 1930s. And, by the looks of the crowd, the patrons may have been dining there since then!

I went with ME one day during our lunch break. We were both starving, so we knew a lot of food was in order. I had forgotten, though, how massive the portions are, so I think it's safe to say we ordered entirely too much food! It was a given that I was ordering the matzah ball soup, and ME wanted to try the mushroom barley, so we went ahead and put that order in right away. When it came out, I was a little scared. This was enough soup to feed at least 2 or 3 people! But, I got to work and did my best!
It was just as delicious as I remembered. The matzah balls were delicate and fluffy, just like my grandma's. The broth was really flavorful, and the noodles were a nice touch. Only complaint I had was that the chicken was sort of odds and ends pieces of dark meat...not my fave.

I had read in NYMag's review of Cafe Edison that the kasha varnishkas was a must have. We thought we'd share a small side of that to go along with our sandwiches, but didn't realize that it would be this much! This kasha was delish, especially the edges that got a little crispy. For those who may not be familiar with this dish, it's essentially buckwheat and bowtie pasta made with chicken stock and some seasoning. So simple, but so good. My grandma would be thrilled to know I enjoyed it so much since I used to make a fuss about eating kasha growing up!

At this point, we were both pretty full, but knew we had a ton of food still in store for us. I couldn't decide what sandwich to order, so I asked the waiter, who has probably been working there since the restaurant opened, what he recommended. He said the fresh-carved turkey was fabulous. So, I asked if I could make that into a turkey reuben. Sure enough, it could be done! It was served open face, which meant a lot more turkey and a lot more cheese. I probably got through 1/4 of the sandwich and called it quits. Luckily, the waiter was happy to box it up for me, Russian dressing and all!
ME knew he had to go with the delicatessen staple of pastrami on rye. He said the meat was very flavorful and cooked really well. Even though it wasn't stacked as high as some other delis, it was still way too much food, and he took half home too!

If you are looking for a classic New York delicatessen and are in Midtown, I would definitely recommended Cafe Edison over those other guys (Carnegie, Stage, etc.) It's not a tourist trap where they rush you the whole time, the prices are much more reasonable, and there are no stupid rules like a minimum order amount or no sharing. Remembering how great the food was and knowing that this spot is only 2 blocks from my office means I will definitely be going back very soon...and very often!

Cafe Edison
228 West 47th Street
b/t Broadway & 8th Avenue
Menu Pages listing