Nu Delicatessen? No!

I am not sure how much interest there is in our community for the Jewish-style delicatessen, but in the event that there is any, and with the hope that others will not make the mistake I did in dining there, I offer the following review of Nu, the recently-opened modern delicatessen at 1711 Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill, form the owners of Pamela's.

If the diner is seeking a place to spend close to $50 on a meal for two in an establishment with no atmosphere, management that is asleep, where intimate conversation is impossible, in which one will be crammed into seating like fish in a sardine can, and provided a paper napkin, this is a spot to consider.

The table for two which my wife and I occupied was about fourteen inches from the next one. The taking of our order was twice interrupted, our server having to back up and get out of the way when another worker wished to walk by.  In order to clear the table next to ours, the busser had to bend over, whereupon her buttocks were practically in our faces.  When a gentleman walked past our table, he came within a fraction of an inch of his raincoat brushing my sandwich: you get the picture.

The prices are high for the quantity of food provided.  The matzoh ball soup was satisfactory (though not as good as what I prepare from a packaged mix).  It was $5.95 for a bowl with two large balls, a standard delicatessen price, and it was served to us not close to hot. The soup was served with five tasty crispy noodles. I ordered the "chazzer" size Montreal beef sandwich (the literal Yiddish translation of chazzer is "pig"). I thought this might be in the mold of traditional delicatessen mammoth sandwiches with about a pound of beef on it; that was not the case. There was nothing piggish about this $15.99 dish; it was a standard size.  The latke tots, crispy potato balls, $5, was a portion suitable for one person with an appetite. My wife had an eggplant sandwich, $11.99, which she enjoyed.  

Managers were in circulation, but neither provided a quality check or paid any attention to the customers other than to bring food and remove plates. One of these individuals is a sister of one of the owners and serves as the operator of the restaurant; she was glum.

The food was generally tasty and our server, although slow, was pleasant and reasonably efficient, but the atmosphere and logistics of the place are so abominable as to ruin any meal.  I suppose this is what one should expect from the owners of Pamela's, another establishment with good food, but in which customers are jammed into spaces in violation of the standards of the Geneva Conventions.

My wife and I can say that we have dined at Nu; next time and forevermore , Food for Thought or Smallman Street Deli!

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