Zagat: Wexler’s Deli at Grand Central Market


By Lesley Balla

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The Gist: As part of the historic Grand Central Market’s ongoing revitalization, chef Micah Wexler is now smoking meats and fish at Wexler’s Deli, his version of an old-school deli. The menu is small and focused, but there’s everything from bagels to black-and-white cookies, pickles made in-house, egg salad, roast turkey sandwiches and more.

The Vibe: The white tile-lined counter gets pretty full during peak lunch hours, with everyone from local loft dwellers to worker bees and regular market-goers filing in for sandwiches. The old building isn’t air conditioned but because Wexler’s is right in the middle, a breeze tends to blow through from Broadway to Hill making it rather pleasant.

Eat This: Wexler may be the new pastrami prince of LA. The sandwiches rival the best, including Langer’s, even if the rye bread isn’t as good as the LA institution. But it is a perfect vehicle for thick slices of delicious smoked meat and any fixings you want: mustard, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing or coleslaw. Go for the Macarthur Park, a riff off the Langer’s #19, the warm juices and fat melting into a slice of cheese and a layer of slaw. Get a side of potato salad. We’re fans of the added dill. Bagels come from Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, and they’re damn-near perfect slathered with cream cheese, capers and the delicious smoked sturgeon. Pickles, yes!

Drink This: Wexler picked out some fun old-school sodas like Empire Real Cola, and there are also chocolate phosphates and egg creams because what deli would be a deil without them.

Skip This: We haven’t found anything to skip yet.

For Fans OfLanger’sNate n’ Al’s, old-school delis.

The Damage: We got out with a sandwich, bagel and soda for around $25. It’s not cheap but the quality is there. Bagels with smoked salmon, sturgeon or pastami and egg hover around $8-$9, and the sandwiches are $9-$11.

The Verdict: This is such a great addition to the Downtown market’s renaissance – and Downtown in general. We’d go back any day for a sandwich or bagel and the potato salad is probably our new favorite in its category. The only downside: Wexler isn’t selling the meat or fish by the pound because the space is too small for such large volume. We’ll cross our fingers for that day to come