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Kirkwood Deli & Grocery: A Family Tradition

The new deli on the corner of North Geyer Road and West Essex Avenue aims to make its mark.

We all know Kirkwood is steeped in landmarks and tradition so it’s no surprise the new Kirkwood Deli & Grocery continues the tradition of a deli serving gyros at the landmark of North Geyer Road and West Essex Avenue. 

Owner Sam Abdallah is excited to follow in his father’s footsteps and serve good food to the Kirkwood community. “My dad owned this deli when I was a kid; I even worked here as a teen,” he said.

The menu is filled with original sandwich combinations and hot dogs topped as they would be in cities around the U.S. Three different salads are also available. But the one thing most people come in looking for is the gyro. Kirkwood Deli & Grocery has two on the menu. 

“King of All Gyros is our best seller,” Abdallah said. “Gyro with a Purpose is our family recipe, the one Dad shared with me.” 

Each gyro sandwich is prepared in a slightly different way. The Gyro with a Purpose is a pita pocket stuffed with gyro meat, lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce. It is very convenient for eating on the go.

The King of all Gyros is a flatbread pita, warmed on the grill, topped with gyro meat, tomato, red onion, tzatziki sauce and feta cheese. This is the gourmet gyro sandwich, best eaten with a fork and knife. Both sandwiches are delicious, but the King reigns for a reason. The pita is buttery and the feta cheese is a necessity missing from the Purpose. 

The hot dogs hail from Seattle, Kansas City, Atlanta and Chicago. “I import the neon green relish and sport peppers from Chicago for the true Chicago taste,” Abdallah said. 

The deli was significantly remodeled before reopening. “We needed new dry wall, paint and a cooler. The previous cooler wasn’t holding its temperature. We created an L-shaped counter to emphasize the deli,” he said.

The bright yellow counter greets hungry patrons but the friendly employees behind the counter provide the smiles. 

“I want to do our best to give people what they want: good service and good food,” Abdallah said. “It’s what the people of Kirkwood have always thought of this place and we want them to remember the nostalgia.” 

But he also has plans to make his own mark. “I hope to start delivery in a couple of months,” Abdallah said. “Outdoors, I want to have a snow cone machine and hopefully some café tables on the North Geyer Road side of the building this summer.” 

Douglas Wtte June 06, 2011 at 03:33 AM
Coming back for more! I live in Florissant and the sandwiches and service was great! Store looks excellent inside and the blackboard signs,(say who did those?) are a good touch for the decor. Congratulations to Sam and Lara. Doug Witte
Scott Carico November 17, 2011 at 07:25 PM
I'm not going to lie, i paid way to much for a ham and cheese sandwich and my bag of chips that I recieved with it was tottaly crushed. whenever i watched the guy who made my sandwich put the meat in the microwave i almost walked out of the store - no one goes out to a place to have there meal microwaved when they can do that at home! (not to mention over-priced) I think i'll spend my money at subway from now on. Scott Carico
me December 07, 2011 at 03:53 PM
SOOOOO disappointed~! You guys are trying to copy magic Market with your over priced and teribble gyros, I am thankful magic market opened again for the famous gyros, there is no denying Magics are the BEST and resonable prices, I hope alot of people read this and go to magicMarket across the street from 711 in woodbine, best value for your money
Joe Mitchel December 15, 2011 at 01:50 AM
The above story is misrepresenting this corner because the present store owner has nothing to do with “A family tradition”. I have been resident of Kirkwood for a long time & I very well know how this corner has been developed. The present store owners father Omar Abdoolla, purchased this building at the end of 1990 & was rented in early 1991 by the Nadim family and Nick, his business partner. So, what is the “A family tradition” he is talking about? What is the “family recipe” his dad shared with him if they never served the Gyro? This is good fairytale story for teenagers. Nadim & his family built the Tradition at this corner. They started serving the Gyro with homemade Tzatziki sauce using a recipe brought from their homeland. They built the reputation at this corner serving Boar’s Head high quality products. When Jacob took the ownership of Majic Market, he continued this tradition and made many improvements. My family & all my friends felt so sorry when Jacob was forced to move out from this corner, but all of us are so happy that Jacob reopened Majic Market at Woodbine Rd. just across from the 7/11. Excellent location, unlimited parking, very easy to get in & get out. A wonderful selection of delicious foods, great service, & friendly atmosphere equivalent to the name of this place “Majic”. Serving the Boar’s Head brand product makes Majic Market a favorite deli place in Kirkwood. This is the opinion from the majority of the Kirkwood residence
foodie December 21, 2011 at 05:25 PM
I also have very extensive knowledge on this topic, as I've been a customer of all three versions of this store for many years. As you've probably noticed by the name "Abdallah", the store owner's father is of the same culture as the prior renters (Nadim) who made their version of the gyro delicious during their stay there. Then came Jacob, who is Russian, and he also had an equally delicious version. That should prove delicious food can be prepared by a person of any culture who has the skill. But do you happen to know what the current owner's relatives knew about Middle-Eastern food or Greek food to say that he was not only highly influenced by watching them prepare this type of food but went as far as to pursue it as a career? Mr. S. Abdallah and his father both grew up in an atmosphere where food such as this was prepared as a staple in their family's diet even before it was popularized by American culture. I do know this for a fact, because I often ate at their home well before things like hummus, gyros and falafel were popularized or common words with American foodies. Sam has wonderfully and skillfully merged both American and Mediterrainian cultures in the menu items at his deli, and provides services beyond what most grocery stores/delis in the Kirkwood area offer, and that comes with an extensive working knowledge from a long and successful career in the restaurant management industry. Good for you Sam for blending old-world charm with a modern appeal!
Joe Mitchel January 07, 2012 at 03:08 AM
"Great" story from the person being a good friend of the Abloolla's family. It is my opinion that it does not matter were you are from and what was cooked in your home kitchen. It is does not matter how you call your product king, queen, best, fast or somethings else, only customers can make the judgment to say as what is good or what is not. I can see what the residence of Kirkwood are choose: The "Kirkwood deli" parking lot is usually empty, the "Majic Market" parking lot is always packed. I had shared my opinion and will stop writing any comments due to lack of interest to this "family tradition" story.
Elham February 15, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I am disgusted with this article and all of the lies in it. I am the daughter of Nadim, who started the deli in Magic Market. How could Sam Abdullah have ever worked in his fathers deli as a child if there was never a deli in the store until my father built it in there? I am sickened by people who try to ride on the backs of others hard work and success. Sam says he has experience in business, then stop all the lies and build your own successfull business. My family worked hard to keep our customers happy and to have a good name in the community. We loved every single person that came through the door and will never forget any of them, for they were the reason for our success. The gyro sauce is a secret family recipe that nobody else knows about, the Abdullahs have nothing to do with it. The next time you write an article, you should check your facts before publishing it.
Clint February 25, 2012 at 06:18 AM
This is place is GROSS. THEY MICROWAVE EVERYTHING. I was ordering a roast beef sandwich one day and SAM Abdoola put it in the microwave. The person after me got a ruben and did the SAME THING. I do NOT suggest ever eating at this dump. Go to Jimmy Johns! At least it's not microwaved.
Maria Ginocchio May 13, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I live about 2 minutes away and I go there all the time. I love it, great service, nice workers and good food! I do miss Magic Market but Kirkwood Deli and Grocery sure makes it just as great!
Moriarty Reporting & Video, LLC July 16, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Sam, your sandwiches are extremely good. Everything is done to perfection. We love the sandwiches and crave them constantly! Don't listen to the negative comments on here. Your sandwich creations are tasty are truly original. We love your deli!!
Moriarty Reporting & Video, LLC July 16, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Love, love, love the sandwiches. Will make this a number one stop for sandwiches!!!! Thanks for making the best sandwiches in town!!!

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