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.”