There is a restaurant in the LES, NYC that should have a warning label on the front door. The front door that is down three steps and almost completely hidden under scaffolding on a low rent block, I might add. The warning should say something like, “CAUTION: Has been thrown to the wind past this door” or “DANGER: EXCESS AHEAD”.
I rushed right in to Sammy’s Roumanian!
I was late for my friend Claudia’s birthday dinner because this Southern Belle hailed the only taxi in Brooklyn that did not know where the LES is. Really? What did we do before Iphone GPS?
Immediate impression as I ran in was BAM! Florescent overhead lights on high beam. Not a fan of this as it reminds me of cheap chinese food. Just sayin. How wrong I was. Sammy’s is down home old school Eastern European Jewish Food, and grandma is kicking it strong in the kitchen after 34 yrs of biz.
Once my eyes adjusted and I found my seat at the table I looked down at the food already circulating. A platter piled high with eggplant salad, fire roasted green peppers & onions, chopped liver platter “sammys way”, homemade pickles, a fresh green salad and latkes with applesauce. Then there was karnatzlack, a sausage of beef, veal & garlic but the addition of seltzer & soda give it a spongy light texture and taste. Very moist, very delish and VERY BIG. One sausage fed several.
This, the appetizer portion I warn you, was all washed down by straight frozen vodka! Oh yeah. The vodka bottles are brought to the table wrapped in an ice blanket and stuck in a plastic bucket. The regulars drink it straight. The light weights, like me, gave it a splash of cranberry which I was very pleased to see they provided, along with OJ.
I was stuffed. Then the entrees arrived –
Stuffed cabbage the size of a child’s head, the biggest flank steak I have ever laid my eyes on in a gorgeous garlic sauce, dinosaur chops (seriously they were insane big) potato coins, mashed potatoes with greeven and a pastry stuffed with …more meat!
Here is where it gets interesting. While we are all stuffing gross amounts of meat, potato and vodka down our throats, there is a “DJ”. Our DJ is say roughly 60. He is playing Sinatra, classic Jewish tunes from the 60’s, Milli Vanilli, Michael Jackson and maybe a little Bette Midler. The crazy part is we are all singing along at full volume with a sausage in one hand and a vodka in the other.
Our table is a party of roughly 15 and there are about 8 others just like this. No romantic two tops in the corner at Sammys! Once we have demolished the food everyone takes to their feet and the dance party is ON!
More vodka bottles, more 80’s music, more Sinatra and more fun that this girl has had in some time. I have the T-shirt to prove it.
Sammys Roumanian. It needs to go on your bucket list. Take a crowd. Take an empty stomach. Take some pepto. Take away a great night out!
Oh, here’s the address.