Pastrami Possibilities Push West of Broad

Is Center City ready for a delicatessen duel?

Center City West is surprisingly bereft of New York-style delis – there’s Famous 4th Street Deli in Queen Village and Kibitz in the City in Wash West – but once you cross Broad, good luck finding a mouthwatering mountain of corned beef sandwiched between two slabs of delectable Jewish rye.

All that’s about to change now that The Kibitz Room just opened up at 15th and Locust Streets and is serving up the same leaning-tower-of-pastrami sandwiches, smoked fishes and sassy service, all in appropriately gargantuan proportions, as its sister restaurant does across the bridge Cherry Hill. In case you doubt his cred, owner Neil Parish refers to himself as a "loxologist" and would like you to know Kibitz Room makes its own pastrami and corned beef.

Just a few blocks away, Russ Cowan, current owner of Famous 4th Street Deli and the original owner of Kibitz in the City (which he then sold) AND also the original owner of The Kibitz Room in Cherry Hill (which he sold to the aforementioned Neil Parish) is rumored to be opening another deli right off of Rittenhouse Square in the spot that was briefly home to Indian restaurant Ashoka Palace.

Is Center City’s appetite big enough to handle all of these oversized sandwiches? Can there be too many killer knishes in a half-mile radius? As far as we’re concerned, there’s no such thing as too much pastrami, so bring on the battle of the black-and-white cookies. We can handle it.

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