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Chutzpah

12214 Fairfax Towne Center, Fairfax, VA - (703) 385-8883
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/29/2014 5:42:00 AM
Following mouthwatering tips from users of the Roadfood.com forums, we took an hour out of our schedule in Washington for lunch at Chutzpah. Located at the far end of a Fairfax shopping center, it is a modest-size storefront with an immodest personality. Billing itself as a REAL New York deli, it features gigantic sandwiches, smoked fish platters, bagel plates, hot or cold borscht, and a full repertoire of Dr. Brown's sodas.

We started with a bowl of matzoh ball chicken noodle soup, which was as homey as can be; and of course I devoured the sour and half-sour pickles that are presented to the table with a bowl of good cole slaw. Jane went for wiener schnitzel, a big, thick slab of juicy meat in an envelope of crunchy, dark brown crust. It is served with lemon wedges and a large side dish of serious meaty gravy. We both thought the gravy superfluous; but the latke (potato pancake) on the side was excellent. I had a hard time choosing from among the pastrami sandwich (which is annotated on the menu with the advice, "Please don't embarrass yourself and ask for mayonnaise"), hot brisket, chopped liver and a white fish salad platter. So I went for a Reuben, which is an extremely unwieldy heap of steamy corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Russian dressing between two crisp-grilled slabs of rye bread. It comes with thick-cut steak fries and it is delicious!

High on the list of must-try dishes for the future are matzoh brei, blintzes, corned beef hash, chicken in the pot with matzoh ball and kreplach, and noodle kugel. We walked out with a nice black and white cookie, forgoing the seven-layer cake, carrot cake, and genuine New York cheesecake.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Reuben Sandwich
Chicken Noodle Matzoh Ball Soup
Wiener Schnitzel
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Known as Eggs Benedict Chutzpah Style, where the English muffins are replaced with crispy potato latkes.
"Known as Eggs Benedict Chutzpah Style, where the English muffins are replaced with crispy potato latkes."
Cliff Strutz





The Reuben defies neat-and-tidy eating. Halfway through the mighty sandwich, piles of sauerkraut had spilled out along with a good portion of the corned beef. By the end, my plate was nothing more than an assortment of sandwich ingredients, and a joy to pick and pluck.
"The Reuben defies neat-and-tidy eating. Halfway through the mighty sandwich, piles of sauerkraut had spilled out along with a good portion of the corned beef. By the end, my plate was nothing more than an assortment of sandwich ingredients, and a joy to pick and pluck."
Michael Stern


The matzoh ball is large, tender and tasty; the shreds and hunks of chicken are rich with flavor; the vegetables still have a bit of al dente crunch, and noodles down below add ballast. All these ingredients are suspended in a salubrious chicken stock, the very perfume of which induces serenity.
"The matzoh ball is large, tender and tasty; the shreds and hunks of chicken are rich with flavor; the vegetables still have a bit of al dente crunch, and noodles down below add ballast. All these ingredients are suspended in a salubrious chicken stock, the very perfume of which induces serenity."
Michael Stern


Meals at Chutzpah begin with a bowl of crunchy cole slaw and snapping-crisp pickles.
"Meals at Chutzpah begin with a bowl of crunchy cole slaw and snapping-crisp pickles."
Michael Stern


Dr. Brown's brand soda is the traditional New York deli drink. Here is a tall diet black cherry, which I ordered as a balance to my multi-thousand calorie Reuben sandwich. Jane got a celery-flavored Cel Ray, which fascinated our waitress, who had never tried one. We offered her a sip.
"Dr. Brown's brand soda is the traditional New York deli drink. Here is a tall diet black cherry, which I ordered as a balance to my multi-thousand calorie Reuben sandwich. Jane got a celery-flavored Cel Ray, which fascinated our waitress, who had never tried one. We offered her a sip. "I'm not that brave!" she said, but we twisted her arm and she wound up liking it."
Michael Stern


Jane got her wiener schnitzel with a potato pancake on the side. That's apple sauce in the cup to the rear of the plate.
"Jane got her wiener schnitzel with a potato pancake on the side. That's apple sauce in the cup to the rear of the plate."
Michael Stern


While Chutzpah is in many ways a true New York style deli, its location is something else: at the far end of a sprawling suburban mall.
"While Chutzpah is in many ways a true New York style deli, its location is something else: at the far end of a sprawling suburban mall. "
Michael Stern



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