Grilled Halloumicheese at Hash-O-Nash: juicy, salty, crack-a-licious goodness that’s virtually impossible to refuse
Have you noticed? You can get a kebab almost anywhere in Westchester—as well as hummus, gyros, falafel, and a nice dish of taboule. Between our five Greek restaurants, three Turkish, two Persian, and one Israeli, we’ve got all those culinary bases covered. But one thing Westchester lacks is a Jordanian-slash-Jewish/American Deli, which is where Mamaroneck’s three-week-old Hash-O-Nash steps in.
Hash-O-Nash’s large, casual room on the Mamaroneck strip (at 441 Mamaroneck Ave, 914-630-7310) is distinctively floored and paneled in cool blue slate tile, giving this happy kebab–o-teria a weirdly stony grotto feel. The right side of the space is dominated by a wood-burning grill and smoker, which is busy churning out a shocking variety of dishes. Think you’re in for a kebab? Maybe lamb, beef, or chicken? Prepare yourself for scores of choices that range from salmon, shrimp, and tuna to the more traditional beef, lamb, and chicken. Your eyes will be exhausted as you page through rib-eye steaks, racks of lamb, chicken thighs, chicken breasts, and mixed grills, but, thankfully, you can glean sustenance from all of your favorite Mid-East dips and nibbles. While our hummus was slightly dry and cakey (and could have used a bit more oil), we loved a squeaky/juicy grilled halloumi cheese, and vowed a return visit for grape leaves, falafel, fatoush, baba ghanouj, and taboule.
While it’s long, Hash-O-Nash’s menu is strangely funny. In it, both shawarma and gyros are “Grilled in Front of the Ingenious Tire of Fire,”
“Romanian” pastrami on rye, one of Hash-O-Nash’s classic deli dishes
which instantly causes my brain to roam among unsavory images of S/M and the ruder alimentary orifices. But, amazingly, Hash-O-Nash’s offerings don’t stop with miles of Middle Eastern dishes. There is a long section devoted to basic, all-American Jewish Deli, where you’ll find pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, Hebrew National hot dogs, beef brisket, flanken, and onion rings.
We tried the “Romanian pastrami” on rye pictured here, and have to confess that the meat was a bit tight and dry. It could have used a slower, wetter cooking medium, like those busy steam tables at Katz’s Deli. Worse, though, we know that pastrami has Romanian origins (since we just read all about it Saveur Magazine), no one on staff could tell me why Hash-O-Nash’s run-of-the-mill pastrami is fastidiously name-checked as Romanian. This sandwich comes with mayonnaise-y Russian dressing, so, if you want the classic, you’ll need to ask for mustard (and you’ll receive a couple of packets of Gulden’s).
To end, don’t miss a warming and refreshing tisane of fresh mint leaves, perfect to wash down huge, perfectly crisp, tastefully sweet, and richly nutty triangles of baklava. Believe me, you will need some sugar after all that strenuous menu reading.
Who doesn’t love wine classes? You can get loaded in the pursuit of knowledge with these great, local wine classes (because Jager shots are just sooo college).
Wine Geeks Armonk’s Wine Tour of Spain
Friday, May 6, 7 – 8:30 pm, $35 (for class materials—which is booze, folks, booze. Not binders.) – Learn how to swank around like Gwyneth Paltrow, all skinny and fabulous as she drops the words “cava”, “albariño,” and “Rioja.” With this class, taught by ex-BHSB sommelier Derek Todd, you can be as alternately smart/obnoxious as young Gwinnie!
Westchester Wine School: For Beginners Only! Wine Tasting, Grape Varieties, Labels, and More
Wednesday, May 4, $85 – This class, taught at Sam’s of Gedney Way www.samsofgedneyway.com, will show you how to approach wine. No longer will you be cowed by a sommelier presenting his tasting glass. From the site: “In a relaxed, fun atmosphere we will ask the simplest (and most important) questions about what makes wine different, interesting, and varied. You will practice tasting as a wine expert tastes, learn how to read wine bottle labels, and discover which styles of wine you like best. Drinking wine will never be the same! Finally, this is your chance to ask any and all questions you may have about wine.”
The Best of Uruguay at Barcelona in South Norwalk, Connecticut
Wednesday, April 27, 7 pm, $58 per person, plus tax and tip – In case you haven’t noticed, the wines of South America are bigging up—but, sadly, so have their price tags. If you’d like a sample of what the critics are raving about, drop into the South Norwalk Barcelona for this fabulous, three-course dinner that celebrates the best of Uruguay. Wines are slated to be 2006 Cava, “Sust,” Brut, Las Violetas; 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, “Sur Lie,” Las Violetas; 2005 Tannat, “Ysern,” Las Violetas/Cerro Chapeu; 2007 Tannat, “Amat,” Cerro Chapeu; and 2002 Tannat, “Arungua,” Las Violetas.
These tender, Armenian-style shavings of lean, dried beef mimic the concentrated, intensely meaty flavor of Italian bresaola or lomo. The main difference is that, with basturma, the beef is rubbed with a peppery mixture of chilis and lots of garlic before drying. The resulting basturma is soft and deeply beefy in the center, while its edges retain a challenging sort of heat. At Hash-O-Nash, copious shreds of basturma add a satisfying lean protein to a mass of olive-oil-dressed arugula leaves. This dish is miles away from any chicken Caesar you may have had the misfortune of eating.