Credit: Kenny & Ziggy's Deli
Ziggy Gruber is a third-generation Deliman.
Ziggy’s grandfather, Max, immigrated to New York from Budapest in the early twentieth century and began working in numerous delicatessens around the city. In 1927, along with his two brothers-in-law, he opened The Rialto, the family’s first deli, and never looked back. The trio went on to open Berger’s on 47th, Wally’s Downtown, and Griddle on 16th, among other delis.
Max trained his 12-year-old son, Eugene, in the art of the deli business, and years later he trained Eugene’s son Ziggy in the same fashion. As an adult, Ziggy traveled to London to study at Le Cordon Bleu, and then went on to work in the three Michelin-starred restaurants in the city: Le Gavroche and The Water Side Inn. He returned stateside and continued to churn out more family success stories in New York and Los Angeles; then, in 1999, he was introduced to Kenny Friedman, who wanted to bring New York Deli food to Houston, and Kenny & Ziggy's Deli was born.
For the holiday season, the delicatessen is offering a special seasonal sandwich that combines the best of a few of the holidays that are celebrated this time of year by Americans across the country. “It’s The Great Holiday Sandwich, Charlie Brown” comprises fresh roasted turkey, sage and chestnut stuffing, and cranberry sauce, a nod to a version of the traditional American Christmas dinner. The ingredients are all stacked between two pieces of grilled challah bread, which incorporates one of the many staples Jewish delis and Hanukkah celebrations. The sandwich, served with a side of Yukon mashed potatoes and gravy, is a mash-up of two holidays that will be celebrated by so many people in the United States this month, earning it a place as our Sandwich of the Week.