Morty's Delicatessen

$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

Hartigan Review

The Buzz: Though many people raised a fuss when Mel Krupin sold his deli, this Tenleytown-area spot still offers some of the area's best deli food. His brother Morty now lends his name and managerial services to the establishment. The ample deli counter entices regular diners with deli meats, pickles and several varieties of rugelach for dessert.

On Your Plate: Stick with the basics at Morty's. Hot pastrami, brisket, chopped chicken liver, knishes and matzoh ball soup are the tried and true classics at this deli. Breakfast offers typical deli comfort food like matzoh brie and eggs.

Nice to Know: This casual spot has plenty of varieties of Dr. Brown's soda to accompany your food and quench your thirst.

Price Points: Food here is ample and cheap. Expect to pay less than $10 for a heaping sandwich and less than $5 for soup.

-- Erin Hartigan (February 2006)

Matzo Ball Soup

This is one of the landmark delis in town. Salamis hang over the deli counter. Smoked fish and other deli products sit in the glass display case, which you can't help but ogle as you wait in line. Morty Krupin, general manager and former owner, still greets people and can kibitz with the best of them.

Owner Eun says the place normally serves 750 to 1,000 matzo balls in any given week. That changes when the mercury dips.

"It goes up 30 percent in December, January and February when it's really cold in D.C.," he says. "We make all the broth in-house on an 18-hour simmer. It starts midday, and it ends the following morning. . . .

"The person making the matzo balls for the last 15 years is still there, Rosa Moreno." The matzo balls were big and fluffy, almost softball size. The soup was even better. The chicken flavor came through, complemented by big, circular carrot slices and hearty chunks of white chicken.

--Allan Lengel (Dec. 9, 2007)