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New York style deli in the former One Fish Two Fish location (1463 Merivale Rd).

Cheesecake at Grand Central New York Deli
Cheesecake at Grand Central New York Deli
New York Smoked Meat at Grand Central New York Deli
Hot Dogs at Grand Central New York Deli
Grand Central New York Deli
Grand Central New York Deli
Foods from Grand Central New York Deli

2009 Jan 17
Had my first sandwitch here Friday. It was great. A bit different than the traditional Montreal smoked meat but just as good. Server was fantastic. Small mix up in the kitchen and we got two orders of deep fried pickles. They were also great. I recomment The Empire sandwitch with 8 0z of meat.The fries were good as well not those bagged ones with the batter on them that are just processed and bad. I left here stuffed. I noticed later in the evening an unquenchable thirst must have been alot of sodium in that meal.

2009 Jan 12
Last week we had our first dinner there. At first we had a strange appetizer(a kind of vegetarian big ball).....tasty!
My wife had a Baggle wih smoked salmon and a salad . I had a Sandwich with smoked meat and a salad.
She was disappointed because her bread was hard and FULL of cheese. My meat was tasty but overcooked. Our salads were ok. The service is fast and accomodating. I was looking for a good beer but...since their list is very short we had a Belgian Heineken and a popular Labatt.
Overall, our experience was not unforgettable.
I'm not sure if we'll be back.

2009 Jan 5
Hi, after eating there and looking forward to the Deli opening, dropped in to get takeout menu. Was hoping the deli prices would be lower for takeout, but here it is for everyone else:

Smoked Meat (8 oz) with fries cole slaw 12.99 Sandwich only 10.99

Jr. Smoked Meat (5 oz) fries coleslaw 10.99 Sandwich only 8.99

then various other sandwiches which range from 10.47 - 6.95(egg sandwich)

2008 Dec 23
For lunch today, I visited the most-talked about deli in Ottawa. I am not sure what is more controversial, the smoked meat at the Grand Central New York Deli or the OC Transpo strike. Both sides of each issue seem to have pretty strong opinions.

We arrived just before noon and were seated promptly, nice place inside. Could use some coat racks though, nothing worse than jamming your winter jackets into a booth.

Our server was pleasant, and prompt. The three of us all had The Empire, at $12.99 for the platter I didn't think it was overpriced. Some parts of the rest of the menu are kind of wild, I can't quite imagine heading in there for a $30 plate of salmon, but to each their own.

Even though I have been to both Montreal and New York, I wasn't expecting an exact replica of some sandwich I had eaten in either city. I just enjoyed it for what it was, a big pile of smoked meat on fresh bread. The fries, coleslaw and pickle were all pretty good too.

Overall, a good lunch; I liked that they got us our food right away, no waiting if you wanted to make it a quick lunch.

4 out of 5 for me. I will be back.

2008 Dec 20
Visited here late afternoon on a Monday, the service was prompt, we had the "Empire" smoked meat platter. The smoked meat is beautiful. The dry rub technique is different from what I'm used to (Schwartz' in Montreal) but it makes the meat butter tender, full of flavour, and no greasy texture. The bread is wonderful, the cole slaw is extremely good. Fries were home made, but a little soft. We also had the onion rings, again, very nice, large cut, home made and came with a buttermilk dipping sauce (more of a spread) that nicely complements the rings.
Barry Cantor one of the partners came by to see how we found our meal and he said that in response to requests, they are redoing the menu to add a smaller sandwich and sandwich only option, which would be great as I am not a big fan of fries, and it would leave room to try their reputedly fabulous cheesecake.
I will definitely be back, the smoke meat is IMHO better that Schwartz' in Montreal.

2008 Dec 16
After all the hoopla, I had to try this place out. Now, I consider myself a fairly well travelled BBQ, brisket and smoked meat man. I've eaten a LOT of it, all over. I have to say the quality of the meat here is very, very good. It has a nice deep beefy flavour, really good seasoning, and the texture is excellent. Now, regarding the fries, I found them to be pretty unremarkable, just standard, they could have been crisper. The hot dog is excellent, a good solid dog on an excellent bun, though there could be some debate for those that prefer less bun than meat I guess (I thought it was a moot point since the bun was of excellent quality)? The coleslaw is good. The pickle is good. Sweet potato fries are good.

One thing to note, the deli counter is "opening soon", they have it set up at the front door with a load of salami, chopped liver and some dessert cakes. Speaking of, I had the cheesecake... it was HUGE... like Cheesecake Factory huge (if you know what I'm referring to, then you'll understand). The only downside - they could have put some more strawberry coulis on the plate. Otherwise, it was good!

Overall, I think the place is making some opening adjustments (had a few service hiccups, nothing that wasn't fixed by the staff though), it will be a place to check on as the kinks are ironed out. I will definitely be back for more of their signature meat!

2008 Dec 15
Went for lunch one day this past week. To be perfectly honest this place has an identity crisis. Theres no meat hanging in the window when you come in, and theres nobody slicing meat at the take out counter! This is not what I call a deli. There were things that I expect to see on a menu at a deli that were not there and other things on the menu that just do not belong at a deli (chicken parmigiana??) Anyway,on to the meal. Ordered the kreplach soup, it was good and enjoyed it. Then had smoked meat platter. Smoked meat was okay, it was not any better than any other smoked meat I have had in Ottawa. The fries were good. The whole restaurant reminds me of Biggs, kind of an everything place that sells Ho Hum smoked meat, without the size of Biggs. But NOT a deli in any true sense of the word. I think I could run to Montreal, have Smoked Meat at Schwartz's, come back and it still have been cheaper than what I ate at Grand Central. The total tab for my soup, sandwich platter, pop and a Coffee, $25.00 FOR A LUNCH!! This restaurant is EXTREMELY expensive for the type of foods they are serving (maybe too many owners to feed?) People in this city know what a Deli is supposed to be, and know what a good smoked meat sandwich should be and the price of it. Would not be returning to this restaurant. Will just continue to go to Montreal for the real deal.

2008 Dec 14
I went for lunch on Saturday. Was getting less busy by the time I arrived. Ambience is nice, booth was comfortable. The server was prompt, friendly and ensured we were taken care of, though she was a bit over-attentive. I wouldn't say I felt rushed, but she did seem to hover just a bit.
I ordered the signature Empire smoked meat and was delighted. The stack of meat was impressive, the texture very nice. I was not familiar with the dry rub style, but I am now a fan. Less juicy than I was used to, so perhaps less delicious flavour with each bite at first, but then I got used to the more subtle spicing of the dry rub. The mustard they serve is also excellent. I went in expecting small pieces of rye, so wasn't disappointed. My hope was for this sandwich to rival that of the gone but never forgotten Kardish smoked meat. I must say it was as close as anything has come since the gem closed.
My wife had the chili dog and described it as one of the top hot dog experiences of her life. The chili had a nice, different somehow flavour, the bun was very nice. Another big portion, and as noted, less than $10. We both liked the fries and the coleslaw. I especially enjoyed the crunchy pickle.
Overall, a delicious and filling experience. One of the owners also came by to make sure we were satisfied with things, a nice touch. A little bit expensive, but considering the portions, not overly so, especially for someone who typically eats a smaller portion and can take some home. Certainly alot of people would be happy with half of the Empire, which you can see in the photo. There are also free soft drink and coffee refills.

2008 Dec 13
My wife, three year old, and I went there for lunch this afternoon. Most of my comments echo those that have come before... no real revelations, but I do recommend the place.

First off, I love Manhattan and have been many times. I also love the Carnegie Deli... kitschy yes, touristy maybe, but they serve excellent deli. So, you can say I am experienced and biased.

We started with the fried pickles. Definitely not a standard menu item in NYC's traditional deli's. Good... nothing spectacular... recommend a pass on this one.

I had the Empire Smoked Meat. As you know by now it is a dry cure, and they do it VERY well. I think some people are too used to the Montreal wet cure, which is also good, but I find a little too wet at the tourist traps around the city. The dry cure produces a leaner product. GCNYD's empire is 8oz of meat (heaped high) and very thinly sliced. The bread is a standard light rye. At $14 for the sandwich and fries (confirmed excellent), I don't find it all that bad. 8oz = 225g, if you were to buy the meat shaved I would expect to spend $4+ per 100g, so you are paying like $5 for fries, 1/4 pickle, coleslaw and a seat. My only complaint is the coleslaw (while good) is a creamy base, and I prefer oil and vinegar.

Oh... and they have Hebrew National mustard! Yum.

But the star of the show was my wife's hotdog. She had the Yankee which had sauerkraut and bacon. The 1/4lb hot dog had excellent taste and the challah bun was TOO DIE FOR. Not sure where they get them or if they are done in house... but my wife, not a huge hotdog fan normally, says she wants to go back for her birthday (that has to say something). They have a true coney, hard to find in this city but a favourite of mine from when I lived in Detroit. That is definitely my call for the next visit. By the way the hotdog (a true monster) with fries and trimmings was only $8.99. I don't find that excessive at all.

My daughter also had a hot dog from the kids menu. Warning! It is the same hotdog. Next time, she'll share in on ours.

All in all, the food was good. The price was higher than Ottawa "deli's" but not more expensive than the typical big box restaurant, and I would argue the product is much better than can be found at either type of establishment in this city.

It could have been better though: in many NYC establishments the seating is communal, the pickles are free (in big bowls in the center of the table), and the sandwiches are served opened face.

2008 Dec 12
Stopped in tonight for a REAL smoked meat which they "dry cure" ( I am so not into the pumped garbage found all over the city) and I have to say my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. GREAT sandwich/cool NEW YORK atmosphere. I will definenatley be back!
BTW she loved her THAI CRUNCH salad..not
exactly deli but she loved it!

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2009 Jan 11
Went back today for lunch with a friend and the place was not to busy seeing as it was a Sunday it surprised us as we had prepared ourselves for a wait.
Seated promptly and placed our drinks order, then ordered our Matzo Ball soup as starters, it arrived with the drinks Very quickly. This time the soup and matzo ball had more taste but they have a very heavy hand with the salt which hit us later whilst out shopping as we got terribly thirsty.
Friend ordered the Cajun burger with salad and asked for extra spicy ( is from India and can take her heat) not very impressed with the burger at all and never finished her meal. She found the spice mild and the Cajun mayo ( cajun seasong added to mayo) very gloopy and also lacking in flavour.
My order of the Jack Daniels beef burger was over cooked on the outside to the point of being burnt and still quit pink on the inside. again the sauce was just dolloped on top and tasted like any bottled sauce you can buy in the grocery store.
The bill for 2 soups ( 4.95 each) 2 teas and the 2 burgers( 10.95 each came to $ 43.00 and some change.
I have tried it twice now and wont be back as I can get better else where.

2008 Dec 14
Went for a quick lunch Saturday. The place was packed so sat at the bar. Friendly barlady and service was quick.

Orderd the Matzoball soup. Arrived piping hot and smelling of chicken so my expectations were high. The Matzoball was a good size but lacked flavour something was missing and only later did i realize it lacked the cooked in chicken soup taste that i grew up knowing. The matzoball was a little on the tough side but still edible. I was so hungry I ate it all.
Then decided to order the app. portion of the chopped liver, this was really good, only gripe not enough rye bread to finish it with and also the rye bread was not fresh.
Will go back and try the other dishes on the menu.


2010 Apr 4
Very tasty. Restaurant is nicely laid out too.
My husband and I are big fans of Montreal's Schwartz's deli but we don't want to have to drive all the way to Montreal for it. We are from Toronto so we've looked everywhere between Montreal and Toronto for good smoked meat and came up with nothing. We weren't even impressed by the place that is known to have "Toronto's best smoked meat".

Anyway, we love our smoked meat! And we started to look for alternatives.
GCNYD is definitely a great alternative! The meat is very also very tasty, and smells delish. My husband also enjoyed the pickle (he is a big Schwartz's pickle fan) at GCNYD.
My sister is coming up in a few wks so I'm going to bring her here. We're definitely coming back for more!
Our only complaint is that the prices are quite expensive! At Schwartz's, u can get a sandwich for 5-6 bucks. At GCNY, I had the 5oz sandwich only and it was 8.99!

2009 May 1
Of course I had the Empire Sandwich platter, which was fairly priced for dinner at $12.95. They give you a big load of smoked meat, with the usual tiny slabs of rye, a little pile of fries, a quarter pickle, and a bowl of homemade coleslaw.

The coleslaw was very nice. Maybe just a little sweet for my taste but it hit a good balance of creaminess and tangy-ness.

The pickle was the best I've had in my admittedly limited deli experience. Certainly better than others I've had at Ottawa's smoked meat outlets.

The fries were not to my taste at all. Quite dark and very greasy, I found they irritated my mouth (as potatoes sometimes do to me). Kudos for serving both white and malt vinegar with the fries though!

This was my first experience with New York style smoked meat and I was eager to give it a try. It was sliced very thin, piled very high, and had a dryer texture and meatier flavour than the Montreal style smoked meat. You can choose between Hebrew National mustard and bright yellow French's -- something that becomes necessary to moisten the dryish combination of meat and rye bread. Montreal smoked meat sandwiches are moist enough that the slices of rye are needed to keep your fingers dry; the flipside is that the bread absorbs some juices and becomes quite tasty. The bread in my sandwich at Grand Central seemed very dry and quite bland. I don't see the point of dry bland bread with dry smoked meat so I'd suggest just leaving the bread behind (or asking for it without). Squirt some Hebrew National on the smoked meat and dig in with knife and fork for a nice little feast!

My wife preferred this to the Montreal style smoked meat but I continue to favour Montreal's more moist and seasoned product. To each his own!

Three hours after the fact, I'm gulping water like crazy. As Ken V hinted, you may want to avoid this place if you're on a low sodium diet.

2009 May 1
My wife had the Coney Island Chili Dog platter, which was well priced at $8.99. She thought it was okay but we both agreed that all-beef wieners -- even very juicy ones like this -- are not our favourite. As others have said here, the chili does have a unique flavour to it. Wifey liked the scant chili more than the wiener.


2009 May 11
Please do Mousse - the cheesecake had a noticeable vanilla extract taste to it, from what I remember (from GCNY Deli, not the Green Valley).

2009 May 11
This looks exactly like the kind of cheesecake we used to make at the Green Valley. I can post the recipe in the wiki if anyone is interested.

2009 May 10
I had one of those to go last week. Me and my girl friend fed for two days off it!!

2009 May 1
haha, looks great!

2009 May 1
WOW. That is one seriously huge piece of cheesecake.

2009 May 1
That other picture doesn't do justice to the size of the cheesecake slice so I'm including this one for scale. Apologies for my psycho grin -- that's a lot of cheese for one photo!

2009 May 1
We asked our server for dessert recommendations and the cheesecake was one of her two suggestions. At $8.95 this looks like an expensive piece of cake -- until you see the size of it! We shared it and practically had to roll ourselves out of the restaurant.

I have to say that this is certainly the best restaurant cheesecake I've encountered. It's the only one that comes close to my all-time favourite recipe ( One interesting thing is that it has a crust of actual pie pastry. If you like good cheesecake, you could come here and have a slice with a cup of coffee and call it a meal. ;-)