AL's Deli Now Open, It's Time to Get Your Smokey Brisket On


The cheerful and colorful interior of AL’s Deli. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.


Smokey brisket pita sandwiches should be the first thing you order. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.


Meet the new hot pocket. Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux.

A couple weeks ago, I shared a bunch of details about ~AL’S DELI~, the fast-casual spot from Aaron London’s (AL’s Place) opening in the former Izakaya Yuzuki space on Guererro. Well, it’s now open, and you’re going to want to dive into that menu that pulls influences from Israeli street food and East Coast Jewish delis.

There are a variety of housemade pita sandwiches (shawarma-spiced chicken, blistered eggplant and cauliflower, spicy and tender falafel, and you won’t believe the smokey brisket, an homage to Schwartz’s Deli in Montreal, a favorite of London). The sandwiches ($12-$14) are thoughtfully composed, full of textures and bright flavor. You can also order them as a salad for $1 more. Or order some items as a main, like one pound of smokey brisket ($25) or the shawarma-spiced rotisserie chicken ($23), all served with marinated cabbage and three sauces (schug, amba, ranch-ish, garlicky, or green tahini—you’re gonna want to get a side of fries to dip in those). You can see more in my pics on Instagram.

Inventive bites like falafel corn dog bites ($7) and a potato hot pocket ($12) filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion, and capers will be found in “Crispy Crunchy Things.” The sides include a creamy hummus ($6), served with cracked cucumber and lemon vinegar, and a beautiful salad ($13) of tomato, cucumber, chile-long pepper oil, smoked watermelon, and mint; dessert features frozen labneh ($5-$6) with toppings, like halva and black sesame crumble.

Wine director Justin Roberts curated a small but eclectic list, currently four Old World wines, plus beers and some canned options, like a Hoxie spritzer. The airy space is so stylin’, with bright color accents, Moroccan tiles, and flamingo wallpaper in the bathroom. Wait until you see the bright French blue rotisserie. Hours are daily 11am-9:30pm, with delivery and pick-up with Caviar. 598 Guerrero St. at 18th St.