Dark Rose Deli is the latest flavor of culinary creativity to blossom at 27 Chandler St.
Funkily creative Waxlight, the city’s buzziest new restaurant, is on the first floor. Behind it is Southern Junction, the newly opened takeout purveyor of Texas barbecue, Indian cuisine, and their cross-pollinated progeny.
On the second floor, developer Rocco Termini's culinary incubator space harbors a cake pops entrepreneur, a chocolatier and the spinoff of The Bloom & Rose, a homegrown knish operation.
A squad of cooks who already have jobs at Park Country Club are nonetheless giving Buffalo a new choice for takeout. Are you ready for Jewish deli with Indian and Thai touches? Meet Dark Rose Deli.
Zach Rosenbloom, Joseph “JB” Pagels and Andy DiPirro are cooks, and Zach’s wife, Lois, helps. Josh Lankford is the businessman, and they’ve decided that after two years selling knishes at farmers markets, it was time for the next step.
"This is all kind of like that weird ultimate experiment for cooks," Rosenbloom said. "We want to cook our food, and how we would want to do it, but we're cooks, so we don't have any money. How do we start establishing a rapport with an audience, in the private industry, working at a club? No one knows who we are, what we do."
Strictly takeout for now, this “ghost kitchen” setup makes Grubhub and DoorDash couriers part of its business model, starting at 5 p.m. Feb. 8. Check darkrosedeli.com for complete offerings and ordering.
Besides knishes ($4.50-$5.50), there will be pastrami, corned beef, and smoked deviled egg salad. The latter, which tastes just like they peeled a bunch of hardboiled eggs, smoked them and made egg salad, is $10 as a sandwich on a housebaked everything bagel roll, with freshly fried ribbon cut potatoes.
Smoked deviled egg salad on housemade everything bagel roll can be ordered from Dark Rose Deli. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)Deli sandwiches like a Reuben (rye bread, sauerkraut, corned beef or pastrami, Swiss cheese, dressing) are of housemade ingredients, except for the cheese, Rosenbloom said. They come in 5-, 8- and 16-ounce sizes ($11, $15, $25).
But the wildest thing I tried in a brief visit to their Chandler Street kitchen was the Bangkok Streets butterfly fries ($6): freshly fried potato ribbons, tom yum sauce, fried peanuts, Thai chiles, cilantro.
Rosenbloom recently took a working internship, or stage, at an Indian restaurant in Thailand. He returned with ideas, and one taste of his tom yum – clearly spoken notes of galangal, fish sauce, citrus, cilantro – made it clear to me that these people need to be encouraged, for all of our sakes.
The online ordering will be in force from 5 p.m. to midnight Feb. 8, 9, and 10. They're still figuring this out as they go, so that will probably change.
Send restaurant tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @BuffaloFood on Instagram and Twitter.