Kensington Kosher Deli & Panchos Border Grill: No Frills Deli Done Right & Quality Tex-Mex Shine in Great Neck, NY

Date February 9, 2008

It’s time for you to take a trip to Great Neck, New York. Why? Because once you arrive you can head over to Kensington Kosher Deli for one of the most delicious sandwiches you’ll ever eat. You’d never think the sight of men in aprons would be relieving, but you know they wouldn’t be wearing them if they weren’t damn proud of their food. You can’t go wrong with the standard fare of steaming, fatty pastrami, cut thin and piled high but trust the NYC Food Guy and go for Brisket with fried onions and gravy on a club roll and an order of steak fries, well done, as seen below….



Great Neck is 40 minutes from the city on the LIRR. Learn the essentials at Kensington Deli and Pancho’s (closed) after the break.

I’ve been eating at Kensington Kosher Deli for almost 13 years and it has never disappointed. Before I discovered the brisket sandwich, I would always be satisfied with the usual deli fare.

Here’s a Turkey/Pastrami combo on rye which my brother ordered, he likes his pastrami lean.


The meats are all spiced and steamed on premises. Every choice ranging from Corned Beef to Tongue is fresh, moist, and delicious.

Back to the brisket.


Let’s breakdown the deliciousness…

  • The beef brisket is moist, fatty and delicious
  • The generic beef-stock gravy only enhances the overall gluttonous nature of the sandwich, but adds a textural layer that brings the entire meal up a notch
  • The thinly sliced white onions are fried quickly in the deep fryer, taking on nice charred edges while holding onto their onion flavor
  • The club roll is thick enough to compensate for the wetness of the gravy while supporting the weight of the brisket, rye bread would not be able to handle this sandwich
  • A nice schmear of Russian Dressing on the bottom is highly recommended
  • Fries, which must be ordered well done, are an essential complement to any meal at KD, particularly this one


Other great choices at Kensington Kosher Deli…

  • Plump, juicy, and fat Hebrew National hot dogs slathered in mustard, ketchup, onions in sauce, and some sauerkraut
  • Hearty and crispy potato pancakes
  • Famous Knish Nosh Knishes, brought in fresh daily. Ask for your Knish deep fried, it’s potato heaven.
  • Pastrami, Corned Beef, Roast Beef, and Turkey are all moist, flavorful and delicious
  • Chicken Noodle Soup is hot and full of nice sized piece of chicken and plenty of spiral noodles, carrots, and celery

I’ve been eating at KD for almost 13 years and it has honestly never disappointed. What it lacks in ambiance and atmosphere (the place is about 10 feet wide with a long counter with stools and 5 tables) it makes up for with hearty deli whose authenticity is rivaled only by its deliciousness.

Pancho’s Border Grill is another great food option in Great Neck…

Quality Tex-Mex and house made salsa in a laidback atmosphere provided by the Grateful Dead playing over the speakers. The best appetizer option is the buffalo chicken fingers ($8.95).


While it’s gone downhill over the years, as long as their steak fajitas are sizzling, you can’t go wrong.


They come served with as many tortillas as you need and a side guac, sour cream, cheese, pickled jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, and refried beans. At lunch, you can get all that for just $9.95 ($18.95 at dinner).


The Combo Plater is another good option at lunch ($9.95 with two mains and one side) and dinner ($14.95 with two mains and two sides). I went for Grilled Chicken and Steak Quesadillas, both of which were undercooked and ordinary. The salad however, is delicious, great house vinaigrette.


How to get to Great Neck…

Just a 40 minute trip on the LIRR from Penn Station. You can find out the time tables here.

Once you arrive at the station, both Kensington Deli and Pancho’s are 1 block north of station plaza. Call either place for directions.

Kensington Kosher Deli

27A Middle Neck Road (map)
Great Neck, NY 11021
(516) 487-2410
Hours: Everyday 9:30am – 6:00pm

Pancho’s Border Grill

10 Grace Avenue (map)
Great Neck, NY 11022
(516) 829-5305
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:30AM – 10:00PM
Friday 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Saturday 1:00Pm – 11:00PM
Sunday 4:00PM – 9:00PM
Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more
Lunch served until 4PM Monday to Friday
No lunch Saturday or Sunday

7 Responses to “Kensington Kosher Deli & Panchos Border Grill: No Frills Deli Done Right & Quality Tex-Mex Shine in Great Neck, NY”

  1. danielle said:

    stop. i can’t. i know i’ve asked this before (after the beauty of the wegman’s upskirt) but: will you marry me? I can tell you all about my favorite shrimp club….

  2. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Miss Hahn,

    Great to hear from you. Thanks for the feedback.

    Shrimp club? Do tell.

    I’m coming to Chi-Town this summer and I’ll be ready for a serious Chicago Food Tour and I’m counting on YOU!

    How have you been?

  3. lauren said:

    mmm..that brisket and fries look great but 40 mins. is a ways to travel. What prompted a Food Guy trip to Great Neck with all we have here in NYC!?

  4. The NYC Food Guy said:


    Believe it or not, NYC Food Guy lived in Great Neck for a while, after spending the first half of my life in Forest Hills.

    Great Neck is worth the trip only in the summer. If you went Kensington Deli to pick up food you have a lot of options for some beautiful picnic spots right on the Long Island Sound.

    If you wanted to just go on a Long Island food tour of affordable quality spots, well, I can help you there too. Maybe I’ll post one on here.

    Let me know if you’re have any further questions.

  5. NYC/Queens Best Pastrami: Ben’s Best Delivers A Classicaly Delicious Slice « NYC Food Guy said:

    […] been spoiled by Kensington Kosher Deli in Great Neck, Long Island.  Their brisket sandwich with fried onions and gravy is one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had….  Naturally I have lower expectations for other brisket purveyors but Ben’s Best embarrassed […]

  6. Long Island Mexican Food: Freshly Fried Buffalo Chicken Fingers & Salad on Steroids at Pancho’s Border Grill in Great Neck « NYC Food Guy said:

    […] By The NYC Food Guy If you didn’t have reason enough to head to Great Neck for Kensington Deli’s insanely delicious brisket with fried onions and gravy sandwich, now you have more incentive: the best Buffalo chicken fingers I’ve ever had and for dessert, […]

  7. girl1 said:

    Pretty random, but do you know of any other decent/good kosher spots in Great Neck/Hewlett/Nassau area-ness? Specifically, a spot that can accommodate a dinner group of 6-8? if you know of any places, do tell!

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