If you check out the new Moore's Delicatessen, at Third and Orange Grove in Burbank, in the space formerly occupied by Ben's Deli, don't plan to hang out long. You order at the counter, and they deliver your meal to your table. The day I was there, a group of four women in business attire ditched the place because they wanted full-table service. "I don't do self-serve," said one.
It was their loss. The food is top quality. It arrives fast. And it doesn't disappoint. After all, what deli is really known for its fantastic service? You're eating, not getting a massage.
My only concern as I landed at one of the comfortable tables was the limited breakfast menu. I had the ground beef scramble, a nice blend of beef, cheddar and very mild onions. My guest sampled perhaps the best of the morning fare, the smoked salmon scramble. The photo-ready plate had a nice array of leeks, tomatoes, chives and eggs, with a dollop of sour cream. The salmon? A steak-sized dose, fresh and fragrant, and just right. It crumbled with a light touch of the fork, and was truly mouth-watering.
Other offerings included various breakfast burritos, a good Belgian waffle and homemade granola. Surprisingly, no omelet offerings are on the menu, although they will make one for you.
Moore's makes up for its skimpy breakfast selections with a vast selection of lunch and dinner items. I tried the corned beef on rye, a must-pass test for any deli. I give it an A. I was happy it wasn't a mile-high sandwich as in other restaurants, because I could eat it all in one sitting. I'm not a big doggy-bag guy. The corned beef was just about perfect, lean, no gristle, nicely cooked. The rye bread was fresh and coated with a light cover of brown mustard.
The side choices included a satisfactory coleslaw or a more satisfying potato salad, which was a bit heavy on the dill. My guest went for the deli burger. The ground beef was fresh, coarsely ground and arrived pink in the middle, the kind of medium rare some places don't do any more. It came with pickles, onion jam, tomatoes, and, of course, lettuce. A satisfying burger, although I'd recommend stuff that's more deli-like, such as the pastrami sandwich, French dip with au jus, or brisket sandwich.
Moore's is a perfect place for diner fans as well. The lunch menu offers bowl dishes — brown rice, market-fresh fish and yellow lentil dal — a dish that includes cauliflower, garlic spinach, chutney and tofu. For dinner, there's chicken pot pie, meat loaf, and a mac and cheese entree with creamy elbow macaroni and garlicky crumbs.
A couple next to me started their meal with the soup of the day — squash soup — which they said was "to die for." There's also a full selection of salad entrees, including the Goddess, which contains butter lettuce, haricots verts (better known as green beans), cucumbers and a hardboiled egg in lemon thyme vinaigrette.
For a quick and tasty meal, without the strolling violinist, I recommend Moore's.
STEVE KINDRED loves to eat but doesn't like to cook. He's been a journalist for more than 25 years, and anchors news on KFI-AM (640) radio. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: Moore's Delicatessen
When: Breakfast: 7 to 11 a.m.; lunch: anytime; dinner: 4:30 to 9 p.m.
Where: 271 E. Orange Grove Ave., Burbank
Cost: Breakfast: $2.50 to $12.50; lunch: $4.50 to $9.50; dinner entrees: $6.50 to $16; sides: $2 (peel 'n eat shrimp $5.50)
Contact: (818) 478-1251