Maplewood, NJ 07040
- Cost: $
- Credit Cards: All Major
- Alcohol: None
- Parking: Street
- Take Out: Yes
November 22, 2016
Jersey delis offer much more than sandwiches, soups and salads. Inside Maplewood’s Nargiz Deli & Cafe, there’s Central Asian food on the menu and behind the counter.
Nargiz serves breakfast, sandwiches and wraps. Beyond the traditional deli items, however, you will find wide-ranging international fare. Kebabs, gyros and falafel (with homemade tahini sauce) are popular lunch orders at Nargiz. The stuffed grape leaves (dolma) are excellent. Baked piroshkies come with meat, cabbage or potato.
Owners Aziz Ismailov and Nargiz Kazimova hail from Azerbaijan, a country on the Caspian Sea bordering Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran. Their “Mediterranean” menu includes items from across this region, like an Azeri Kabab Salad, Georgian Style Chicken and Ukranian Stuffed Cabbage. On the shelves you can find Russian baked goods and groceries.
Nargiz does plenty of catering. Prepared foods and specials, like the rice and kebab plates, make for hearty take home meals. There are a few small tables among the grocery shelves, but most customers order food to go. Nargiz closes at 5 pm weekdays, 4 pm on weekends.
The delicatessen – named for German markets offering prepared and international foods – arrived in America in the 1800s thanks to European immigration and have been popular ever since. Jersey delis, whether Jewish, Italian, Greek or some combination, are often places with global cuisine on the menu. Add Azerbaijni to the list.