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Parkway Deli, The Gurewitz Family's Jewish Deli on Grubb Road in Silver Spring Open For 50 Years


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I am suprised that Parkway doesn't have a thread yet.

Good: half sours, crispy reuben, well-seasoned pastrami with the right amount of fat, wide array of Dr. Brown's products, and PROPER HARD ROLLS for my pastrami sandwich. Hallelujah.

Not so good: overly sweet cole slaw, indifferent rye bread, and very slow service at the counter and in the dining room.

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I am suprised that Parkway doesn't have a thread yet.
Parkway got mixed reports in the Reuben thread and, yes, they were on FoodNetwork's The Best Of. However, this place is my consolation prize if I have to go into work on a weekend morning. Catching one of their Reubens before hitting the office keeps institutional food away from me all day. Thankfully, it's been a while.
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While Parkway is one of the better options for deli in the Silver Spring to downtown DC area (where there is woeful lack of good competition), I cannot give it more than a lukewarm vote at best. While I would go there in a second over Woodside or Mr K\'s (or whatever its being called today), it is not a regular in my rotation. OK chicken soup but the matzoh balls are never hot enough. I ifind the pastrami to be dry and too thinly cut, the corned beef dry and lacking lusciousness. They don\'t even know what Kreplach are! Kasha mit Varniskes is almost all pasta and onion. The Reubens are more greasy than the regular sandwiches so that is a good thing. The pickle bar is quantity over quality. Service is spotty to good depending on who you get.

Parkway reminds me of the old joke: In Peoria even a Jew is goyishe. In New York, even the goyim are Jewish. DC, despite its huge Jewish commuinnity is beset with Goyishe delis.

I still have not made it to deli city for their Pastrami! Corned Beef!! :blink:

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I still have not made it to deli city for their Pastrami!

The pastrami isn't the thing at Deli City -- it's fine, but it's a national brand from Chicago (blanking on the name). The corned beef, made in-house -- that's what you want. Lusciousness is exactly the way to describe it.

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The cut of the pastrami doesn't bother me as long as it's fatty enough. I've never found it dry there. The corned beef might be dry, but on a reuben with cheese and russian dressing it's hard to tell. :blink:

I've only tried the half sours, and so cannot comment on the "quality over quantity" judgement on the pickle bar. And I will take your word for it on the kasha and kreplach, having never tried either.

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While Parkway is one of the better options for deli in the Silver Spring to downtown DC area (where there is woeful lack of good competition), I cannot give it more than a lukewarm vote at best. While I would go there in a second over Woodside or Mr K's (or whatever its being called today), it is not a regular in my rotation. OK chicken soup but the matzoh balls are never hot enough. I ifind the pastrami to be dry and too thinly cut, the corned beef dry and lacking lusciousness. They don't even know what Kreplach are! Kasha mit Varniskes is almost all pasta and onion. The Reubens are more greasy than the regular sandwiches so that is a good thing. The pickle bar is quantity over quality. Service is spotty to good depending on who you get.

Parkway reminds me of the old joke: In Peoria even a Jew is goyishe. In New York, even the goyim are Jewish. DC, despite its huge Jewish commuinnity is beset with Goyishe delis.

I still have not made it to deli city for their Pastrami!

Forty years ago they didn't know what Kreplach are, and were serving the same dreck as today, albeit at significant lower prices. There has never been a decent Jewish deli in Washington, unless you count some of the dishes served up at the late, revered Duke Ziebert's (his chicken in the pot contained almost a whole chicken, and I once watched with great admiration, or stunned disbelief, as Sonny Jurgensen ate two of them in one sitting). When you had serious deli cravings, and wanted serious food, you went to Attman's on East Lombard Street in Baltimore.
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There has never been a decent Jewish deli in Washington

I wish I could look at yesterday's memories with today's knowledge, but I'm pretty sure that when Carnegie Deli first opened in Tysons Corner in 1987, it was really good (and I was fairly fresh off a stint in NYC back in the glorious days of Leo Steiner).

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. Trivia: Derek Brown once worked at B J Pumpernickel's.

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I wish I could look at yesterday's memories with today's knowledge, but I'm pretty sure that when Carnegie Deli first opened in Tysons Corner in 1987, it was really good (and I was fairly fresh off a stint in NYC back in the glorious days of Leo Steiner).

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. Trivia: Derek Brown once worked at B J Pumpernickel's.

Looking back on Washington’s restaurant history, while delightfully nostalgic, also serves as a reminder that this town has made giant steps towards being a world-class place to eat well at both the low and high end where, previously, it was a culinary, white bread backwater. I missed the opportunity to try the Carnegie, and take you at your word although, in the Eighties, a pilgrimage to Virginia in search of decent corned beef was akin to taking a trip to Newark, NJ for a perfect plate of grits and spoonbread.

P.S. Trivia: In 1965, the Montpelier Restaurant at the Madison Hotel had a 1928 Chateau Mouton Rothschild on its wine list for the princely sum of $24, about what one would pay for two very bad pastramis on rye, two cokes, plus tax and tip at the Parkway Deli today.

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Maybe its the nostalgia that 3 generations of my family ate here, but I think that Parkway is pretty damn good deli (this having lived in NYC and regularly eaten at Carnegie and Katz's). It is by far the best deli in the DC area that I've had (I have to admit ignorance of Deli City - where is it?). Like most neighborhood places, you have to find the winning dishes and ignore some losers. I like there pickle bar, great pastrami and corned beef (albeit Carnegie CB is a hair better, and Katz's or Attman's pastrami is a step above), my favorite is the Deli Twins on tasty onion rolls where you get a serving of each meat. The desserts are good and gooey too. The matzah ball soup is rich and the balls are big and soft if you like that variety (too bad for those meshugenahs like my in-laws who like them hard as rocks). Potato knishes are pretty good too (although nothing like the real homemade at Carnegie). Service isn't the best, but when was a deli known for its good service? The coleslaw could be a bit better. I like BJ Pumpernickel's slaw though (which is supposedly Hofberg's old recipe). These are the things I measure a deli by - not the faucockeh wraps and goyische what not that all of the delis including Parkway have added to the menu. So I say go to Parkway its worth the schlep and they have parking too. When in Baltimore though I do recommend Attman's - get a cloak and dagger or a dog - both are great.

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.....(I have to admit ignorance of Deli City - where is it?)....
Deli City is on Bladensburg Rd a block or two north of New York Ave (across from the Metro Bus garage). While it has a very good corned beef sandwich, it is nothing like the delis you describe. It does a lot of carry out business though there are maybe 20 or so tables. If you don't get sit down service you order at a window in the corner. It's only open Mon-Fri something like 6am to 6pm.

LOVE Attman's!

Kevin

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Maybe its the nostalgia that 3 generations of my family ate here, but I think that Parkway is pretty damn good deli (this having lived in NYC and regularly eaten at Carnegie and Katz's). It is by far the best deli in the DC area that I've had (I have to admit ignorance of Deli City - where is it?).

I agree - this place hits the spot like nowhere else I've been in this area (which isn't saying too much, but still). The chicken soup is incredibly flavorful - just how I like it, enough salt and savory with a depth of chicken flavor. One big problem though - this was one of the worst matza balls I've ever had! I too like the big fluffy versions, but this tasted like straight up matza meal or something - it was grainy and cold in the middle and had no flavor. Luckily, this was the only low point for me - I had my usual, corned beef and chopped liver on fresh rye, with tomatoes, mustard and pickles, and with the first bite I was in heaven. I would certainly call this corned beef luscious, and the chopped liver was delicious. The right consistency - smooth but chunky, with a hint of sweet - perhaps cinnamon? Yum. Anyway, I'd recommend this place if you're looking for a jewish deli, and will absolutely be back again and again. Oh, and I was here on what I would've thought to be one of the busiest days of the year, and while the place was full, service was perfectly satisfactory, no qualms.

Happy healthy New Year to everyone!

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I enjoyed this thread, which I'd never seen - as a Jewish, native New Yorker I take my deli very seriously. Don recalls good things about the Carnegie in Tysons Corner 15-20 years ago. I have to disagree. I was so excited when I learned it was opening, but it really was not very good at all - nothing resembling its NYC namesake. Not as good as Parkway, which is okay but certainly not great. There is the Broadway Deli - New York on Parklawn Drive in Rockville. Have not been in several years but it used to be about as good as Parkway. That's pretty much it. Atman's in Baltimore is the closest thing we have, or have had in the past 20 years, to a NY Jewish-style deli, and is far better than anything in the DC Metro area. The best corned beef sandwich I've ever had in the DC area is at Central - it rocks. But nothing in the world compares to Katz's - it is NY's finest - and anyone who mentions Langers (Los Angeles) or Schwartz's (Montreal) in the same breath as Katz's is crazy.

I agree - this place hits the spot like nowhere else I've been in this area (which isn't saying too much, but still). The chicken soup is incredibly flavorful - just how I like it, enough salt and savory with a depth of chicken flavor. One big problem though - this was one of the worst matza balls I've ever had! I too like the big fluffy versions, but this tasted like straight up matza meal or something - it was grainy and cold in the middle and had no flavor. Luckily, this was the only low point for me - I had my usual, corned beef and chopped liver on fresh rye, with tomatoes, mustard and pickles, and with the first bite I was in heaven. I would certainly call this corned beef luscious, and the chopped liver was delicious. The right consistency - smooth but chunky, with a hint of sweet - perhaps cinnamon? Yum. Anyway, I'd recommend this place if you're looking for a jewish deli, and will absolutely be back again and again. Oh, and I was here on what I would've thought to be one of the busiest days of the year, and while the place was full, service was perfectly satisfactory, no qualms.

Happy healthy New Year to everyone!

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Don recalls good things about the Carnegie in Tysons Corner 15-20 years ago. I have to disagree. I was so excited when I learned it was opening, but it really was not very good at all - nothing resembling its NYC namesake. Not as good as Parkway, which is okay but certainly not great.

I was a young, inexperienced palate back then (my "best-ever" meal at that point was probably a Chicken Kiev at the Russian Tea Room, or a Surf and Turf at Harvey's, or maybe a Roast Suckling Pig at Tio Pepe), but I do remember getting a Broadway Danny Rose and it was the same size, very similar meats, pretty much the same price ($14.95, if I recall), and there was even the exact same guy from the NYC Carnegie running the place and slicing the meat (not Steiner; the garbled-looking guy with thin, stringy hair and glasses). Atmosphere-wise, the Tysons branch resembled more of a cruise ship than a deli, and it really, really jumped the shark when it changed hands and became known as "Carnegies," serving what amounted to bad catered food (pre-boiled pastas, etc.) Ironically, I was at the original two weeks ago, and they were sourcing their bagels. Thanks for your take - I defer to your earlier birth date, bagelic wisdom, and Manhattan pedigree - and I really, really do wish more people would issue dissenting opinions to mine, as it absolutely makes for a more vibrant and interesting forum.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Had a rueben there the other day. The good: the pastrami was fairly juicy and the Rueben sloppy & greasy in a good way. The pickle bar was pretty damnned good: full sours were fully sour (not as good as the pickle guys but darned good) and the pickled green tomatoes were plum tomatoes with loads of flavor. Great service and the sandwich was nicely hot & crispy. Great iced coffee

The not so good: the sourkraut was mushy (both on the sandwich & at the pickle bar) The pastrami was too thin. There was enough meat to make a great half a rueben, not enough for a full sandwich. Of course the price was half the price of a NY Rueben.

The judgement? I gotta try the Corned Beef at City Deli!

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From today's Washington Post, on page A2 under CORRECTIONS:

"The Good to Go column in the Feb. 13 Food section incorrectly said that the pastrami served at Parkway Deli & Restaurant in Silver Spring is made on the premises. It is made by Saval Foods."

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Had a rueben there the other day. The good: the pastrami was fairly juicy and the Rueben sloppy & greasy in a good way. The pickle bar was pretty damnned good: full sours were fully sour (not as good as the pickle guys but darned good) and the pickled green tomatoes were plum tomatoes with loads of flavor. Great service and the sandwich was nicely hot & crispy. Great iced coffee

The not so good: the sourkraut was mushy (both on the sandwich & at the pickle bar) The pastrami was too thin. There was enough meat to make a great half a rueben, not enough for a full sandwich. Of course the price was half the price of a NY Rueben.

The judgement? I gotta try the Corned Beef at City Deli!

City makes a pretty good Reuben. Using corned beef of course not pastrami (at the risk of starting something, I believe with all my heart that a Reuben is CB, never pastrami--there is currently a long thread on CH about that point and others, including the question of 1000 island vs. Russian, and yes they are different because Russian, properly made, has horse radish and that's what brings the bitter part to the table).

In fact, I believe that the reason the Reuben is so popular is because it is so good, and the reason it's so good is that, well made, it perfectly embodies and balances all the five tastes. Here is what I posted in the CH thread (which started out with someone asking about kraut vs. coleslaw):

"It's kraut, and there's a reason why that in turn explains why the sandwich has become so popular. The sourness of the kraut balances the rich oil of the corned beef and cheese. The kraut also provides salt, while the Russian dressing provides sweetness and a bit of tartness. So the Reuben embodies, and properly made perfectly balances, all four basic primary flavors, sour, salt, sweet, and bitter. It may even be that the cheese (if well aged) and corned beef (depending on the curing agents used) bring in L-glutamate and thus umami, the fifth primary flavor, making it a home run.

In the end it's all science."

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Forty+ years ago and growing up in Silver Spring there was only one place to go for deli and that was Hofberg's on Eastern Avenue. The Parkway Deli was just a distant second/third that it didn't even mention consideration. I believe that it is a mark of just how far D. C. has fallen that the Parkway is not thought of as a "good" deli. I doubt that it's any different today from then; rather, the original icon, Hofberg's on Eastern, is gone. And has not been replaced.

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Forty years ago they didn't know what Kreplach are, and were serving the same dreck as today, albeit at significant lower prices. There has never been a decent Jewish deli in Washington, unless you count some of the dishes served up at the late, revered Duke Ziebert's (his chicken in the pot contained almost a whole chicken, and I once watched with great admiration, or stunned disbelief, as Sonny Jurgensen ate two of them in one sitting). When you had serious deli cravings, and wanted serious food, you went to Attman's on East Lombard Street in Baltimore.

I could not more strongly disagree with this: as noted above the original Hofberg's on Eastern Avenue. I remember going to Attman's and a second deli (whose name I cannot remember) in high school in the early '60's. Decent deli but both were far behind Hofberg's. What I DO remember was a competition between D. C. and Baltimore for deli (of all things) and the refusal of friends of mine in Baltimore then to admit that Hofberg's was superior let alone far superior to Attman's or the other deli. Regardless, then, Hofberg's was THE standard that Duke's/Posin's/Parkway et al all aspired to. Years later Hofberg's open at Randolph and Nicholson but it had NOTHING in common with the Eastern Avenue original.

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The Parkway Deli was just a distant second/third that it didn't even mention consideration. I believe that it is a mark of just how far D. C. has fallen that the Parkway is not thought of as a "good" deli.

I assume you meant "now thought of", and I agree with that assessment of the Parkway. I lived fairly close to it for many years, but went there seldom, because I just thought it wasn't very good. Greasy certainly, but the food just never was up to par. Maybe I got spoiled by 10 years of living in NYC.

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City makes a pretty good Reuben. Using corned beef of course not pastrami (at the risk of starting something, I believe with all my heart that a Reuben is CB, never pastrami--there is currently a long thread on CH about that point and others, including the question of 1000 island vs. Russian, and yes they are different because Russian, properly made, has horse radish and that's what brings the bitter part to the table).

I am not going to get into corned beef vs pastrami reubens, as Don doesn't religious discussions on the board. But since my Parkway post, I have tried city Deli (about 4 times actually). It is the best I have had in DC by a wide margin. But every time I go, my sandwich (or one time my corned beef and cabbage plate) consisted of 1 or 2 nice slices and lots of falling apart little bits and shreds of corned beef. The flavor is good, the mouthfeel not as it should be. But the pickle is odd: shaped like a pickle but tasting nothing like what a pickle should taste like with a good CB Reuben. Is it canned? Or just bad and full of chemicals? Din't know but if the Pickle Guy at the Pickle Guys on Essex tasted one of these, he would plotz.

All in all the sandwich fills a need. As I said it is unquestioningly the best CB in DC delis. Have not had the Central CB so no comparison can be made. But best doesn't guarantee good or great. It would not crack my list of great corned beef sandwiches I have had: Katz's, Carnegie, Brents in Northridge Calif, Art's in Studio City CA, Nate n Al's (Beverly Hills), Canter's (Fairfax), Junior's (West LA). Parkway doesn't even make my list of Great for DC sandwiches which is sadly lonely with the Deli City Reuben alone on the list.

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Honestly, Mel, in the '60's the original Hofberg's was legitimately good for deli. NO, it was not quite on the level of Second Avenue, Katz, the Stage or Carnegie but it WAS good. Today, it's not that D. C. doesn't have good deli but rather that we haven't even come close to reproducing what we once had...

I remember when the Carnegie opened on route 7 at Tyson's in the Embassy Suites. Ah, the Carnegie is coming to D. C.!!!!

THAT was a huge disappointment.

There is still a very real need for great, even good deli here.

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I took the kids there for breakfast yesterday, and was reminded of why we never go there for breakfast: no kids menu. I am not fond of being forced to buy adult-sized portions for my 10 and 7 year old kids. Of course, they could get one thing and split it, but that means forcing them to agree on the one thing, and what fun is going out to breakfast if you can't order what you want? Back to the Tastee Diner...

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Maybe its the nostalgia that 3 generations of my family ate here, but I think that Parkway is pretty damn good deli (this having lived in NYC and regularly eaten at Carnegie and Katz's). It is by far the best deli in the DC area that I've had (I have to admit ignorance of Deli City - where is it?). Like most neighborhood places, you have to find the winning dishes and ignore some losers. I like there pickle bar, great pastrami and corned beef (albeit Carnegie CB is a hair better, and Katz's or Attman's pastrami is a step above), my favorite is the Deli Twins on tasty onion rolls where you get a serving of each meat. The desserts are good and gooey too. The matzah ball soup is rich and the balls are big and soft if you like that variety (too bad for those meshugenahs like my in-laws who like them hard as rocks). Potato knishes are pretty good too (although nothing like the real homemade at Carnegie). Service isn't the best, but when was a deli known for its good service? The coleslaw could be a bit better. I like BJ Pumpernickel's slaw though (which is supposedly Hofberg's old recipe). These are the things I measure a deli by - not the faucockeh wraps and goyische what not that all of the delis including Parkway have added to the menu. So I say go to Parkway its worth the schlep and they have parking too. When in Baltimore though I do recommend Attman's - get a cloak and dagger or a dog - both are great.

Been reading the book, Save the Deli, so i had a hankering for pastrami that was fulfilled greatly during lunch on Saturday at Parkway Deli. It is funny, I saw this old post of mine from almost 3 years ago and Parkway doesn't change. It is still the same eating experience as before - great pastrami on Deli Twins, corned beef was good too. Still not a fan of the coleslaw. Wife still loves the hot dog, potato knish, and ginger ale combo (although out of 2 recent trips they only had Dr. Brown's version once). Our newest addition to the regular order is the side of onion rings - very crisp and yummy. So I know there are detractors of Parkway, but for what its worth - it is very good deli and a quick zip outside the city. When we went 2 times in the last month on weekends - it has been pretty packed too, so I guess business is doing fine. Now I just need to check out Uptown Deli in Bethesda for the comparison.

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Started the evening at a friend's house for a holiday open house thingy and ended it at another friend's house...they had spent the day moving so they had no food in the fridge. In between was the Parkway Deli. Two greek salads (the normal assortment of romaine lettuce, red onions, olives, feta, tomatoes etc.), a whole roast chicken, large mashed potatoes, large mac and cheese, a medium spinach, 6 pack of beer to go. Ran to roughly $40 and more than enough for dinner for 4 people with left overs. Everything was pretty straightforward and tasty. Hit the spot on a chilly evening.

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For a quick and easy weekend breakfast, I think Parkway is becoming our go-to; worth driving past Tastee and Old Georgetown Grille in Bethesda*.  The hash brown omelet [bacon, cheese, hashbrowns] was mighty tasty and will probably be my standard order every time going forward.

Don't bother opting for the bagel that you can get with breakfast dishes.  They are better than Panera/Giant/Safeway quality, but not much.

Someone mentioned upthread a lack of a kid's menu, which I agree is a shame.  That said, 2 eggs w/ a side ($5.65) or 2 pancakes ($4.95) probably get you to the same place at breakfast time.

*I probably need to give Louisiana Kitchen another shot

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 It is funny, I saw this old post of mine from almost 3 years ago and Parkway doesn't change.

(funny side note:  My wife was driving out I-70 into western MD and I used my phone to pull up DR.com and see if there were any recommendations in the area.  I read one review that mentioned two places and one of them seemed right up my alley.  So we decided to go there.  Only later did I discover - I had written the review long ago.  I had forgotten about the restauarant name - and thus it didn't seem familiar.  And on the phone in the car, I wasn't really focused on who wrote the review.  "Thanks past self!")

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Because of Covid-19 related restaurant closures, gift certificate revenue helps with cash flow. Bethesda magazine published a Montgomery County focused list of restaurants' gift cert links.

Unfortunately the link to buy gift certs from Parkway Deli is not secure www.theparkwaydeli.com/gift-cards.html

Perhaps calling them directly for either gift cards or a Passover platter would be a safer way of supporting them, their long-time clientele, and the pickle bar. 

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Wash. Post actually reviewed Parkway Deli: https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2022/04/29/parkway-deli-restaurant-review/

We had a time lunch there over the weekend. Indoors is pretty much the same but now they built an nice outdoor deck with a full rain cover (still open to breeze on sides) in the back parking lot. Two separate checkins though - one inside for inside and outside for outside. We enjoyed some of the usual fare - deli twins (two onions rolls - one with hot pastrami and one with corned beef) hit the spot. One of us followed Tom's review and got the pretty decent fish and chips. Other liked the milkshakes, breakfast pancakes, waffles, and omelettes. The only real change is lack of pickle bar. You now ask your waiter for pickles and when we went they only had dill spears not the usual 6-8 different item variety.  We got more dessert to go - good/not great rainbow cakelettes and black and white cookies. The big cakes still probably take the cake but we'd didn't indulge.

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5 hours ago, KeithA said:

The only real change is lack of pickle bar. You now ask your waiter for pickles and when we went they only had dill spears not the usual 6-8 different item variety. 

It seems that the pickle bar has returned. (That info came from Parkway's facebook, but I don't know how to link a facebook post.)

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