The team behind Chelsea Market hamburger joint Creamline is opening a new Jewish barbecue restaurant located in the food hall, with a focus on cuts of turkey and beef. Pulkies, which has a counter pick-up spot on West 16th Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, opens Thursday. It will only focus on delivery and takeout for the foreseeable future, with plans to open a permanent location elsewhere depending on how business goes.
“Turkey is a really versatile bird, and it is not just something we should eat during the holidays,” says Pulkies chef Harris Mayer-Selinger, who is also one of the partners at the restaurant. Mayer-Selinger describes the restaurant as a mix between a New York deli and a traditional American barbecue spot, and hopes the bird will shine through in many of his dishes.
Items like the barbecue pulled turkey, which is slow-cooked leg meat served with the house barbecue sauce, and the pastrami turkey breast, are the focus of the menu, but there are plenty of other options as well, including a good number of vegetarian entrees. The sweet and sour cabbage stuffed with mushrooms, tomato and kasha — a type of grain preparation — is one of Mayer-Selinger’s favorites, as is the kale and green apple salad that’s prepared like charoset, the fruit and nut paste served during Passover Seder.
Mayer-Selinger drew on his Ashkenazi roots and his love for traditional American barbecue while crafting the menu and that intersection is interspersed throughout in dishes like the noodle kugel mac and cheese, the cinnamon babka bread pudding, and the manischewitz spritz, a canned cocktail of vodka, seltzer, and red wine.
Mayer-Selinger and his partners came up with the Pulkies concept less than a month ago. Their restaurant Creamline has been closed since the start of the pandemic, and the team was eager to get back into the kitchen in some way. While Creamline still remains closed, Mayer-Selinger is preparing the Pulkies menu from the same kitchen, which proved to be a major boost in getting the venture off the ground.
“We aren’t opening a restaurant from scratch,” Mayer-Selinger says. “We are MacGyvering it.”
For now, Pulkies only has a table set up on West 16th Street where customers can pick up their orders, and Mayer-Selinger is encouraging diners to place delivery orders on Pulkies website. For every order over $100, Mayer-Selinger has committed to donating $5 to the non-profit food delivery organization God’s Love We Deliver. Pulkies — which gets its name from the Yiddish word for poultry leg or drumstick — is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.