Pita & Rye

There’s a lot to be said for returning to one’s roots. In the case of Jay Fridkis, owner of Pita & Rye, a New York-style deli and grill in Maple Lawn, locals can be happy he did. Fridkis, of Columbia, opened Howard County’s first kosher restaurant in May, serving up premium deli sandwiches made with fresh roasted meats common in his childhood neighborhood in New York.

In the past, Fridkis had to travel to Wheaton or Pikesville to get his kosher deli products. After years of doing other things, including serving as the county government’s chief technology officer, Fridkis felt it was time to return to his food service background.

“It’s an important segment,” Fridkis says about the kosher customer, “but that’s not our primary market.”

Pita & Rye’s menu includes cold sandwiches like pastrami, turkey, brisket and chopped liver, and hot sandwiches such as burgers, including a veggie choice, grilled fish and shawarma, the Jewish take on a gyro, made with tahini sauce. Salads, side dishes (both Middle Eastern and American varieties) and grilled platters round out the mouthwatering choices.

The restaurant seats 41, plus it will have outdoor seating in season. One of the eatery’s walls is dedicated to local art, supplied by the Columbia Art Center.

Pita & Rye, 8180 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton. 443-296-2510. www.pitaandrye.com.

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