The earliest memories of Adam Hyzdu, chef-partner of The Savory Gourmet Market, are of his family’s Italian meat business with gourmet items from Greece, Spain and France. “Growing up in Brooklyn, we experienced the best of Jewish and Italian neighborhood food. More specifically, Bensonhurst and Bedford-Stuyvesant bordering on Crown Heights and Williamsburg. There I was sitting on a stoop inhaling the aromas. I got tired of New York taxes and visited Atlanta several times, so we took the leap South.”
Why Alpharetta? “The mayor was excited to have us here in a city-owned building as a walk-to, or easy-to-park, market. Since the pandemic, our business has soared by 200 percent. We have shoppers come from all over, even Toco Hills. We are also a popular police hangout. It’s great to see them eating outside here,” Hyzdu said.
“We have tons of Jewish and Italian items. Our pastrami and corned beef are imported from New York: real nova, house-made whitefish salad, kippered salmon, whitefish chubs, chicken liver and knishes galore. We use Hebrew National bologna and salami, real water bagels from H&H in Manhattan, Kaiser rolls and rugelach.”
A variety of knishes ($4.95) means spinach, kasha, square potato (fried), and round potato (baked). Potato latkes are browned to perfection, no need to wait for Chanukah. Bagels are kettle or par baked. Inhale one with a schmear for $1.95.
Getting the best of local resources, Hyzdu buys breads and macaroons from Alon’s.
The Savory Gourmet has indoor space (temporarily closed) and outdoor patio tables. The focus now is takeout, deli, and prepared items that are heated at home with instructions. The website shows mouthwatering photos daily and lists availability.
I baked the eggplant parmesan, $23.95 (for 2) gluten-free with easy heating instructions (no microwave) in its ready pan. Melt-in-the-mouth, nice tomato bite, ripe eggplant.
Next up to try: grilled wild caught salmon with lemon rosemary garlic white wine sauce over spinach and red pepper-infused risotto, $26.95 (for two).
Hyzdu brought his Nonna’s best recipes from New York. Savory sells her “gravy” red sauce, Italian wedding soup and tomato bisque. “We use only the best of the best ingredients,” he said. “One bite and you will be hooked.”
Dreams of Little Italy materialize into pizza dough and cheese from Naples, Sicilian tomatoes, quiche, stromboli, manicotti, lasagna, Alfredo, pesto, ravioli and gnocchi pasta all ways.
The Mediterranean tuna scoop ($6.50) was truly special, blended with red onion, lemon, sun-dried tomatoes and olives, bursting with flavor, and enough for three sandwiches. The All the Way Everything Bagel ($8.45) bounded with cream cheese, perfect azalea hued ribbons of lox, chunks of smoked salmon, peppercorns, and sliced tomatoes, delivering mounds of flavor. The chocolate mousse cake was rich, silky. The fresh-baked chunky peanut butter cookie ($2.75) was irresistible. The cannoli ricotta was perfect, not too sweet.
“It’s terrific having such good ‘soul’ food like we had in New York in downtown Alpharetta,” local customer and accountant Phil Juravel said. “I think his corned beef is just like I had growing up.”
Savory succeeds because Hyzdu knows his customers, has positive energy and hands on presence. He labors over every luscious layer and is able to infuse his knowledge, love of food and hospitality into details like real cutlery, Sabrett mustard from New York, and the perfectly placed dollop of sour cream. In addition to partner-wife Carrie, interior designer Beth Johnson is their third partner. “We are a three-person team, and Carrie and I have three daughters!”
About the future, he mused, “I’m happy here to have regular hours Tuesday through Saturday 9 to 6 and Sunday and Monday 9 to 3, not working with a late-night drinking crowd. We are looking into expanding into Sandy Springs and Inman Park.”
The Savory Gourmet Market+New York Style Deli+Cafe is located at 63 Milton Ave. in Alpharetta. It has vegetarian and gluten-free items and over 320 catering choices with special menus for holidays and gourmet gifts with packaging options, wines and sweets, www.savorygourmetmarket.com