• Mordi’s Sandwich Shop: A Hidden Gem in Jersey City

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    Some of the best restaurants across the country are on wheels. This is certainly the case for Mordi’s Schnitzel Truck, which expanded to a brick and mortar shop last year in the rapidly developing Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood. Mordi’s Sandwich Shop, located at 320 Communipaw Avenue, has become a staple of the neighborhood, and is open seven days a week, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Keep reading to learn more about Mordi’s Sandwich Shop, a hidden gem in Jersey City.

    Morid’s Backstory

    Mordehai Chichportiche {Mordi for short} was born and raised in Israel. He served in the armed forces and decided to move to the United States at the age of 25. Before he moved, Mordi asked his mom to teach him how to cook to make sure that he could cook for himself. Mordi comes from a large family and was around a lot of food all his life {this is where his passion for cooking and food began}. Once in New York, Mordi attended and graduated from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. He then went on to work in restaurants in NYC, most notably as the sous chef at Eataly in the Flatiron District. He opened his food truck in 2014, and then Mordi’s Sandwich Shop in 2018. 

    mordi sandwich shop

    The Location

    The cozy space features a lot of natural light and a casual environment, where patrons can order out or dine-in at the counter-top style seating. The outside of the store also has an outdoor sidewalk café for alfresco dining. There are shelves that line the perimeter of the shop that display cute Jersey City mugs, key chains, glasses, and other items from Kanibal & Co, as well as hand-made candles and ceramics made by local artists.

    See More: The Grind Coffee Shop: Bergen-Lafayette’s Go-To Coffee Spot

    The Food

    mordis sandwich jersey city

    mordis falafel

    The menu at Mordi’s Sandwich Shop features their famous Schnitzel, signature sandwiches, falafel, Greek salads, chicken shawarma, pitas, and breakfast sandwiches. All the ingredients are fresh, made in-house, {including their delicious sauces like garlic lemon aioli, pesto aioli, and humus}, and made to order.

    mordis sub

    Their best-selling menu items include the Italiano Sub, Parm Sub, the Americano, and the Crazy Cuban. The shop also has local homemade tiramisu, apple pie, and banana bread {talk about some seriously mouth-watering options}.

    Read More: A Tour De Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in Hoboken

    A Q+A with the Owner

    We sat down with the owner of Mordi’s Sandwich Shop over some delicious Israeli falafel to get the inside scoop on the restaurant. 

    Hoboken Girl: What is your culinary background?

    Mordi Chichportiche: I learned to cook in 10 months while attending the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan. I worked at a few different restaurants around the city. Eventually, I got tired of working 90 hours a week and of the pressure of the restaurant industry. In 2014 I told my wife that I couldn’t work for anyone else anymore, and decided to open up a food truck. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and knew that I would own my own business one day. I decided to open up a food truck because it was all I could afford. I went to the bank to get a loan and surprisingly they gave it to me. The rest is history.

    mordis food truck

    HG: Tell us a bit more about the food truck, and what inspired you to open Mordi’s Sandwich Shop?

    MC: When I opened my food truck, it was the fourth food truck in Jersey City. We had a lot of challenges to figure out a good location and didn’t have a permanent spot. Another obstacle was to teach people about schnitzel. Our schnitzel is freshly breaded chicken cutlets or eggplant {made with our own homemade bread crumbs and spices}, and deep-fried to a golden brown. Everyone thought it was German sausage, so I was cooking and educating customers on the history of my food at the same time. One thing that was good was that the moment they tried my food, they kept coming back. The more we stayed in the same place, the more we kept selling. 

    mordis breakfast

    By the third summer, after a lot of hard work, it was a success. The food truck got too busy with me doing everything myself, and I started to look for a store for storage and prep. I originally was just planning on doing cold cuts and breakfast items at the shop to keep it simple. Then I realized I had to build out a hood, and decided to bring the food truck menu to the shop.

    HG: Where do you get your inspiration for the unique menu items and generous portions?

    MC: My first rule in cooking is to cook for yourself. Make something you would actually eat. The second rule is to make sure that if it satisfied me, it is enough food. I took inspiration from other places I worked {Italian and Mediterranean food} and Americanized the dishes to make them appeal to everyone. I consider it a success when customers tell me the dishes from the food truck and the restaurant taste exactly the same. Consistency is key. 

    mordis jersey city

    HG: How did you pick the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood for your shop?

    MC: I’ve lived in Jersey City for 13 years {all over town}. We had stopped by Luna De Papel across the street from the shop and saw the space open for rent. We kept asking the owners about it until they finally agreed to give us a shot. Lafayette reminds me a lot of the small town I come from in Israel. I love walking to work and that everyone knows everyone, and that we are close to the park and the water. I always joke that I moved halfway across the globe to create the same situation that I had in Israel. It worked out better than we could have ever hoped for and we love it.

    If you’re looking for delicious food, generous portions, and a friendly staff that makes you feel like family, check out Mordi’s Sandwich Shop and Mordi’s Food Truck. Mordi’s Food Truck can be found by following their Twitter Page.

    Have you been to Mordi’s Sandwich Shop or food truck? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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    Written by:

    Evelyn is a born and raised Jersey Girl and is a local influencer {@thefoundrygirljc} in Jersey City. She has a degree in marketing and business from Syracuse University, and currently works freelancing in social media. She has lived in both Hoboken and Jersey City and is very committed to supporting local businesses and being a local resource to all her friends and neighbors. She is an animal {dog} lover and claims to know more animals in Jersey City than people {really}. When she is not freelancing, she can be found hanging out with friends at local spots in Bergen-Lafayette and attending social and networking events in Jersey City and Hoboken.