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Best NY-Style Jewish Delis

Best NY-Style Jewish Delis

Old Oct 17, 10, 4:22 am
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Best NY-Style Jewish Delis

Hi All,

I just finished reading "Save the Deli" by David Sax (highly recommended) and it got me thinking. I love almost all types of food - from the finest Peter Luger Steak to the best burger at In N' Out or Five Guys to delicious fresh sushi to Italian food, etc., etc. etc. One of the tastiest and best comfort foods of all time, in my opinion, is NY-style, Jewish delicatessen. And no, you don't need to be Jewish to love this cuisine. I'm talking juicy pastrami and corned beef, crusty rye bread with carraway seeds, spicy brown mustard, chopped liver, kugel, matzoh ball soup, mushroom barley, knish, etc. OK, now I am hungry.

I learned in this book that for various reasons the Jewish deli is a dying breed. The author suggests that in 50 years we'll be lucky if one or two delis are left in the USA, touristy-type ones in NYC. Nevertheless, there are still a TON of great delis standing across the country today. I've had the pleasure to dine at many and wanted to see if any FTers out there had thoughts to share on their favorite delis.

Looking forward to your replies...

I'll start it off...

Katz's (NYC)
Ben's (Long Island and Florida)
Lido Deli (Long Island)
Mill Basin Deli (Brooklyn)
Attman's (Baltimore)
Pastrami Queen (NY and Florida)

Last edited by jetBlueNYFL; Oct 18, 10 at 12:33 pm
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Old Oct 17, 10, 5:10 am
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I sure wasn't impressed with Pastrami Queen in NYC -- there is somewhere in the NYC forum a lengthy thread on NYC delis.

There are a bunch of decent delis in LA. I like the chain Jerry's Famous (Solly's in Van Nuys is under the same management). Also Art's in Studio City, whose slogan is "every sandwich, a work of Art." Art clearly eats his own food! A lot of folks like Nate and Al's too.
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Old Oct 17, 10, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
I sure wasn't impressed with Pastrami Queen in NYC -- there is somewhere in the NYC forum a lengthy thread on NYC delis.
And indeed, I thought the Boca location was pretty mediocre.
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Old Oct 17, 10, 8:35 am
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I am embarrased to say that I have NOT tried Attman's Deli. But, now I shall!
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Old Oct 17, 10, 8:46 am
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I couldn't disagree more with the author's premise that deli's will disappear around the country. They food is loved by both Jews and non-Jews alike, and you can't find the tastes of a Jewish deli anywhere else. The Jewish communities will support these delis as they do now. Even with the soft economy (and certainly in Detroit, it's more than soft), deli's are the comfort food that you write about and are doing quite well.

So, to that end, in the Metro Detroit area I give my vote to:

Star Deli in Southfield, Mi. Carry out only, but outstanding old school Jewish deli.

2nd vote to Stage Deli in West Bloomfield, MI


Originally Posted by jetBlueNYFL View Post
Hi All,

I just finished reading "Save the Deli" by David Sax (highly recommended) and it got me thinking. I love almost all types of food - from the finest Peter Luger Steak to the best burger at In N' Out or Five Guys to delicious fresh sushi to Italian food, etc., etc. etc. One of the tastiest and best comfort foods of all time, in my opinion, is NY-style, Jewish delicatessen. And no, you don't need to be Jewish to love this cuisine. I'm talking juicy pastrami and corned beef, crusty rye bread with carraway seeds, spicy brown mustard, chopped liver, kugel, matzoh ball soup, mushroom barley, knish, etc. OK, now I am hungry.

I learned in this book that for various reasons the Jewish deli is a dying breed. The author suggests that in 50 years we'll be lucky if one or two delis are left in the USA, touristy-type ones in NYC. Nevertheless, there are still a TON of great delis standing across the country today. I've had the pleasure to dine at many and wanted to see if any FTers out there had thoughts to share on their favorite delis.

Looking forward to your replies...

I'll start it off...

Ben's (Long Island and Florida)
Attman's (Baltimore)
Pastrami Queen (NY and Florida)
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Old Oct 17, 10, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jetBlueNYFL View Post
One of the tastiest and best comfort foods of all time, in my opinion, is NY-style, Jewish delicatessen.

I learned in this book that for various reasons the Jewish deli is a dying breed.

Ben's (Long Island and Florida)
Ben's It's always bothered me that people like this place. I've eaten in Bayside and Manhattan. Slightly above average, but not a place I'd run to.

As for NY-style, what else is there?

A dying breed? I'd have to agree. When we were kids, there were good deli's everywhere. Every neighborhood had their deli. We'd fight about them the way we do about pizza places today.

These days, we're limited to the survivors.

P.S. Don't forget Canters in LA.

dh

Last edited by dhammer53; Oct 18, 10 at 7:58 am Reason: spelling
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Old Oct 17, 10, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Easy Victor View Post
I couldn't disagree more with the author's premise that deli's will disappear around the country. They food is loved by both Jews and non-Jews alike, and you can't find the tastes of a Jewish deli anywhere else. The Jewish communities will support these delis as they do now. Even with the soft economy (and certainly in Detroit, it's more than soft), deli's are the comfort food that you write about and are doing quite well.

So, to that end, in the Metro Detroit area I give my vote to:

Star Deli in Southfield, Mi. Carry out only, but outstanding old school Jewish deli.

2nd vote to Stage Deli in West Bloomfield, MI
Deli is already sadly disappearing. The generation that brought deli to NY from eastern Europe is gone. The kids now running those delis are dealing with much slimmer margins due to higher costs and/or a willingness of consumers to not pay more (compared to a decent 8-10 oz. steak, you get the same amount of meat of high quality on a deli sandwich for less than half the price), changed eating habits (either more sophisticated like sushi or healthy options or chain restaurants), and overall a disconnect. Yes, some delis in some neighborhoods still thrive, but in the grand scheme of things, deli has declined and continues to do so. You need to read the book for the many statistics given.

Being from MI, have you eaten at Tony's Embers? I'm willing to make a trip up there just for that experience.
Originally Posted by dhammer53 View Post
Ben's It's always bothered me that people like this place. I've eaten in Bayside and Manhattan. Slightly above average, but not a place I'd run to.

As for NY-style, what else is there?
dh
I wouldn't 'run' to Ben's...maybe I am biased because the original Ben's was only 10-15 minutes away while growing up and it was the best deli around at the time. Somewhat commercialized, but the food is delicious for what it is...and most importantly, consistent. I've also befriended the mangers and servers.

I can't believe I left out Katz's in my OP. Katz's is hands down the BEST deli.
Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
A lot of folks like Nate and Al's too.
Supposedly Larry King eats breakfast there every morning.
Originally Posted by Mr. Vker View Post
I am embarrased to say that I have NOT tried Attman's Deli. But, now I shall!
You must! Expect a line out the door, rushed counter service and on AWESOME hole-in-the-wall experience! The food was simply amazing. It's supposedly the oldest Jewish deli in the country still run by the same family. My grandmother lived across the street in the 20s and ate there! It's not kosher so they also have MD crab cakes (didn't try one due to time constraints and the already large feast I ate there).
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Old Oct 17, 10, 1:08 pm
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Harold's in Edison, NJ. The best.
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Old Oct 17, 10, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Airokid View Post
Harold's in Edison, NJ. The best.
Harold's was mentioned on the public radio show "The Splendid Table". I've been to the one in Lyndhurst. Corned beef piled a mile high and so tender you could cut with a feather!
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Old Oct 17, 10, 3:56 pm
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While talking to a Miami celebrity chef, he said several investors want to be recreate the famous Rascal House that was closed a few years ago by the same group that owns (and ruined the Rascal House) Jerry's Deli and was replaced with an Epicure Market.

Should be interesting to stayed tune to this one...
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Old Oct 17, 10, 4:54 pm
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There is no good deli to be found in Seattle. Breaks my heart.
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Old Oct 17, 10, 4:57 pm
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I have only been to one NY-style deli, and it is Hobby's in Newark, NJ. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/di...%20deli&st=cse

I went there for lunch just the other day.

I have a lot of good deli's in my area of Central Jersey, but most are not NY-style.
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Old Oct 17, 10, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Airokid View Post
Harold's in Edison, NJ. The best.
So I hear. This is high on my list to visit!
Originally Posted by bas5838 View Post
While talking to a Miami celebrity chef, he said several investors want to be recreate the famous Rascal House that was closed a few years ago by the same group that owns (and ruined the Rascal House) Jerry's Deli and was replaced with an Epicure Market.

Should be interesting to stayed tune to this one...
The original Rascal can never be and will never be recreated. I'm relatively young, but I was very fortunate to dine here on numerous occasions throughout my childhood and into my early teen years. However, the stories I hear from my parents and grandparents are priceless. The one in Boca a few years ago was a real flop. The book I referenced in my OP discusses this whole story about Jerry's ruining it.
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Old Oct 17, 10, 8:53 pm
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Thumbs down

Subway....it's the closest we got
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Old Oct 18, 10, 4:11 am
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I can't speak to "NY" Delis...as I'm a third-generation L.A. boy (w/ Jewish family)...

That being said, my NYC friends have been favorably impressed with:

Langer's (arguably the best pastrami on the planet!)
Brent's (Northridge)

or the grandfathers of LA Delis
Greenblatt's
or
Canter's ...where as a young teen I used to scandalize my kosher Zeda by asking the waiter for "ham and cheese on a bagel."

Last edited by mlshanks; Oct 18, 10 at 4:18 am
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