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JEWISH DELI'S IN PHILLY

a
Al Goldman Jun 30, 2004 11:59 PM

Hi, I'm a transplanted New Yorker and just moved to Philly. Can you tell me what comes close to the Carnegie Deli in New York? Thanks

  1. m
    Michael Jul 2, 2004 01:58 PM

    I do find it hard sometimes to lay my hands on a good bagel around here, but at least I'm not in the Land of the Little League. I was visiting friends there some years ago and asked if there were any delis in town. The reply was, "Not only are there no delis, there's not even a place that THINKS it's a deli." So be grateful for whatever...

    1. b
      Barry Jul 1, 2004 03:59 PM

      For something at least somewhat similar to Carnegie Deli, you need to go to Kibbitz at 7th and Chestnut. There is a difference between New York and Philly style Jewish deli. Philly corned beef and pastrami is sliced much thinner than in New York and it's served cold, rather than warm, unless you ask for it otherwise.
      Kibbitz is the closest thing I've had to New York style in Philly.
      For those who say their sandwiches don't compare to what you get in New York, I've eated at Katz's, 2nd Ave and Carnegie several times each and have liked the sandwiches at Kibbitz every bit as much as the ones I've gotten at those places. Of course, you don't get the sort of classic atmosphere at Kibbitz that you do in the good New York delis, and as has already been mentioned, their non-sandwich items may not be as good as what you find in New York.

      One little disclaimer. I understand Kibbitz recently had a change of ownership and I haven't been there since. I've heard they're still good though.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Barry
        -
        --susan Jul 1, 2004 05:19 PM

        The bagels at Kibbitz are truly dreadful. However, the knishes are very good. I also like their potato salad quite a bit. I was shy about trying different sides and such, since the bagels suck so much, but everything's been fine. Except for those bagels. Gods.

        The roast beef is the best i've had. I'm surprised that you needed to specify hot pastrami -- that's not my experience. (Perhaps a wave of cold pastrami-lovers influenced the staff?)

        Disclaimer: I'm not some long-time deli expert...i just likes the food much. (Truth be told, the "overstuffed" thing drives me nuts, as it makes it difficult to get a good bite of all sandwich ingredients together.)

        1. re: --susan
          r
          robvos Jul 30, 2004 03:05 PM

          Kibbitz is great for sandwiches, knishes, and soups. And I've gotta say, their hamentaschen are outstanding.

          You're right about the bagel situation. What do you think about South Street bagel? These are the best I've found in Philadelphia. (I used to live in Washington Heights, and have never found a bagel as good as Bagel City on 181st Street and Washington Ave.).

        2. re: Barry
          h
          Harry Jul 1, 2004 07:53 PM

          Do they deliver or do takeout???

          Harry G

          1. re: Harry
            b
            Barry Jul 2, 2004 12:28 PM

            I know they do a lot of take-out. I'm not sure about delivery. I'm guessing you have to be relatively close to them and place a fairly large order to get delivery, but I could be wrong about that.
            Barry

        3. i
          Izzy Rubenstein Jul 1, 2004 03:42 PM

          It is both silly and arrogant to think that there are no Jewish Deli's in Phila to compare with New York. Go to Kibbitz at 7th and Chestnut to experience a true JEWISH Deli or to Famous Deli on Bainbridge St.
          Of course, if you decide to live and/or eat in the suburbs, then you deserve what you get.

          1. a
            Alexis Jul 1, 2004 02:42 PM

            I used to have a friend who lived in the northeast section of Phila, and we had several good deli meals at Jack's on Bustleton Avenue. That was years ago, so I don't know if they are still good or even still there.

            I've been to Murray's in Bala Cynwyd on Montgomery Avenue and they are not bad, but you might not find them as good because I'm sure they're nowhere near the delis in NY.

            If you're ever in King of Prussia there is a decent deli named Michael's Deli on Route 202 a few blocks up from the mall in the same shopping center as Bed Bath and Beyond. The deli is around the side from BB&B. They have restaurant seating and a take-out counter.

            Bottom line is that you'll probably have to lower your standards or make some trips back to NY.

            If you go back to NY, let me know, and I'll give you my order!!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Alexis
              s
              Sylvia G Jul 1, 2004 08:45 PM

              I used to live near Jack's, and it used to be good. However, I've heard from several of my old neighbors that it has gone downhill.
              It's probably still okay, but not great.

              1. re: Alexis
                s
                Susan H Jul 2, 2004 10:20 AM

                Jack's is still terrific for smoked fish, at least. My cousin ordered the smoked fish platter from Jacks for her shiva, and it was far better than Murray's or Hymie's (NY quality, certainly).

              2. s
                Sylvia G Jul 1, 2004 11:24 AM

                As Susan said, nothing here comes close to NY delis.

                There are some places for decent deli takeout. My husband likes to take a run (by car) to the northeast, to Famous on Krewstown Rd.
                We live in the Fairmount area, and Kleins, in the Philadelphian, has pretty good lox and corned beef. Little Pete's, the diner-like eatery here, makes a good corned beef special - not thick and warm, but good.

                Philly specializes in small, chef-owned places that are BYOB. We have some delightful places - Django, Matyson - which you'll get to know.

                Also, many small, terrific Italian BYOB's.

                Welcome!

                1. s
                  Susan H Jul 1, 2004 11:18 AM

                  Al, as a transplanted NYer myself (by way of Boston, which is even worse for deli), I can assure you that nothing here comes close. For oversized samwiches with good meat, Koch's and Kibitz are the best, with Murray's a close third. But the pickles suck. And so does everything else. Bagels are commercially produced and much too big and bread-like.

                  1. h
                    harshbeth Jul 1, 2004 10:13 AM

                    Try Kibitz in the City, 700 block of Chestnut, one sandwich feeds two. Or Famous at Fourth And Bainbridge, lots of old time ambience, though I wish the housekeeping was a little better.

                    1. d
                      Dennis Jul 1, 2004 09:01 AM

                      What area of town or the burbs are you interested in?

                      1. d
                        Dr. Phil Jul 1, 2004 08:41 AM

                        Can't help you on the deli, but I have to comment on your subject line. This is my principal grammar peeve - people using an apostrophe where the possesive is not intended. What's up with that?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Dr. Phil
                          e
                          elmom Jul 1, 2004 09:21 AM

                          Don't worry about your grammar, there probably won't be a test (only from neurotic, anal readers) Every neighborhood has their fave deli ... but on the Main Line Hymie's and Murray's vie (Hymie is more expensive, like NY, Murray is more relaxed) In West Phila. Koch's (on 42 or 43rd and Locust I think) is a wonderful, venerable institution for delishisness...but you can't sit there, only take out sandwiches. The NE has delis, some are just take out spots too... although the last time I went up Bustleton, I think Abe&Sons was out of business??!! Can someone correct this fact? And in the city, Famous on 4th and Bainbridge is OK but over-rated... evrytime they film a movie in town, the stars eat there for deli....

                          1. re: elmom
                            e
                            Ellen Jul 6, 2004 11:49 AM

                            Abe&Sons, at 7410 Bustleton Ave, is definitely NOT out of business. Go there for the best smoked fish selection outside of NYC.

                            1. re: elmom
                              r
                              Ruth Jul 19, 2004 06:39 AM

                              Just took out from Abe and sons for a weekend brunch.
                              It seemed to be cleaner and fresher than my visit about six monts ago. While they have excellent meats like BarBQ pastrami and fatty or lean corned beef and great chopped liver.....The The Fishes are the main draw.
                              We bought some excellent Nova, smoked sturgeon, and Kippered (sp?) Salamon. What I loved was watching the skilled Deli guys thinly hand slice these items with a precision that has been lost in newer generations. Also, great soups, kasha and bow ties, Whitefish salad , Bagels breads and even good Knishes (not New York stryle and not as good as Lipkins on Rhawn street) They also sell Barrel Pickles and tomatoes from K-Z and Dr. Browns sodas. One last note, Take out only and Saturdays are packed but worth the wait. It is on Bustelton Ave past cottman in the strip Mall with a Lees's Hoagie (across from a Jim's Steaks outpost) A one stop cholesterol area. Definitey a winner and must try

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