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hobie Jan 28, 2007 07:41 AM


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  1. MC Slim JB RE: hobie Jan 28, 2007 08:05 AM

    THAT WOULD BE THE "HIT YOUR CAPS-LOCK BUTTON CAFE". Ah, there, I feel much better talking in a normal tone of voice.

    As any transplanted New Yorker can tell you, deli is not Boston's long suit. I like Rubin's Kosher Deli in Brookline, but it's kosher: you can't get cheese on your corned beef sandwich (and it's closed on Saturday). Zaftig's in Coolidge Corner does a kind of Epcot version of deli, pretty tasty, big portions, but sort of sanitized, and not especially a bargain.

    Michael's in Coolidge Corner is a decent small deli, with good corned beef, but its menu is rather limited, and it closes early (5pm weeknights, 3pm weekends).

    The many Russian markets in Brookline and Brighton sort of have the feel of an Eastern European Jewish deli and a few of the products, but they really are their own thing. There's a worthy Polish deli across the street from Cafe Polonia in Andrews Square.

    1. s
      ShelT54 RE: hobie Jan 28, 2007 08:23 AM

      It's not New York, so lower the bar. Maxie's and Eliot's, 2 delis in Stoughton, serve respectable corned beef sandwiches. There is also a good deli in Sharon in a strip mall on Washington St.(?), whose name escapes me.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ShelT54
        MC Slim JB RE: ShelT54 Jan 28, 2007 08:55 AM

        I frequently point out on this board that it's unreasonable to expect Boston's 600,000 population to sustain the same restaurant breadth, number, and quality as New York's 8,000,000 people.

        But New York has a claim on deli excellence that has far less to do with its sheer size than its highest-in-America population of Ashkenazi Jews, the wellspring of American deli culture. Mexico City arguably has as interesting a restaurant culture as New York's, also due in part to its comparably huge size, but it's not the same kind of destination for deli.

      2. BobB RE: hobie Jan 28, 2007 01:17 PM

        If a corned beef sandwich is your grail, you can't do better than Michael's Deli in Coolidge Corner. It's actually preferable to the New York deli experience in my opinion (and I've eaten at Carnegie, 2nd Ave, etc), because not only is the corned beef itself just as good, they actually know how to make a sandwich instead of just putting a big ball of meat in the middle of the bread.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BobB
          ginnyhw RE: BobB Jan 29, 2007 02:32 AM

          I totally agree plus you can order a half sandwich, still fat and delicious, much easier on the waistline and wallet.

        2. f
          fabeneag RE: hobie Jan 28, 2007 04:23 PM

          Best Corned Beef in Boston belong to Sam's La Grassa behind Washington Street. Warm sandwich with a great homemade roll and awesome steak fries and pickles.

          2 Replies
          1. re: fabeneag
            applehome RE: fabeneag Jan 28, 2007 07:25 PM

            2nd Sam LaGrassa's - but not the roll. They use a portuguese roll which is just too sweet and detracts from the moist, home-made meat (very much like Katz's - NY Deli style). Get it on rye. The fresh pickles are also the best in Boston - a side gives you a whole plateful.

            1. re: fabeneag
              C. Hamster RE: fabeneag Jan 29, 2007 08:04 AM

              I know a lot of people swear by Sam LaGrassa's but IMO it reminds me of a "deli" that you'd find in Iowa.

              I find their corned beef to be unnecessarily fatty and really bland.

            2. w
              WineTravel RE: hobie Jan 29, 2007 04:14 AM

              Rubins on Harvard Ave in Brookline gets my vote... a Boston area institution.


              2 Replies
              1. re: WineTravel
                BobB RE: WineTravel Jan 29, 2007 06:34 AM

                No offense, but have you actually eaten there lately, or is this a post from nostalgia? Granted you could call Rubin's an institution, it's been there forever. But I live a block away and when I'm in need of a corned beef sandwich I walk the 1/2 mile to Michael's - and would do so in a blizzard before going back to Rubin's! The last time I went there I paid twice as much for a sandwich half the size and with half the flavor of Michael's.

                Unless you keep kosher I just don't see the point of eating there.

                1. re: BobB
                  WineTravel RE: BobB Jan 29, 2007 06:38 AM

                  Hmmmnn. Hadn't been in a while and did bulk takeout (by the pound) about 9 mos ago... quality was good. So, can't say what they give you on a sandwich, etc. But if you live so close youre more up on the scene than I am. Will def try Michael's next time im in the area. thanks for the tip

              2. hiddenboston RE: hobie Jan 29, 2007 05:57 AM

                For corned beef, I like Zaftigs a lot (though I'm not crazy about their other food, for the most part). I also like the corned beef at Barry's Village Deli in Waban. Rubin's is pretty good, but I think I prefer Zaftigs for corned beef.

                2 Replies
                1. re: hiddenboston
                  heathermb RE: hiddenboston Jan 29, 2007 06:36 AM

                  My last few sandwiches at Zaftigs have been somewhat disappointing. I find the meat to be too bland.

                  My strong preference is Michael's. (Unless I can somehow get Zingerman's!)

                  1. re: heathermb
                    wontonton RE: heathermb Jan 29, 2007 08:14 AM

                    Gotta agree. My sandwich experiences at Zaftig's have been not-so-hot (including one sandwich that had an inordinate amount of inedible gristle in it). For the prices they charge, plus the wait, it's not worth it.

                2. l
                  lergnom RE: hobie Feb 2, 2007 07:02 PM

                  The only two places that qualify as great for corned beef are Michael's and Arthur's Deli on Arlington Street in Chelsea, near the entrance to the Tobin Bridge and the produce barns. It's on a little side street right near the ramp. Arthur's makes their own, while Michael's is from NYC. Arthur's is clean and fresh tasting, while Michael's is saltier and has a slipperier mouth feel. Both make large sandwiches. If you go to Chelsea, you can also go to Katz's Bagels for the best bagels (and bagel dogs) in Boston.

                  I thank Eddie and Dan Andelman for the Arthur's recommendation.

                  1. BostonZest RE: hobie Feb 2, 2007 07:59 PM

                    Thanks to the wisdom above, I greenlined it Coolidge Corner and had a Michael's sandwich this week. It will make the wait until I get to NYC in April more tolerable! I grew up with frequent visits to family in the city and years in retail with lots of trips to the NYC HQ.

                    My friend enjoyed her Ruben but I feasted on corned beef on rye with just a smear of mustard. They even got the smear right.

                    This will be a regular stop when I'm in that area.

                    Thank you , Thank you. The hounds have pointed me to a good choice once again.

                    1. hiddenboston RE: hobie Feb 13, 2007 10:22 AM

                      I still need to try Michael's. I was impressed by the corned beef at Barry's in Waban, but have heard that Michael's is at least as good.

                      I'll be in NYC for a few days later this week, so perhaps I'll just get about 10 pounds of corned beef from Zabars or the Carnegie and hold off on Michael's for a bit!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: hiddenboston
                        BobB RE: hiddenboston Feb 13, 2007 11:14 AM

                        No need, Michael's gets theirs flown in daily from NYC and it is fantastic! I've gone through two pounds so far this week (with a little help from my friends).

                        1. re: BobB
                          hiddenboston RE: BobB Feb 13, 2007 11:55 AM

                          Excellent! Maybe I'll stock the cooler with 25 pounds of potato pancakes from Veselka, instead. :-)

                          Where does Michael's get their corned beef? Is it from the same wholesaler in NJ that Carnegie gets theirs from?

                          1. re: hiddenboston
                            BobB RE: hiddenboston Feb 13, 2007 12:26 PM

                            I don't know, I just know it's great stuff.

                            1. re: hiddenboston
                              sailormouth RE: hiddenboston Feb 13, 2007 12:30 PM

                              Mildly off-topic, but I wish Veselka would franchise, I'm jonesing for some of their borscht like nicotine.

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