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Jan 28, 2007 07:41 AM



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  1. 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. 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

        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. 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

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

        2. 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

            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

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


              2 Replies
              1. re: WineTravel

                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

                  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