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Jewish Delis?

So we were in Natick today trying to escape alive from the crowds at the mall and stumbled into Joan & Ed's Deli...it didn't taste like the best corned beef and matzo ball soup I've ever had, and certainly not like my grandmother's, but to escape California Pizza Kitchen it did the trick.

I searched the board's and can't find many other Jewish deli's mentioned other than J&E's and Zaftigs (still have to try)...are there any others?


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  1. There is a pretty good one in Chelsea on a side street off Everett Ave. I believe it is Arlington St. The name is Arthur's.

    When I was there the first time I spoke with the owner. She had been a cook at a kosher food store in Revere called Myer's Kosher Kitchen. The corned beef was made on premises she was not happy with the chopped liver she was purchasing so she was going to start making that from scratch as well.

    I had a corned beef on a bulkie, my wife had a Reuben and both were good. Also had some other "jewish"/Eastern Euro foods such as kinishes, kishke, pickles, etc.

    Pretty easy to get to from Boston, and points north.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Skippy978

      Going to try Arthur's -- thanks so much.

    2. Sorry to say you are out of luck. Sam Lagrassa is the closest you will get to a delicious pastrami sandwich. 9lives turned me onto it and I am happy he did. It's so depressing not having good Jewish Delis in Boston. It must be even worse for you considering you came from NYC where Jewish Delis are really special. I have been to Joan and Ed's and the pastrami is just ok.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hoplover

        It is depressing! Thanks.

        I love do love Sam's even though they aren't a typical Jewish deli experience...

      2. Mike's in Coolidge Corner or Sam LaGrassa's in DTC.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Luther

          Michael's Deli on Harvard St. in Coolidge Corner has the only true NYC style corned beef. He also has very good knishes and pastrami.

          Arthur's is the only one that still makes their own corned beef. It's less salty with a different mouth feel than NYC corned beef, but it's very, very good. It's across from Dunkin Donuts away from downtown Chelsea under the Tobin.

          Michael's and Arthur's are good but no deli around here makes or use real crusty Jewish deli rye. They all use bread from a bag, so none can be considered in the top league.

          1. re: lergnom

            "Michael's Deli on Harvard St in Coolidge has the only true NYC style corned beef." I have had both Barry's corned beef sandwiches and Michael's, they are both excellent and practically no difference in style, taste or quality.

            1. re: lergnom

              Michael's meats are not "NY style" - they're actually FROM New York, he gets them delivered fresh daily. His pastrami is decent, but his corned beef in the best in the area, hands down.

              1. re: BobB

                That was my point, though I was not clear. His corned beef has that right mix of salty fattiness which NY corned beef has. BUT, many places import foods and somehow they don't taste nearly as good. Michael does a great job.

              2. re: lergnom

                I sampled Michael's and the Carnegie Deli in NYC in the same week back in April and can say Michael's delivers for those of us who are not in NYC on a regular basis. Great corn beef!

                And while it is not kosher I have a husband who loves the Michael's "Pig Out." Just don't order that sandwich if you are the shy retiring type.

                1. re: BostonZest

                  could you explain the pig out thanks

                  1. re: foodperv

                    roast pork, cranberry sauce, and stuffing on light rye-- sort of a Thanksgiving sandwich with pork instead of turkey and no mayo. My husband loves it-- I'll stick to my corned beef.

                    They have a bit of fun calling this one out to the sandwich maker and announcing that it's ready. This includes the hoisting and oinking of a stuffed pig.

                    Here's a link to the menu


              3. re: Luther

                Thanks to both of you - will try Mike's and Arthur's and report back.

                1. re: gramercyfoodie

                  Michaels on havard is the only deli in boston. pastrami or corned beef are the absolute best, he even has his rye bread specially made by a professional baker to his recipe.

              4. Barry's Village Deli in Waban satisfies my Jewish Deli cravings. Rubins in Brookline is an old standby and arguably Zaftig's in Brookline too although it is more of a restaurant with some deli type options.

                3 Replies
                1. re: cookiezim

                  Will try these too -- thanks so much.

                  1. re: cookiezim

                    Barry's is the closest I've found in the area to a Jewish appetizing store...whitefish, nova, sable, knishes etc. Michael's in Coolodge Corner has good corned beef and knishes but the rest is just ok.

                    Corned beef or pastrami..Sam LaGrassa's on Province is my first choice

                    Stage Deli had a short run in the theater district and Alan Dershowitz opened Maven's in Harvard Sq..also short lived.

                    1. re: 9lives

                      I've been to Sam LaGrassa's and really, really enjoyed the pastrami & corned beef sandwich. However, it still isn't the real Jewish corned beef & pastrami like we used to get on Shirley Ave. in Revere (what seems like) a century ago - or in Brookline also.

                      Sigh... I have to get myself over to Chelsea to try Arthur's, though - I should bring it home & put it on the crusty bread I bake myself now!

                  2. Rubins is too pricey. I've heard good things about Michael's. Maxie's deli in Stoughton is decent food but the service is slow.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ShelT54

                      Rubin's is very pricey because it's strictly kosher, meat only. Many of the others are "kosher style," whatever that means to the owners.

                    2. I would recommend Avenue Deli in Newron - it is strictly kosher so no cheese on your sandwiches - but the corned beef and pastrami is some of the best I have ever had - excelletn food with excellent service -

                      Avenue Deli
                      549 Commonwealth Ave, Newton Center, MA 02459

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: weinstein5

                        weinstein5, I've been curious about this place. What else at Avenue Deli is good? I assume they are closed on Saturday, but do you know if they are open Sunday?

                        My favorite Jewish deli is Barry's in Waban, though I guess I can deal with Rubin's and Zaftigs (neither one is my favorite by any means) and I'll go to Joan and Ed's every now and then. I''m very mixed on S&S, as it is good at times, but it can also be very bad, IMO. Maxie's in Stoughton is very good; probably my #2 favorite, just below Barry's. Still haven't been to Michael's yet.

                        1. re: hiddenboston

                          Yes they are closed on saturday - last time I was in Boston I ate there every night - had an excellent prime rib with a chimchuri sauce (the owner is form argentina) - it was excelletn melt in your mouth and one night as aspecial he had slow smoked veal and beef ribs that were out of this world - in addition to his corned beef/pastrami -

                          1. re: weinstein5

                            They have a few tables there? Is it counter service, full service, mostly takeout? Now I'm very intrigued!

                            1. re: hiddenboston

                              a handful of tables - 8 as I recall counter service.and takeout - here is the link where I first learned of it - http://www.kosherblog.net/2007/02/13/...

                              Because this discussion started about corned beef/pastrami sandwiches I have attached a photo from that review -

                      2. If in the neighborhood, you could give S&S a try in Inman Sq. Not worth a trip though.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: jajjguy

                          Or not. Please don't waste your calories there. Mediocre food and poor service. Their catering used to be ok (haven't gotten it in a while), but we've never had better than blah at the restaurant. So many great choices in Inman, so little reason to go to S&S.

                          1. re: DavisSquare

                            Agreed. I'm still shocked by how much business this place does serving such mediocre brunch/lunch offerings. I'd rather eat an egg mcmuffin. Location, location, location.

                            1. re: jackal

                              Yeah, it's not what it used to be. I grew up in Inman Square in the '50s and '60s, when it was still a Jewish neighborhood, and back then the S&S ("Ess und ess, mein kind!") was a real deli. Originally the whole place was just the area where you enter from Cambridge Street now, where the takeout counter is. Once they expanded and brunchified in the late '70s, they lost their soul.

                              I wonder how much of my being such a foodie today is due to spending my formative years at the original S&S and the original Legal Sea Foods?

                              1. re: BobB

                                yes the S&S was ok now they live on 3 things
                                1 the OLD reputation
                                2 location
                                3 food now is just blah, bland, mediocre but not really bad. just sort like "what did you have for lunch today" "oh, you know i can't remember"

                                i miss sam's in chelsea (pressman's). business people from out of town( new york ,chicago) would take the trip over the tobin just for lunch there

                        2. The deli counter at The Butcherie (Harvard St. in Brookline, across the street from Dok Bua) is worth a visit, if only because it's the only place I know of where you can still get real old-fashioned salty lox. Also excellent sable and kippered salmon, good pickles, and decent knishes. Their meats are not the same caliber as their fish, but they do have a few hard-to-find specialties like tongue.

                          And alas, although it's on the price list posted on the wall, they no longer carry rolled beef, no one in the area makes it any more. That used to be my favorite as a kid.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: BobB

                            yum. will try. great tip thanks. Also looking forward to trying Michael's authentic NY meats :)

                            1. re: gramercyfoodie

                              One note on Michael's - their hours are somewhat limited. Call before you go as they are not open much past dinner time, IIRC.

                              But, catch them open and it's totally worth it!

                          2. I like the corned beef & tongue at Michael's Deli in Brookline. His hours have a way of being completely uncooperative, but they are open Saturdays, which is great. Do not, I repeat, do not, order any of their herring salads. I'm also fond of their pastrami, though Sam LaGrassi's might be better. I've gotten great deli takeout at The Butcherie in Brookline, including not too shabby white fish salad and more tongue. For strict takeout, I really love Bazaar in Brookline - amazing smoked fish, interesting salads, great baked cakes and tortes, not half bad cooked dishes on the steam table. I dislike matzo ball soup, so please forgive me for not having a recommendation. I actively dislike Zaftig's and S&S, though I have been known to take out of town relatives to the latter for bacon on pastrami sandwiches (I mean, really). I'm fond of the bagel's at Katz's in Chelsea, but there's Rosenfeld out in Newton that may be better.