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Mort's Deli Opening Soon in Golden Valley (MSP)

We may (should, actually) soon have a new affirmative answer to the age old question, "is there a really good authentic deli in the Twin Cities?". Mort's Deli appears very close to opening their doors in Golden Valley @ Hwy 55 and Winnetka Ave, in the space that was once a B. Dalton Bookstore, then Joey's Seafood for a hot minute, and now will be 1/2 Chipotle 1/2 Deli...essentially in the parking lot of Golden Valley Commons. I'm guessing they'll be open within about 2 weeks.

According to the owners' blog, they aren't necessarily doing a lot of scratch cooking in house, ala Be'wiched...but are instead sourcing deliciously well known product from the NYC, such as H&H Bagels, Carnegie Deli meats & pickles as well as Best's Kosher Meats.

http://mortsdeli.blogspot.com/

I, for one, am very excited for a Carnegie style high-piled hot thin sliced corned beef with deli mustard on caraway rye...and a real old sour dill pickle.

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  1. Looks good on paper. I am as tough a critic as they come in this genre, but my fingers are crossed. I'm a little bit nervous that he says he loves Cecil's and I hope they don't trumpet the H&H Bagel thing too proudly. Cecil's is everything that's wrong about a Jewish-style deli and bagels, H&H or otherwise, generally suck when they're not eaten within a couple hours of being made. I've ordered from H&H in the past and they were no exception.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MSPD

      I guess we'll see. They sound more like an importer than a real deli.

    2. Looks like Morts opens Nov 3rd, was just in N Y for a Yankee game in July, I'm a N Y Yankee / and also ( as of July ) N Y Deli fan, just hope Morts does it right.

      1. I went there for lunch today and overall I was very unhappy with my experience. When we got there the place was about 25% full. We ordered our food, which was a bit spendy ($10-$14 per sandwich). I have no problem paying that for a sandwich but it better be a good one. We waited about 45 minutes for our food. One friend of mine received there sandwich before the remainder of the party received there food and was all but finished with his meal by the time we got ours. Our party saw my sandwich sit in the window but none of the excessive amount of employees care to do anything about it. People who came 20 min later then us were almost done by the time we got our food. I have an hour for lunch and we basically had to put it in to-go boxes and leave. It took them another 20 min to get our bill right (they overcharged us about $4).
        I worked in food service for about 7 years and so did the people I ate lunch with. We asked for a manager to straighten the problem out but none came over just our server who didn't know what was going on. My buddy got the wrong sandwich but was charged for the more expensive one. If you are waiting for 30 minutes I would expect a manager to stop by the table and fix the situation or offer something for waiting 45 minutes for a sandwich. We understood it was the first day and they said the computers were giving them a hard time, but after 45 minutes someone other then the server needs to step in and help the customer. I overheard the table next to me discussing if they should leave and get food somewhere else. This after we discussed leaving and grabbing a sub at Jimmy John's because we needed to get back to work.
        My impression is that no one there has much experience in the food industry or didn't show it today. It appeared that no one was ready or willing to take the helm of this sinking ship. Many employees were standing around and it took a host to return a sandwich back under the heat lamps that sat on the bar for 5 minutes. Also the front third of the restaurant had the chairs on the tables. I do not know why they were not using that section when they had many people in the lobby waiting for tables. I hope the staff can get a better grasp on how to deal with a tough situation similar to the one they had at lunch with food times being 30 min plus. I expect hiccups to happen when a place first opens, but the level of ineptitude today went way beyond not being prepared.
        On the plus side I really liked the selection of sandwiches and the few bites I did get of my roast beef was really good. They give you a pickle tray to start which was a new and creative starter and also every refill you get a new straw (nice attention to detail). I hope they work on bringing the service up to match the food. I just hope it is as good tonight when I get to eat most of it. I hope they work on bringing the service up to match the food.

        5 Replies
        1. re: 2bad

          I heard there computers craped out on them on the first day so they did not have the entire restaurant open.

          1. re: Latinpig

            Ok I understand computers might have been a problem but we once lived without computers and restaurants seemed to run fine. You missed the point of my comment. My issue were a lack of management support to customers when there was a problem, wrong food brought to the table (someone ordered an open-face sandwich and didn't receive it). The staff should know what all the sandwiches look like. In light of it being the first day we figured the food would take longer but not 45 minutes longer with no word from a manager after we asked for one.
            In a better note I did finish my sandwich and even reheated it was very good!

          2. re: 2bad

            You are right. The management needs to take matters into their own hands. Empathy, and listening skills generally are hard to find.

            This being their first day, they receive a get out of jail free card. Wait 30 days, or watch for other posts after they've had an opportunity to learn how to walk. Is there any excuse for this? Yes. It's their first day. They need to be very sensitive to business lunch timing in this neighborhood, and overcommunicate concern as well as offer compensation. They can do this song and dance while they hire and fire their way through the masses of incompetent cooks and servers, on their way to a "tight" crew, if they ever manage to get there. Good luck next time.

            1. re: keg

              This is why I never go to a new place in the first month they're open. The human factor is usually the most important, and usually the most overlooked. There's no valid excuse for not thoroughly training staff, nor giving the computer system a pre-opening workout. I will bide my time and in a month there will have been enough 'early adopters' to show whether they are walking the talk.

            2. re: 2bad

              Went to Mort's for the first time just last week, so a good 4 months after they opened, and I have to say my complaints match those above. Long wait, indifferent and inattentive staff, slow service, ok food. My fiancee loved his sandwich and the Carnegie cheesecake was the best my grandma ever had (this is saying a lot, from her), but my latkes were thick and doughy, nearly cold in the middle, and the motzah ball soup was tasteless. This is somewhere I'd order take-out from (maybe) in the future, but I can't see myself ever going back there or recommending. From the few discussion I've had since Friday, I don't think I'm alone in this stance. I wish them the best and will hope for improvement, as I would love to see this concept work. Perhaps the "see and be seen" crowd will be enough to keep it around until the quality of service and food gets up there.

            3. My wife and I were very excited for Mort's to open. We went in knowing that there may be some kinks since it was the first day of business. We were seated right away, and then had our order taken. A few miscues were going to be expected. Other than being out of Kinishes, which was a little dissapointing, the staff seemed confused. Our waiter came back to our table after about 10 minutes and asked to take our order, and I had told him that we had already ordered. That was a little strange. Other than some very bland fries, our dinner was good. I was a little dissapointed at the size of my corn beef sandwich, for $12.95, it seemed to be pretty small. All said, the sandwich and a hotdog and 2 sodas came to $24.95, much what I would expect to pay at a ball game, not at a deli. We will forgive them for being overwhelmed on thier first day, and will go back again. There was a great ombiance, but I believe that too much is said on where everything comes from, stuff from New York, it just screams expensive, and not an orginal style. We will go back though.

              2 Replies
              1. re: saconnie

                We went today to check it out. We wanted some food from the deli. The guy behind the counter was very nice and answered my mother's multiple questions without losing patience (something I am not always able to accomplish). We got a few things, and I cannot stress this enough, you must go there to get the pickled green tomatoes! They are the closest to homemade I have ever tried.

                Anyway, when we came in, there were three people at the register waiting to get food to go. After getting our stuff, there were still three people waiting. Two of them were waiting to pay for cheesecake. They finally left some money for the cashier and told him to keep the change. After another few minutes of messing around with the computer that seemed to be off-line, he got the drawer to open and was looking around for the guys to give them their change. Then he asked the third guy if he needed help, and the poor guy had tried to order a sandwich and had no idea if he was successful or not. The cashier wasn't quite sure, but he thought it was on order.

                It took almost 5 minutes for him to ring up our order, and then he couldn't get the drawer open to get my change. As we were leaving, he told the other people that they could not do any more take out orders because the computer was down, so I guess they are unable to write?

                While we were at the deli, we also noticed a lot of employees who seemed to be standing around visiting with each other. There was also a host who thinks his fingers are a substitute for kleenex...thank God he isn't a server!

                I thought the prices looked completely outrageous. I don't think I'll be back except for the green tomatoes.

                1. re: sheepy

                  i also noticed A LOT of extra staff seemingly looking around waiting for something to do...all while the 2 guys who appeared to be managers / owners were schlepping furniture around the dining room and/or prepping baked goods...seemed odd.

              2. Just went for lunch and here is the latest report: they do seem to be putting more attention to service, but it is still uneven. Food was very good - but the matzo balls were too chewy (undercooked?). The pastrami & corned beef sandwich on rye was awesome.
                The details: we arrived a quarter after noon, the place was full so we waited around for 10 mins for a table. The server showed up right away and was very friendly. He brought our drinks and my request for pickles immediately (i just ordered "some pickles", he brought a plate with green tomatoes - yum! - and the 2 kinds of cucumbers). Then they messed up and brought the sandwiches before the soup, which arrived soon after – and both the server and another gentleman (owner?) came to apologize for the soup not coming earlier… As I mentioned, the matzo balls were too dense, but the rest of the soup was very good, full of chicken, carrots & noodles. Then we moved on to the sandwiches, when my friend discovered that her brisket au jus had chopped liver alongside the brisket – another blunder, but the server corrected it quickly. The ½ sandwiches were very generous, served with warm (just fried) kettle chips. Overall happy with the meal - $37 for 2 big sandwiches, 3 soups (one to go) and drinks. Will go back , but make sure that I ask if their matzo balls are fluffy before o order the soup again.

                7 Replies
                1. re: MariQ

                  In my family, "chewy" matzoh balls are preferred.

                  1. re: sheepy

                    Ah, so the matzo ball debate begins.....

                    1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                      The thickness of sliced corned beef for sandwiches is probably not far behind...
                      :-)

                      1. re: Enso

                        Why? Clearly, thick cut by hand is the proper way to do it.

                        1. re: MSPD

                          NOOOOOO!!!!! Thin cut by hand. Thin cut!!

                          1. re: MSPD

                            (photo was supposed to show up)

                             
                            1. re: MSPD

                              Been there two times now, the last time was to go, both times everything was great. Morts is great !!!

                  2. I walked out of there shaking my head at the price of a Reuben sandwich. Just couldn't do it! Chutzpah, indeed.

                    Instead, I went to South Mpls and grabbed a Lake Harriet Pizza, which was $16.15 for a jumbo, and was much better value for the money... fed me for three days.

                    It's comparing apples and oranges but for an average working class guy like me, I'd rather spend my money at places that give - at least - good value for the dollar. And frankly, if you're going to charge that much for a sandwich, it had better make me come.

                    Twice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: isfahani

                      Cecils isn't exactly cheap, but for about 2/3's the price ($8, I think?), I think they make an awesome reuben. The tangy slaw is pretty good, too. Anyone know how Morts compares with Cecil's?