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Any Jewish/NY-Style Delis in Middletown, CT?

I'll be a student at Wesleyan University next year and I was wondering if there are any New York-style Delis in/near Middletown? My parents are from Manhattan and have been craving tongue/pastrami/real bagels/eggcreams/challahfrenchtoast/etc etc since we moved to North Carolina, and I'd love to be able to surprise them with some good deli meats or something once I'm there, if they're available in Middletown! :)

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  1. Welcome to Middletown! We used to have a great NY-style deli downtown (Ruby's). The good news is, the man who owned Ruby's now sells sandwiches out of his daughter's ice cream store--Main Street Creamery in Wethersfield--about a 20-minute ride from campus. They appear to be closed till mid-March, but take a look at these pics...this might give you that taste of home you've been craving!

    2 Replies
    1. re: kattyeyes

      Recent article on Main Street Creamery:

      Main Street Creamery & Cafe
      271 Main St, Wethersfield, CT 06109

      1. re: kattyeyes

        Thanks, Katty! The sandwisches sound really good. I'm counting the days until March 5!

    2. take a ride to west hartford only 20 minutes or so up route 9....go to crown at bishops corner..good sandwiches for outside nyc

      1. Congratulations! You must have applied Early Decision. Now you can spend the rest of the year dreaming deli! I haven't tried the Main St. Creamery although I will now. Crown in West Hartford has been my tried and true spot. I used to go thirty years ago with my grandmother. Pastrami, Tongue, Salmon, Whitefish, soups...I want to go now.

        1. Main St Creamery in Wethersfield and Crown in West Hartford -- I'll definitely go!! My parents will probably faint with excitement.
          Yep, early decision!! Thanks for the congrats and the welcome!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: flyingpiggy

            The Wesleyan swim team took off ten minutes ago for their winter training trip in Puerto Rico, and there will be eating! But around here, add the Westville Kosher Market on Amity Rd. in Woodbridge to the list. Think liver.

          2. Yeah, I think you may be out of luck directly in Middletown. But if you shoot down Rt. 15 you can hit Katz's in Woodbridge (a cousin of the NY Katzs Deli family)

            7 Replies
            1. re: EastRocker

              I second the recommendation for Katz's. There is also one in downtown New Haven if you want to make an afternoon of it.

              1. re: danieljdwyer

                Update: the downtown Katz's has closed, Woodbridge still going strong.
                (mmm whitefish salad)

                1. re: EastRocker

                  Funny you should mention Whitefish salad. My wife's aunt had us over to break the fast this last holiday and had that on the table. Aside from the aunt, and probably the uncle, nobody had ever heard of it much less tasted it. I'm from CT and , with the exception of 2 adult nephews, the others were from Brooklyn. Needless to say, it went uneaten.

              2. re: EastRocker

                We finally got here today and shared a pastrami sandwich. Their rye was especially soft and delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed our sandwich, stacked high with pastrami. Truly, I could have eaten a whole sandwich, but it was more of an afternoon snack since it was late in the day. Their thick pickle chips (both dill and half-sour) were crisp and perfect.

                I had forgotten the mention of Katz's being related to the NY deli, so I asked today. The girl who rang us up said it's just the same last name. Doesn't matter a bit to me--it's good to know deli this good can be found (relatively) close to home.

                We went to the real/NY Katz's last weekend. I can't tell you how the taste compares from memory...but I can tell you the meat in Woodbridge ($13.95/lb.) is almost half the price of the same in NYC ($25/lb.). I'm happy to take the lower cost alternative and avoid the long car trip.

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  This picture is likely worth more than all my words above. See for yourself!

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    Nice picture, but that's not a sandwich. That's premeditated homicide. I think the owner of Katz's must have a son who is a cardiovascular guy. They're trying to drum up business for him because you can't eat sandwiches like that on a regular basis without needin' some bypass work.

                    Just sayin'.

                    I've eaten at Katz's a fair amount. Parental unit was quite fond of the place. I'd have a bowl of soup and nosh on the pickles and coleslaw. I like the food, but that is enough meat for four people.

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Okay, every once in a while, I'd break down and have tongue on rye. Lots of mustard. Get extra bread. Remove half the meat. Have lunch the next day. BIG LUNCH.

                2. Good New York Deli is hard to find outside of Fairfield County. the suggestions made are pretty good and are the best you will find here. Just don't expect to find true NY deli anywhere around here. My wife has been looking and it really does not exist here. Good luck at school. Jay

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: JayCT

                    Jay, where do you recommend in Fairfield County? Inquiring pastrami-loving hounds wanna know. ;)

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      We like the Rye Ridge Deli in Fairfield. We have family in the area and go there often to get our fix. Jay

                      1. re: JayCT

                        Rye Ridge in Fairfield is BAD and expensive. Although we live 10 minutes from the Fairfield location, we drive the 35 Minutes to the Stamford Location. MUCH BETTER FOOD.

                        Beware-their mushroom Barley soup is extremely salty

                    2. re: JayCT

                      I've never tried Rye Ridge, but it certainly looks like the real thing.
                      My problem with Fairfield County delis has always been that a lot call themselves "NY style", but are Italian delis. I love a good Italian grinder, but, when I see a sign that says "Joe's NY Deli", I go in expecting to be able to order hot pastrami.
                      When I was a kid, there were a lot of really good delis in Fairfield County that were Central or Eastern European (the one in my hometown was German), but not Jewish, and didn't call themselves "NY style". They didn't have half the items one can expect to find at a Jewish deli, but they tended to have as good meats and bread as you can find anywhere, not to mention great reubens. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this point, but Fairfield county used to be full of these places, and I don't think I've seen a single one since high school.

                      1. re: JayCT

                        not really reins in Vernon is always number 1 in the state and thats about as far away as you can get from Fairfield country

                      2. Thanks so much, everyone!! These suggestions look so much more amazing than the ones I found just Googling by myself :)
                        Katz and Crown look particularly great.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: flyingpiggy

                          I would definitely go with Katz in Woodbridge, it's just as close to Middletown as Glastonbury or Vernon, and it is getting you closer to NYC not farther. As someone who make their own lox, I can vouch for their whitefish salad, mmmmmm.

                          1. re: flyingpiggy

                            Just remember, Crown is a supermarket with a kosher deli section and kosher prepared foods.

                            Katz is a NON-Kosher restaurant with everything from HAM to Pastrami. BEWARE their SALT soup

                          2. I thought the first place folks would tell you about is Rein's Deli in Vernon, about 30-40 minutes from Middletown. Purists say it's not true NY deli, but it's supposed to be pretty good. It's been years since I've been there, so I don't recall. Google Rein's Deli Vernon, CT Maybe others have been more recently and have comments??

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: germay

                              Congrats Flying Piggy! My son is a freshman at Wesleyan and just loves it!

                              While it is not a Jewish deli, we had a meal at the Athenian Diner on Washington Street and recall they had some deli items and blintzes on the menu. The link is http://www.nearhome.com/needfoodnow/c.... It is a real Northeast US kind of diner.

                              I recall a post on this board about Pickles Deli in Glastonbury which is about 20 minutes north of Wesleyan. We never ate there as I believe it just recently opened, but we did stay at the Hilton in Glastonbury when we did the move-in and over Parent's weekend. We actually had a nice dinner at J Gilberts in Glastonbury. The link is: http://www.jgilberts.com/

                              We have eaten at the Rye Ridge Deli in Stamford, Ct and in Rye Brook, NY and it is pretty good although no where near a Katz's or Second Avenue deli in NYC.

                              We also highly recommend you hit O'Rourke's diner in Middletown. While not a Jewish restaurant, it is a real Middletown institution.

                              1. re: sherry f

                                I've browsed the websites of the Athenian and O'Rourke's and they both look AMAZING! I'm actually afraid I'l be missing out on the college experience because the food looks so good and college students are supposed to survive on Ramen and cereal... oh well ;)

                                I'll check out the other new suggestions too -- thanks everyone!!

                                (And yes my dad LOVES whitefish salad!!)

                                1. re: flyingpiggy

                                  My son graduated fro Wes 5 years ago. Although not Jewish, he lived in the Jewish house, Bayiut, for 2 years. The folks there should be a lot of help. Lots of good rec. above, though for me to file away. O'Rourke's is special and we detour to it when driving south or back north.

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    Flying Piggy,

                                    My son is a fairly picky eater and he really likes the food at Wesleyan. We ate on campus at every school we visited when doing the college search and Wes was one of the best.

                                    You will receive a very helpful book in the summer with your orientation package (also on the website in the visiting Wes section). It lists all the local Middletown restaurants/shopping etc. Also, on the family/homecoming weekend, they set up a tent outside on one of the main greens on campusand have a food fair where food can be purchased from many of the local Middletown restaurants. It is a real win-win as it promotes the restaurants to the parent and student body.

                                    Best of luck to you!

                                    1. re: sherry f

                                      Funny our son is omniverous and hated the food at MOCON (McConnell). He worked food prep ant the Thai place, just to eat. He loved the school, however, and just became a father last Friday. Lives in Seoul and is quite a hound.

                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                        They actually got a new food service a year ago. Bon Appetit is the name of the new company , and I think that is the source of the improvement. Congrats on being a grandparent. That's wonderful!

                            2. Rein's deli in Vernon (exit 64 off Interstate 84) is really good. I love their sandwiches. If you ever want to do a roadtrip to Boston you'll go right by this and they are right off the highway. Maybe 35-40 minutes from Middletown.

                              1. SO... after careful review of the 30+ posts as to whether or not there is a Jewish/NY-Style deli in Middletown, CT... the answer is NO.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: DAMASO

                                  Pretty much... NY/Jewish Deli is becoming an endangered species. Check out the blog www.savethedeli.com and the subsequent book of the same name by the same author for the sad advocacy tale :(.

                                2. For those who miss those famed and authentic corned beef or hot pastrami sandwiches of Ruby Deli of Middletown, CT; here is a news flash. Sonny & Betty came out of retirement and are making those sandwiches on a part-time basis in their daughter's (Paula) ice cream shop (Main Street Creamery & Cafe) at 271 Main Street in Wethersfield CT. The ice cream shop closes during the winter and Sonny does not make the sandwiches in the heat of summer (mid July thru August) so you should call 860-529-0509 before going there if that is what you are looking for (the ice cream is outstanding too, of course!). The sandwiches are generally available from 11am til 3pm Mon thru Sat. Sonny is over 80 now so he is not doing the volume (and does not want to) like in the Ruby Deli days of the past, but the corned beef and pastrami is still the best ever. Also, remember that it is after all, an ice cream shop so don't expect an old deli atmosphere. If Sonny asks how you found him, tell him a loyal customer named Rich A (the real estate guy) tipped you off. Date of this post April 7, 2013.