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Nov 6, 2009 08:49 PM

Famous 4th St. Deli on 19th St.

Just finished my 4th dinner there. What is amazing to me is how they have held on to very traditional Yiddish cooking. The only complaint so far is that the servings are so big, they are obscene. For instance, tonight we shared a bowl of split pea soup that was a meal unto itself. Then we had a platter of brisket. The brisket was cooked perfectly to melt in your mouth. The sides included potatoe pancakes, spinach and best of all kishka. The kishka was cooked perfectly. Not as good as my mothers kishka, but close. To top it off, Chef Jose Garces came in and ordered takeout.
I have had their chicken noodle soup and their mushroom barley soup, both exquisitely prepared. Their corned beef is cooked perfectly, but there was so much left over and I dont really like left over corned beef.
Where else in the city can you get 1/2 sour pickles, health salad and onion roll as part of your dinner?
Every other restuarant has faled her. Famous will thrive.

Famous 4th St Delicatessen
700 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

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  1. Thanks for the review. I love Famous. I haven't been to the new 19th St location yet; I am glad to hear that it is up to the standards of the original.

    I agree that the portions are asininely large. I wish they were more reasonable so I could try more of the menu. I mean, sometimes I want to start my meal with the matzo ball soup without being full halfway through the bowl. But the quality is high so it is hard to complain.

    I personally don't mind having leftover meat from there as I find it reheats nicely in a skillet to make an omelet or a hash.

    Also try the pastrami, it's just as good as the corned beef, and smoked fishes which are very high quality as well.

    1. Where on 19th St. is the new location?

      1 Reply
      1. re: CindyJ

        It's between Market and Chestnut. The last restaurant in this location was an Indian spot, Ashoka Palace I believe it was called.

      2. I keep forgetting to go to the new location. Thanks for the reminder.

        1. I went there for lunch last week -- 1st time. It did not take long to determine that ytou really need to go with at least one friend & share. I had the cabbage soup -- tasted so much like my mother's stuffed cabbage that I almost wept. Enormous bowl, however. I neve could have managed a sandwich as well. Next time I think I shre soup and a sandwich. Those desserts were calling my name too, but again the servings are huge.

          Some people might balk at the price, but the the quality is top drawer & the prices are right in line with what you would expect of a Philly version on NY deli. I'm also planning on doing take out one night because my DH craves good deli. It will drive the people on the R5 crazy with the aromal!

          1. I've been to the original, must check out 19th St. thanks!

            3 Replies
            1. re: jujuthomas

              Apparently I am in the minority but my experience at the 19th St. location was less than stellar. From the ho-hum server to the 80 degree heat to the seating that makes coach in US Airways seem expansive (especially with people coughing around you) to the bone-dry brisket, I was less than impressed. Granted there was a lot of brisket on my sandwich to serve two people, but I'd gladly have paid for a third of the meat if it was moist. I did find the pastrami was good and the potato pancakes were decent, but not as good as the Kibitz Room. And at least there you have room to spread your arms out without running into to patrons at two adjacent tables.