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Billy's Deli - Glendale - Is it any good?

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Have heard about a deli in Glendale for years called Billy's. What's the scoop on it? Is it a true, authentic Jewish deli? I mean in terms of a New York Jewish-style deli, not a strictly kosher deli. I've heard they have Matzo Ball soup, pastrami, etc. but does it compare AT ALL to Brent's, Jerry's, Mort's, etc.?

No offense, but Glendale isn't a particularly Jewish area, so I'm skeptical about the authenticity, quality and hamish-ness from a deli in this location.

Deli food is my weakness, having grown up on it since I was a kid. I hit Brent's at least once a week and take out from the others often as well. If I went, would I be happy with the chow from Billy's?

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  1. Billy's makes an excellent Pastrami sandwich, and they sell a pretty decent (and huge) chicken in a pot soup. The atmosphere is true old-style deli and while some here favor it, there are also some who don't. My one quibble is that when they went through an ownership change a couple fo years ago they lost two things: the cute little paper cone cups and Kosher Hard Salami. Apart from that they've been great. They also mail out discount newsletter coupons from time to time.

    I was last there a month or so ago, so in the interests of reseach I'll force myself to have a Pastrami on rye tomorrow and report back.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Briggs
      s
      Steve Doggie-Dogg

      I asked them about the paper cone cups. They told me the health department won't let them put pitchers of water on tables any more, and the little cones don't hold enough.

      They also changed their mustard which was a real sin. It's Gulden's now. But I forgive them that because the pickles and pastrami are the same.

      See ya
      Steve

      Link: http://www.hotdogspot.com

      1. re: Briggs

        Look forward to it.

        1. re: Griller141

          Sorry to disappoint - on a deadline so it was the Chicken Club Salad from Jack in the Box instead (which is actually pretty okay).
          Perhaps a visit to Billy's next week if the waist line permits. I expect it to be as good as ever.

        2. re: Briggs

          I think the" Hard Salami"
          [ salamis that were hung up to air dry in the deli ]
          were ruled out by the L.A. Co. Health a while back.
          That is County wide; you dry it at home, I suppose.
          Louis

          1. re: video louis

            "salamis that were hung up to air dry in the deli ]
            were ruled out by the L.A. That is County wide; you dry it at home, I suppose."

            It's maybe kinda, sorta true. And then again, it may not be. This is also what the original Billy's owners said 13 years ago only it was about Glendale regulations. And then a couple of years later, there they were hanging from the ceiling (the salamis, not the owners). BTW, I could swear that they're hanging at Canter's (again, the salamis, not the...).

            In any case, according to the owner (the son) of Langer's, most, if not all, L.A. delis buy their Kosher Hard salami from a company that dries it in huge dehydrating rooms for them - Langer's included. Sorta like Sabrett supplying all the hot dog joints in NYC (both Kosher & non).

            Nope, the kosher hard salami issue at Billy's has nothing to do with Health Dept. regs. I just assumed it was the new owners not understanding the difference between Kosher & Italian hard salami. And as everyone in civilized society knows, there IS a difference (g).

            1. re: Briggs

              It's funny you should mention that, because the salamis (and prosciutti) disappeared from the hooks at Monte Carlo Deli too... but the provolone is still there.

              I appreciate that LA Public Health are trying to keep people from getting sick but between this and the wild-mushroom vendors at the farmers' markets they seem overly cautious.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Hi Folks-

                This is not specifically directed at you DUG. You are all making good points, but please take any further discussion about the county Health Department or other local government agency's actions in relation to food handling to the Not About Food board so that we can concentrate on the delicious aspects of eating deli in our local epicurian emporiums.

                Thanks. Now back to the virtues of matzo ball soup, pastrami and salami.

          2. re: Briggs

            Is this the 2nd ownership change in a number of years? I understood it changed hands about 15 years ago? Is the current owner really the son of Langers? I tried the matzo ball soup some years back and found it to taste strongly of bullion. Yick! Very unappetizing. Haven't been back since. Living in Pasadena it would be so convenient but we schlep out to Jr's when the folks are in town and that isn't as good as it used to be. I'm reading a lot of opinions in favor of Billy's but I am highly skeptical although I'm not impressed by anything I've had in the SFV as of late. Is it truly a good "Jewish Deli"?

          3. Billy's is not bad, not bad at all. The Mrs. works nearby so I have been there a few times for breakfast and lunch. They have all of the standard Jewish deli fare. I don't get exactly the same vibe I do from some of the other Jewish deli's, but the food is the real thing.

            Almost took the wife there for lunch yesterday, we opted for Clandcy's Crab Broiler instead.

            Link: http://www.indefatigable-indolence.org

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chino Wayne

              "we opted for Clancy's Crab Broiler instead"

              Is it my imagination or has Clancy's gone downhill in the last buncha years? Seemed tired the last couple of times over a couple of years. (Although the zeppoli-like bread still seems great).

              1. re: Briggs

                Bread was some sort of sourdough (not in the same league as the sourdough at Arroyo Chop House), and having been deprived of bread and butter for the past three or four months, I did scarf a couple of slices, but nothing to write home about.

                Link: http://www.indefatigable-indolence.org

                1. re: Chino Wayne

                  Just to finish this topic - they have a yummy fried bread dipped in powdered suger.

                  1. re: Briggs

                    Duoh, "zeppoli", just got it. (I haven't been around sugar much lately.)

                    Link: http://www.indefatigable-indolence.org

            2. We've been going to Billy's for years and love it. I've been to a few other delis, like Brent's in Northridge (which is also very good), etc. but Billy's has the best chopped chicken liver of them all, in my opinion. We think everything there is good!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Michelle

                Location?

                Anything's got to be better than the Beverly Deli.

                PLEASE save me from the Beverly Deli!

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Billy's is at 216 Orange Ave. in Glendale. We come from the Pasadena area, so we exit the 134 fwy at Brand, drive a few blocks and then cut over on one of the side streets to Orange, which is a block away and is runs parallel to Brand. They're across the street from a large Sears (furniture store?) parking lot and have a convenient parking structure right next door to them.

                  1. re: Michelle

                    You're kidding... I work at the top of Orange and I walk past Billy's (when we have an Islands run, don't laugh!) all the time!

                    I'll have to stop in, we've been wondering.

                    Have you tried the Great White Hut?

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      No, but have always been curious about it as we see it every time we go to Billy's (duh!) Is it any good?

                      1. re: Michelle

                        It's not rave-about-it-drooling good but it's a damn sight better than the chains nearby, and it's cheaper too.

                      2. re: Das Ubergeek
                        s
                        Steve Doggie-Dogg

                        Great White Hut isn't quite the same as when I was a kid, but they still make a decent burger.

                        See ya
                        Steve

                        Link: http://www.hotdogspot.com

                    2. re: Das Ubergeek

                      There is a sister location, more like a granddaughter location I guess.

                      Billy's Deli & Cafe
                      5160 W 190th Street, Torrance, CA
                      (310) 371-0168

                      Not quite up to the original yet but getting better. See the Goggle maps reviews.

                  2. I like Billy's a lot. I like the reuben sandwich so much I'll go once in a while even if it has/had? health dept. problems. It is one of the dirtiest looking places where I still eat. The pastrami is also good. The rye is good. The surprise that it's in Glendale is good. The bakery not so much. The walk to the restroom is bad. I always avoid looking at the kitchen.

                    1. s
                      Steve Doggie-Dogg

                      I've been going to Billy's Delicatessen for 40 years. I'd take their sky high over anything at Jerry's or Art's. The waitresses are a lot of fun too. Great pickles.

                      See ya
                      Steve

                      Link: http://www.hotdogspot.com