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Feb 9, 2011 12:15 PM

Jewish deli

Where is a good one in ffc?

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  1. There are none.

    the closest one that is edible is in Woodbridge off the Wilbur Cross named Katz's. No relationship to the LES location, unfortunately.

    11 Replies
    1. re: jfood

      Sorry J,
      I have to disagree with you. I would not consider Katz's a Jewish deli, but a NY style deli.
      Some of the meats and the pickles and cole slaw are very good. Their rye bread is mush, their tongue is rubbery and tasteless. Thie stuffed cabbage is not sweet and sout but inundated in jarred marinara sauce.
      They serve salt soup, especially the mushroom barley.
      My sister-in-law says the ham and swiss is excellent, definitely not Jewish.

      BTW, this is not an old bias, had to take M-I-L there last week for Tongue sandwich, she didn't want to go Rye Ridge in Stamford, for equally bad salt soup, but better rye bread.

      Today we went to Westchester and had much better deli at Epstein's.

      Jewish Deli is an endangered species, killed by modern diets.

      1. re: bagelman01

        Not to worry, just a definitional thing. It serves corned beef, pastrami on rye, chicken soup, and other jewish deli meats I grew up with.

        for me, a NY deli would be a case full of BH products and would not have an issue with mayo on pastrami.

        1. re: bagelman01

          Went to Katz's on Saturday. It was perfect weather for soup and splitting a sandwich, as you know they're HUGE. Then it ran through my mind...where did I read something about the soup being salty here? Hmmm. We ordered soup, anyway. Mushroom barley and matzo ball--both delicious and NOTHING close to "salt soup" whatsoever. Matzo balls were light and fluffy. The mushroom barley was hearty and delicious. A "cup" portion is really a bowl. I ate half and brought the rest home to have with my lunch the next day. LOVE their pickles and cole slaw--both of which are replenished should you want more.

          While we're talking Jewish-ish deli, the only other spot I know of that serves pastrami that I'd travel for is in Wethersfield from Sonny at Main Street Creamery...and this is the last week to get a pastrami sandwich there before it closes for the season. More info here:

          Boy, oh boy, oh boy...let me get there before the week is out. :)

          1. re: kattyeyes

            you were lucky.
            Last week the MIL insisted on taking us to Katz's for lunch. The Mushroom Barley was sooooo salty that all 4 of us sent it back.
            Tongue and corned beef were good, but the mushy rye bread leaves a lot to be desired. We do enjoy the pickles and cole slaw, but they were out of half sours.

            Best thing about going to Katz's is running into a bunch of old friends. I spent my first 35 years inthe Westville section of New Haven.

            1. re: bagelman01

              And you are funny. How do you like half sours so much when they are far SALTIER than dills? ;P HA HA!

              I hope my luck continues at Katz's. I don't get there often, but it's been worth the ride each and every time so far (knock wood). Better luck to you there, too.

              P.S. to you, bagelman: Meriano's Bakery (Guilford) was selling sfogliatelle at a craft fair in M'town yesterday. Of course I had to try one. DEEEEELISH!

              1. re: kattyeyes

                dills are nt a staple of Jewish delis. either hal sours or full sours (which are far saltier than halves). I prefer a full sour with pickled meats such as tongue, corned beef or pastrami, while like half sours with turkey or roast beef or chopped liver.

                My wife, MIL, and daughter only eat half sours, so there were more pickles for me.

                There is a place for salt, you couldn't corn beef or pickle tongue without it, but in general, I find it is better added at the table than over added when cooking soup.

                Also, we tend to get to Katz's late in the day, and if the soup has been in the bain Marie since 11am, the salt and aother flavors intensify as liquid boils off.

                I pass Katz's at least twice each week, but only eat there about 4 times per year.

                I'm jealous about the lobster tails you had in Guilford, but had some Friday from Luigi's here in Trumbull that were quite good. I recently saw an episode of Lidia's Italy in America featuring New England and she was at a great Italian bakery in Providence which was featuring sfogiatelle, kinda made me want to do a road trip.

                But my wife made killer Tiramisu w/double Remy Martin last night, so I'm a happy man.

                1. re: bagelman01

                  OK, so the less vibrant green pickles (the NOT half sours) at Katz's are the full sours? I just know I like those better. I always thought they were dills because they're more "pickled!"

                  Re the sfogliatelle, I am sure Providence serves 'em up in style. It's the right time for a road trip down that way, anyway (don't you have kiddos? hint: Roger Williams Park Zoo's Jack O'Lantern Spectacular...). Wow...that is quite the tiramisu! Impressive. Do the road trip, anyway. ;) Cheers!

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    Yes, the duller green(and softer texture) pickles are the full sours. Half sours take about one week in the brine, leave them another 2 weeks and you have full sours. This was the traditional accompiament to smoked or pickled meat.

                    Dill pickles are very confusing to most non0-Jewish people because the major manufacturers of jarred/bagged pickles call them 'Kosher Dills' While they may be kosher (ingredients and supervision) they don't have that traditionbal Jewish Eastern European deli taste.

                    Wife and I need a getaway sans family. At this point only a 14 y.o left at home, but had=ve had our hands full with elderly mothers, The sandwich generatiuon is no fun, I need to suit down at a white tablecloth and be served.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      Thanks for explaining re the pickles. And yes, I'm sure re the sandwich generation. Take good care of each other and may you find a nice getaway soon, white tablecloth included!

                    2. re: kattyeyes

                      My husband and I once had a huge silly marital spat about the nature of the bright vs dull green pickles. (Dull almost khaki green = full sour, brighter green are half sours). Turns out he has minor male green colorblindness and couldn't see the difference! There's a company in Western Mass called Real Pickles that makes fantastic small batch full sours (as well as kraut, kimchi and other delights). They don't use vinegar in their pickling process -- instead they use old-fashioned natural fermentation. For those of us getting older and finding our stomachs are not keen on acidic foods, Real Pickles products are not only completely digestible, they are also healthy (the natural fermentation process produces pro-biotic
                      ) and DELICIOUS!

              2. re: kattyeyes

                Just to update--the folks at Main Street Creamery are wonderful, but I much, much, much prefer a pastrami sandwich from Katz's. Note, Wethersfield is a whole lot closer to home for me than Woodbridge, yet when the craving hits, I wanna head south.

          2. Katz's it is off exit 59 (just before the tunnel) good corned beef, pastrami, matzoh ball soup. It is not kosher. Right around the corner in the Sam Ash Plaza is Westville Kosher market. Good knishes, smoked fish, rye bread etc. They are closed on Saturdays for shabbat

            6 Replies
            1. re: mmalmad

              I second the Westville Kosher market. Their stuff is excellent, including Rachel's cakes.

              1. re: harrie

                I concur with bagelman - Katz's is nothing close to resembling a Jewish deli. We've stopped going wife was served absolutely rancid grilled chicken on a salad, the soups are almost universally oversalted, and in my opinion, the corned beef has gone way down hill.
                All of this considered, given the lack of a lot of viable options, Katz's seems to continue to pack 'em in. Too bad there isn't a better option (I agree that Westville Kosher Market is significantly better....but $12.00 for a turkey sandwich borders on absurd (at least it is in New Haven CT!).

                1. re: lsnhc

                  UPDATE TIME...
                  Yesterday i was forced to take MIL and wife to Katz's at MIL's request. Arrived at 11:45 and were seated promptly.
                  Wife ordered a turkey on rye with mayo and tomato and an order of kishke with gravy.
                  MIL ordered a side of whitefish with marble rye, and a potato knish.
                  I ordered a brisket sandwich on seeded rye.

                  The good news is: the pickles and cole slaw were very good.
                  Wife's turkey was all shreads heeped on the bread with one paper thin slice of tomato and a smear of mayo that was 1 inch by 3/4 of an inch. A complaint to the waitress brought only a small plastic container of mayo, but no offer to remake the the sandwich.
                  The kishke was three slices surrounding a soufle of gelatinous gravy. The
                  kishke tasted like pure pepper. When turning the slices over we could see that they were blacken/burnt on the flattop while being reheated.
                  MIL's whitefish wa sliced in 1" thick pieces that were just dumped on a plate and covered with onions and two slices of tomato with the marble rye on top. No eye appeal, but the fish was fresh and tasty.
                  The potato knish was dry.

                  Mt brisket sandwich looked pretty. The brisket was sliced extra thin, so as not to be chewy. It had no flavor, and was so dried out that I wonder what week it was made. Even the gravy could not save it.

                  On the way out, the cashier asked how everything was, and I replied terrible and cited the problems. Her response: How much do you want to add on for a tip.

                  Wife and I informed MIL, that we never will eat at Katz/s again, it is thrown out money.. Instead if driving 25 minutes to Katz's, I'll drive to Epstein's in Westchester.

                  Katz's has gone from bad to worse.

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    The other week I ate at Katz's for the first time, and my experience was quite different. The coleslaw and pickle chips were served even as I sat down. The coleslaw was crunchy and good, not too much dressing, the half and full sour pickles were good as well. I had a brisket/tongue combination, and it was moist and full of flavor; you could taste the spicing of the meat. The rye bread was good, too. I kind of wonder if you caught them on an off day, because my experience lived up to all the hype about them.

                    I also like the Westville Market. They have excellent food. The husband and wife who run it are good people, too.

                    1. re: DavidA06488

                      No, it wasn't an off day, just a typical bad day at Katz's where they think lack of competition allows serving bad, flavorless food, poorly presented with bad service. Just putting cole slaw and pickles on the table doesn't make up for the problems.

                      I worked in the Jewish bakery and deli business in New Haven years ago and know what the product should be and how it should be presented, Katz's doesn't care.

                      1. re: DavidA06488

                        Over the past few years, I've always enjoyed a good sandwich (and soup, pickles and coleslaw) at Katz's as well. Well worth the trip from M'town for me!

              2. I kinda like Katz's, then again, I'm not sure what's meant by "jewish" deli. I hope that $12 sammich at westville kosher is huge

                1 Reply
                1. re: BiscuitBoy

                  I got a sandwich at Westville Kosher today - store made turkey on rye w/lettuce and mayo. It was $11, which is the highest price on the sandwich board. The sandwich weighed 10 ounces and tasted of real, roasted turkey. Plus you get a tiny container of cole slaw and a pickle slice. Pricey, yes; but for me (and I stress for *me*) totally worth it, especially since it's an occasional thing. Next time, brisket!

                  (I had a picture, but it didn't show up.)

                2. not my favorite, but the only decent one around that I've found is Golds in Westport.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ima Foodie

                    Haven't been there in years, but Gold's was an institution in Westport when I worked upstairs in the offices in the Compo Shopping Center there. They had a true kosher deli. I know It has changed hands since, so can't comment on their current quality of offerings, but "in my day" they had excellent corned beef, tongue, pastrami, chicken salad, you name it. Heaping sandwiches, great sour and half-sours, and soup that wasn't dominated by the taste of salt. And the pastries they carried were my addiction. It's been 10 years, and I'm afraid to go back in case they won't live up to my memories.

                  2. As reported today by Lunch Break Chronicals, a new Jewish Style Deli is coming to downtown Stamford later this year on Prospect Avenue by the Courthouse. My Jury is out, but await Exhibit A: a cb on rye w a half sour.


                    Hopefully an major upgrade from Rye Ridge or Golds.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: louuuuu

                      Well, that would be great but the courthouse brings back bad divorce memories.....Rye Ridge was great when I was growing up....

                      1. re: louuuuu



                        Only a block or two away from where I work. May have to skip bagged lunch one day and check it out. Looks a bit upscale for a deli.