HOME > Chowhound > Austin >


Mastman's Deli Downtown Austin

I was surfing web today and say that it was to open in Oct/2012. Have you seen/been there?



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The opening has been delayed until late January.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mollyjade

      Is it truly a kosher deli or "kosher style"?

      1. re: PappyAustin

        "Mastman’s Deli is proud to be 100% Kosher since 1943."

        It's a grandkid of the owners of the original Mastman's from Buffalo.

        1. re: PappyAustin

          Supposedly glatt kosher. Though I'll hold my breath until I see a menu/certification.

      2. when is this place ACTUALLY going to open? I can't believe how long it's been since I had a good matzoh ball. certainly never in this town.

        13 Replies
        1. re: slowcoooked

          Looks like the most recent update on their site was on March 20th, projecting a June opening.

          You probably already saw that though. I just looked at a map to see where the place is, and I realized that I drive by all the time but haven't noticed anything... anybody walked by and seen what's going on up close?

          1. re: popvulture

            Yeah, I think all the Mastman's lurkers all share the same experience - no news from them on their FB page or elsewhere past the march news. bummer. must be some issues.

            1. re: slowcoooked

              Heard the work has completely stopped and there is already a lawsuit. I don't know any details, but sounds like there are major issues.

              1. re: PappyAustin

                well that simply sucks. i wasn't expecting anything better than the awesome pastrami and corned beef from Melvin's - but this town is still well deficient in enough options for good solid deli fare.

                1. re: slowcoooked

                  Have you been to Easy Tiger yet? If so, what'd you think? Their pastrami is not the best I've ever had by any means, but I was definitely surprised and impressed. Some really good sides, too.

                  And yes, that indeed sucks about Mastman's.

                  Have not tried Melvin's. Now I will.

                  1. re: popvulture

                    Proper pastrami out at Pieous too - haven't tried Melvin's either, but like Pieous better than Easy Tiger...slightly....

                    1. re: saticoy

                      While likely not "proper" the Duck pastrami at Noble Pig is awesome.

                      1. re: saticoy

                        So I've eaten the pastrami at Pieous and Easy Tiger and I've enjoyed them, but the Melvin's version is sinfully better. I too rank Pieous over Easy. The only slight negative at Melvin's is that the bread at times can be on the slight dry side, but I've never left not smiling, and have probably been 20 or 30 times now.

                      2. re: popvulture

                        Yep - I've enjoyed Easy's pretzel / beer cheese, pastrami and homemade bologna. The pastrami was pretty damn good, the bologna was fun for the novelty of it more than the flavor - sort of more bland than oscar meyer and maybe I just couldn't recognize it. But Melvin's corned beef and pastrami both blow anything "corned" I've had in this town if not anywhere away. And on those days I can't take the caloric heft, I devour their house cured ham just as happily - house made mayo and heirloom tomatoes and all. you just have to go.

                        1. re: slowcoooked

                          I happened to be driving by last night, so I made sure to try to get a glimpse of what's going on. The sign on the window says "future home of Mastman's Deli," but the space looks almost completely raw. On a vaguely hopeful note, there was a light on, and it looked like there had been some recent work. Who knows...

                          1. re: slowcoooked

                            What are the hours at Melvin's (can't find on their FB site). I drive by there in the evenings, and it is always closed.

                              1. re: magicbus

                                Word to the wise, get there before 11:45 before they run out of anything.

              2. September 2013 is the latest estimate, per Eater Austin.

                1. Here is the latest, per Eater Austin:

                  Looks like Mastman's Deli, which was originally scheduled to open last October and has suffered numerous opening delays, might not ever bring kosher food to the heart of Texas. Texas Monthly's Jason Cohen tweeted a picture of a lockout notice due to non-payment of rent on his personal account last night, of a notice dated September 4th. Mastman's last public update came on September 1, when they insisted the problems were with "floor plans" but they "will be bringing IT!" Rob Balon reported back in July that they were offering catering, but their website has gone 404.

                  Update! Mastman's CEO David Rosen says Mastman's is still on, and will be opening in "late December." There was a dispute with a "minute investor" that ended in litigation that is "now being settled" and Mastman's is now "back on track." Rosen adds, "I am not going to jeopardize my family's name on anything less than success."

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: redhatcharm

                    Update: I remembered to take a look as I was turning onto 6th from Congress this weekend, and it looks like it's finally donezo. All Mastman's stuff gone, replaced by For Lease signs.

                    Guess we're gonna have to keep waiting for our matzoh ball soup. Oy.

                    1. re: popvulture

                      Dammit all !!!! What a big huge disappointment.

                  2. Here is tonights Austin Eater report (10/14/13):

                    Mastman's Deli, a kosher deli and restaurant which was originally scheduled to open downtown last October, is still suffering from some serious opening woes. The landlord has posted another lockout notice on the door, after Mastman's was previously locked out last month. Mastman's owner David Rosen says the restaurant is suffering from "just more delays" and they are "in the process of a legal settlement with an ex-investor which will shortly remedy any lease issues." When Eater spoke with Rosen last month, he said Mastman's is shooting for a "late December" opening.

                    1. looks like Matzoh ball soup around here is still a huge mystery . . . not even one version let alone competition. and this fiasco hasn't helped. I wouldn't skip Melvin's for anyone else's corned meats, but c'mon, can we for God's sake get a proper Jewish Deli or few? What the hell is wrong with the Mastmans opening? burning impatience.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: slowcoooked

                        Did you like the chicken matzoh ball soup hot pot at Katz's deli? That was one thing that I loved there. I had a girlfriend that worked at Katz's. The working conditions were horrible, with half sandwiches being reused and all.

                        But I have been known to steal leftover (clean) pizza slices left on a table, but that was my choice. Gotta eat.

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          I am certain I tried something Matzoh ball there but in the two times I went we both were left really missing our favorites out east in DC. Don't recall the hot pot though, so maybe I missed a worthy treat. You bring up a thought I've had forever but not discussed with anyone . . what do / are restaurants supposed to do with half sandwiches?

                          1. re: slowcoooked

                            When I waited tables in college, they'd wind up in my mouth. If the patron didn't have obvious cankers, then leftovers were good to go.

                            My GF told me that Katz's would "recycle" half sandwiches, and if something fell on the floor during prep, they followed something like the 5 second rule. Add to that the barbaric nature of the treatment of the staff. Horrible place to work, but my GF at the time had the guts and stamina. Miss that girl.

                            I worked at the Metropolitan Club (6th and Congress, 13th floor) in the early 90s. I would often scarf leftover steak and whatever because I was a skinny guy with a tapeworm and riding my bike all over town. One time, this attractive couple came in, ordered food, and a bottle of Dom Perignon. Then the dude orderen an even more expensive wine.....some sort of rose champagne at $180. She did not touch her second glass, She was extremely hot, but with a demure shyness, and I really wanted to kiss her. So, I felt comfortable drinking out of her glass as I walked back to the kitchen. It felt like velvety bubbles. Never had anything like that since.

                            1. re: rudeboy

                              I am laughing out loud at "obvious cankers."

                            2. re: slowcoooked

                              Oh, and the hot pot, or whatever it was called, was served in some sort of metal cassoulet, on the table, with chicken soup and two matzoh balls. I'd give their matzoh balls a 7 on a 10 scale, and the broth was developed properly. Miss that dish. I'd get it, eat, and then go upstairs for a show.

                              1. re: rudeboy

                                Great story....waste not, want not !! actual tapeworm? my cats were crapping tape worm eggs for about a month before we treated them and I was just waiting for one of those buggers to end up in my gut.

                                1. re: slowcoooked

                                  No, I don't think that I had an actual tapeworm, but my bro-in-law used to call me "Jaws" and humm the Jaws theme when I was in the fridge. People would always say that I had a tapeworm, because I was so skinny. Now I eat like a bird - not too much at once, but all day.

                                  Thank god mother and holy mary that you did not ingest those eggs.

                                  Oh, this thread was about the deli. When is it opening?

                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                    I heard that it isn't.

                                    Has anyone else had the pastrami at Pieous? OMG. Best I've found outside Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor.

                                    1. re: Optimista

                                      I think that Pieous makes their own bread, but do they make the pastrami? Or do they source it from Salt and Thyme? I haven't been there yet.

                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                        They make their own pastrami. And their own bread. And their own desserts. And their own pizza crust. And their own CHEESE for their pizzas, for heaven's sake. It's good stuff.

                                        1. re: rudeboy

                                          The three best pastrami's I've had in town that are made in house are:

                                          Melvin's, by far, is first.
                                          Pieous, second
                                          Easy Tiger, third

                                          Agree with Optimista, tough to beat the bread at Pieous, and Easy Tiger as well.

                                          1. re: slowcoooked

                                            I've yet to make it to Melvin's. Obviously, I need to move it to the top of my list!

                                            1. re: Optimista

                                              Oh no! You HAVE to go. It's insane. Dat pastrami oh my.

                                              (Tried T Loc's Sonoran Hot Dogs on your rec, Cory and I LOVED. I had the carnitas burrito, he had the hot dog.)

                                              1. re: foodiegal71

                                                Yay, so glad you guys enjoyed T-Loc's! Aren't Miguel and Zulma delightful?

                                                1. re: Optimista

                                                  I adore them. They're going to know me by name soon. That Carne Asada burrito is my new favorite thing.

                            3. re: slowcoooked

                              i've heard a rumor that kenny and ziggy's is coming to austin. if so, we will go from having nothing to having one of the best delis in the country, overnight.

                                1. re: rudeboy

                                  no. it is a houston deli where they make most of their stuff in house. whatever isn't made in house is imported from NYC. It is on par with most of the famously great deli's in NYC in my opinion.

                                2. re: ieathereforeiam

                                  the pictures of their food on yelp look great. I'd like to think they'd really crush it here.

                              1. All this talk of pastrami has me ready for Melvin's, Pious or Easy tiger this week. Can anyone tell me if the pastrami sandwiches are piled pretty high with meat or which one offers the most? I went to Noble sandwiches recently and I loved the duck pastrami rueben but felt like I could've eaten about half a portion more of meat. I think my next trip to NSC will start with a duck pastrami rueben with a PBLT to go.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: crippstom

                                  crippstom, I would go to Melvin's because it's simply the best, piled high pastrami, period. I like Noble plenty enough for the nifty ingredients, but share your experience that it's on the skimpy side. If you are with a partner, I like to get two sammies and split them since they always come cut in half anyway. If you do that, I would check out the corned beef and pastrami or one of those and pork confit or croque monsieur. I assure you, you will need a nap, not another half sandwich, afterwards. these are rich meat treats.

                                  1. re: slowcoooked

                                    Thanks Slowcooked. I plan on being there tomorrow @11 for the pastrami rueben.

                                    1. re: slowcoooked

                                      Thanks for the push Slowcooked. That pastrami rueben exceeded my expectations big time. Had to take the anxious pup for a long sluggish(for me) hike afterwards but I was good and full the rest of the day.
                                      Are you the one who recommended a good dark chocolate gelato place up that way? I've searched threads but came up empty.

                                      1. re: crippstom

                                        crippstom, I'd have to find suspicious the cured meat palate of anyone who didn't put that pastrami at or near their top of all time. Glad you dug it. Nicest folks in there too.

                                        As for the chocolate cold treat, I was wrong, it's actually sorbet, but yes, Dolce Vita near the corner of 43rd and Duval just down the street from Melvin's. That chocolate is just plain very good. rich too. and vegan (the first clue I was wrong calling it gelato, doh). A scoop is well worth the two bucks.

                                        1. re: slowcoooked

                                          and if thats not enough dessert for you, you can stop next door at Antonellis for a cheese plate second dessert.

                                          I do echo Andrew's recommendation of Dolce Neve though.

                                          Their 70% chocolate, Spicy Chocolate, and Ricotta with chocolate chips and candied orange peel ( cold canoli filling in gelato form) are divine.

                                        2. re: crippstom

                                          Dolce Neve makes great dark chocolate gelato, including a variant with bitter orange. But it is on S. 1st and would be a bit of a drive from Melvin's.