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Petak's Fair Lawn NJ

I went to Petak's today wanting to purchase a half pound of lean corned beef. I specifically asked for very lean corned beef and was told that is what they had. I was not prudent enough to inspect what the man without the yarmulke was slicing and much to my disgust, the corned beef was fatty, grey and very unappetizing at $24 a pound and inedible by my standards. Having grown up in Fair Lawn, and knowing Larry and Herbie Petak, had they seen this product they would take their name off the store.

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  1. Having grown up there too and family knew them that does sound surprising. But, I must tell you that I am in town about twice a year and it seems like they are always doing something with the place. I am pretty sure they don't do their meats in house

    1. 5 minutes away is Kosher Nosh in Glen Rock. While not outstanding, it is a notch up from whomever is running Petak's now.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lemarais

        Yes, Kosher Nosh is definitely better and I really love their brisket and Israeli pot roast.

        Do you know of any other good kosher deli, and by good mean better than Kosher Nosh, in New Jersey?

      2. Of course, you brought that excuse for corned beef back.

        1. I started a thread on Petak's a while back discussing their dip in quality recently. They were great for decades, but all of a sudden during the past year or so, the prices have gone up a lot and the quality has gone down a lot. Disappointing to see a local landmark ruined. The Kosher Nosh ain't cheap, but at least the food is the same quality that it's always been.

          1. Even in NYC, most of the Kosher-style delis have gone. There is still Katz's, and Pastrami Queen on the UES is tip top as well. In NJ? slim pickings. There are a couple of delis on Cedar Lane in Teaneck, but I've heard that they are not particularly notable, and not worth a trip.

            1. YUCK.
              Well you showed them by posting here. Follow up with a yelp review and pic you have done your duty.

              1. Agreed. Very surprised, but I guess not all good things can last forever. Grew up in FL going there many times (Class of 73) and was always happy with Petaks. Haven't been there in a long time, but next time I head to the Dutch House, I'll be sure to stop by.

                1. Unfortunately, this is Petak's now. Of course the deli hasn't been owned by the Petak family for quite some time now. Scott took over in the early 90's when his dad retired to FL.

                  Regardless, I always preferred the Kosher Nosh (5-7 minutes down the road and around the corner). Don't get me wrong, back in the day when Larry and Herb were there is was very good and I wouuld never have a problem going there. Even when Scott was there -- same. However, even in it's day, I still didn't think it was as good as the Kosher Nosh, but that's just me.

                  For me, the Kosher Nosh is the best you'll find in Bergen County. Maybe I am missing one or two here or there, but if you are in Fair Lawn, take a ride down the street and around the corner and go to the Kosher Nosh. Enjoy the pickle bar and wait for your pastrami sandwich.

                  Simply put, there is nothing in Bergen County, or NJ for that matter, that competes with the "classics" in NYC. Katz's is the all-time classic, and for me so was the Stage Deli (it was a sad day when they closed), and also for me is the Carnegie Deli. I was always a fan of all three and you could not go wrong with any of them -- but that's just my opinion, my tastes, likes, etc.

                  I always say go and try a place for yourself. Some people like chocolate, some people like vanilla and no so on. You never know what someone else's tastes are. If you like it, enjoy!

                  Thank you.

                  1. Nice advice, except that in Bergen in this category there is nothing to "try". You might check out Pastrami Queen on the UES next time you're in the city.

                    1. Speaking of pastrami...just an update (as it was discussed on another thread)...had a quick business lunch today in the Allendale area, so my friend wanted to go to...the deli in Allendale...Nosher Rye...

                      Anyway, simply put, for my likes, tastes, etc. -- it does not compare to the Kosher Nosh. It was pastrami. Not bad, but nothing better than average. Not a lot of good flavor or taste. Most pastrami is just that. But in my opinion, the best you'll find in Bergen County is Kosher Nosh -- more flavor, more taste, and just an overall better pastrami as far as I am concerned.

                      My office is only about 15 minutes away, so when I want a pastrami sandwich, it's no big deal for me to go. If I am no in NY or don't want to drive in, meet a friend, etc. -- the Kosher Nosh is convenient, nearby, etc.

                      It's a shame Petak's has changed so much. Like I said, I used to like the place back in the day.

                      If you want to stay in Bergen...I don't see another choice other than Kosher Nosh. I'd very much like if there were more options for good pastrami...but I just don't think there are (not for my likes, tastes, etc.).

                      24 Replies
                      1. re: ELA

                        I like the pastrami/corned beef at the Foster Village Delicatessen in Bergenfield

                        I don't mind the pastrami.corned beef at Benny's in Fair Lawn, or Harold's II in Paramus...the latter has a Wednesday Special for $6.25.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          Haven't been to Foster Village...thanks for the heads up.

                          I used to go to Benny's all the time -- when it was owned by the original owner (original location, Saddle River Road). Didn't he open up a new place nearby? Thanks.

                          1. re: ELA

                            I don't know any of the history of Benny's.....about 6-10(?) years ago the The Bergen Record did a poll or rating of the Best Pastrami in Bergen County. The results were:

                            1. Sol & Sol

                            2. Foster Village

                            3. Benny's

                            That's how I came to find out about Benny's. FV has the article on display in their store, They'll be a MOOK that will say FV is no good and dirty, but they have a strong following in the Jewish community....and if not mistaken, has been is business with the current owner for almost 40 years. They keep the meat in a steamer all day, as needed.

                            If you are ever in Newark on Market Street...Go to Cooper's Deli and Liquor Store. They give you a double sandwich for under $8.00 from my last visit. they also properly steam their P, CB and Brisket. They get their meat from Best Provisions. If you can believe it, there's always a line from the local community getting the sandwiches.

                            1. re: fourunder

                              Sol & Sol was excellent...I lived in Fort Lee and spent a lot of time in Englewood and went to Sol & Sol all the time. They had a huge following. They had been in business over 60 years (I think). Larry -- one of the owners -- had said at the time they were struggling to keep the business going. I think they closed in fall of 2010.

                              I've heard about Foster Viillage but just never made it there.

                              I know of Cooper's -- and I will stop there as I am in Newark on business so that won't be a problem. Thanks for the heads up.

                              1. re: ELA

                                Fort Lee......How i do miss Squire's......ironically, Sol & Sol went into the location....then went back to Palisades Avenue. when the old owner sold to the new owner with another move, ...and I thought it dropped a another notch.

                                1. re: fourunder

                                  Yes, Squire's...You are 100% correct. I went to Squire's the day I moved into Fort Lee! LOL. Actually, first I went to Callahan's for lunch...then I went to Squire's for dinner. LOL.

                                  Squire's was very good...they had a good following. Yes, Sol & Sol went into that location, and yes, ironic isn't it?

                                  1. re: ELA

                                    Actually, first I went to Callahan's for lunch...then I went to Squire's for dinner. LOL.....


                                    I like your style....

                                    For the record...Sol & Sol really changed when they left their location down by the monument.

                                    1. re: fourunder

                                      Thank you! Would it change your mind if I told you I stopped at Hiram's just for a snack? LOL. I did. Just one dog though. Wanted a back to back comparison. I was always a Callahan's guy. Now I go to Hiram's and I do like it very much.

                                      I know a bit about the history at Sol & Sol -- when they moved, sold, etc. I think with Squire's there was a partnership issue at one point, but I don't know.

                                      1. re: ELA

                                        Would it change your mind if I told you I stopped at Hiram's just for a snack?
                                        No...it only adds to the legend......you were doing crawls probably before the word was coined.

                                        1. re: fourunder

                                          Nah, wasn't a crawl...I was just hungry and wanted a real comparison back to back. I moved in, worked up an appetite, and had lunch. Then went back to work/moving in and had to have dinner. LOL.

                                          The whole crawl thing is a bit foreign to me. How many dogs could I possible eat? LOL.

                                          1. re: ELA

                                            At least one from Rutt's would be included....my favorite dog.

                                            1. re: fourunder

                                              Absolutely. I wanted to do a dog crawl, but I figured between 6 to 8 places, and with an Italian hotdog thrown in, how many could I eat. LOL.

                                        2. re: ELA

                                          Hiram's! Now there's a name I haven't hear of in years. Very fond memories.

                                          1. re: njmarshall55

                                            Fond memories I am sure...for me too...It's still there of course, and still the same...same same...thankfully.

                                2. re: ELA

                                  Fond memories of walking with my brother to Hot Bagels for a dozen, then to Benny's for the Sunday paper, then home up SRR. Even in winter. Next time I'm in FL, I plan on stopping.

                                  1. re: njmarshall55

                                    I always liked Benny's -- and yes, the pastrami was very good. His dad used to make the babkas and they were big sellers too.

                                    Benny sold the place, the new owner kept the name and didn't really change anything. I was told that Benny opened up a new place not too far from the original, maybe in Glen Rock. I don't remember.

                                3. re: fourunder

                                  Supposed to be in Bergenfield this week...and while it might be tough to not head over to Fink's...I really want to get to Foster Village....thanks.

                                  1. re: ELA

                                    My standard order is one pastrami on rye..... another as a combination with Tongue....with a side of Chopped Liver and onions....new Pickles and a Green Tomato.

                                    Stay away from the Hot Dogs.

                                    1. re: fourunder

                                      At Harold's?

                                      If I am "in the mood" -- for me it's pastrami on rye, good "deli" mustard, some half-sour pickles, and on order of fries...and Kosher Nosh fits that very well!!! LOL.

                                      When I am in the city, sure, Carnegie, Stage, and Katz, used to be my regular spots. I have hit most of the others too. But here in NJ, there's just very, very few.

                                      I do like the occasional reuben, but I actually like it with the kraut on the side. I'll add it as I see fit. LOL.

                                      1. re: ELA

                                        Foster Village.....I only visit Harold's II for the Wednesday Special if I'm in the area.

                                  2. re: fourunder

                                    Although I've been there numerous times (for the holidays), I've only gotten a pastrami sandwich from Harold's once. Another time I got a couple of pounds of patrami.

                                    I remember it being "OK" -- sure, I'd have no problem eating it again and so on. But I don't remember it anywhere near as good as Kosher Nosh. That's just me and my tastes. Thanks again.

                                    1. re: ELA

                                      For $6, I don't complain.....Benny's can be a little tough at times.....both are not fatty enough for my tastes.

                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        Got it...back in the day I thought Benny's could get close to being "fatty" enough for my tastes. I mean we aren't talking about a kosher deli here. LOL.

                                        But, I hear you.

                                        Do you know if Benny has a new place (new meaning the one he opened shortly after selling "Benny's" on SR Road)?

                                4. Petaks has gone way down hill. I had to do a catering event that had a kosher meal for a guest or two. I always order it from Petaks. The client complianed that it was inediblle and I wound up with egg on my face. Need to find a new Kosher place for those occasions. As to pastrami, I'm with the masses here, Kosher Nosh. I know it is a $12 sandwich, but oh so worth it. This goyum takes it home, slaps on swiss cheese and grills it into a pastrami reuben with lots of butter. Delish.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Picnicchef

                                    LOL...pastrami reuben...as I've said in my comments above and on other threads, I agree with you about Petak's. Things happen, ownership changes, etc. Unfortunately, I don't think it's anything new and you had to find out the hard way. If you are looking for a good source for Kosher meals -- either catered or you need recommendations on restaurants -- you might want to call Randy Zablo and have a conversation with him, one professional to another.

                                    There are plenty of very good Kosher places around -- but like I always say, chocolate and vanilla. You like, I like, etc. But Randy should be able to help you.

                                    On the pastrami reuben...what about the sauerkraut? LOL.

                                    1. re: ELA

                                      Well, guys, this post did me in. Lunch today? Tongue sandwich from Kosher Nosh, and of course, a half sour pickle! Delish, of course. And, yes, always kraut on the reuben!

                                      1. re: Picnicchef

                                        Nice.....btw, what are you up to these days Ms.N.

                                        1. re: fourunder

                                          Manning the stoves for a while at Grange in Westwood, and still catering with Picnic. Doing a lot of touring/demos for the book. Thanks for asking! And yes ELA, that tongue was melt in your mouth perfect. I like kraut on, extra Thousand Island on the side for a good dipping.

                                          1. re: Picnicchef

                                            I've heard many good things about Grange....congrats.

                                            1. re: Picnicchef

                                              glad to see Picnic is still there...at least for catering. Fair Lawn is always in need of a good place.

                                          2. re: Picnicchef

                                            Sounds delish...hope you enjoyed!!!

                                            I actually like my reuben with the kraut on the side...yes, it's not a reuben, I know, I know, LOL...but I like to add the kraut as I see fit.