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Dec 9, 2013 05:36 PM

Kosher Deli

Which places are considered the best for kosher deli? Prefer NoVa if possible, we are coming from Ashburn. Notable pastrami a plus.

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    1. Do you really need to find Kosher (rabbinical supervision, etc) or are you just looking for a Jewish deli? Kosher is hard to find and not considered very good, even in New York.

      If merely Jewish will work for you, then Chutzpah in Fairfax will be convenient and good. I highly recommend the fuhgeddaboudit sandwich which is a concoction with many ingredients and could feed a family. You could ask for it with pastrami instead of corned beef.

      Despite my recent criticism of DGS in DC, pastrami is really their specialty, as well as they have a few other key items like chopped liver, whitefish salad (lunch menu) and stuffed cabbage (dinner menu). But it is expensive.

      In Georgetown, Stachowski makes some serious pastrami, but I suggest getting it by the pound rather than on a sandwich. The sandwich is the size of a small child and has no structural integrity. No seating, it's like a butcher shop.

      1. Second Chutzpah and the Fuggetaboutit, as well as kosher vs. "kosher style." Most delis in the area are the latter. Some folks like Bernie's, but they slice their meat too thin. It turns into paste in your mouth. Eli's downtown is kosher, but I've never had anything there that's terribly memorable. I believe Max's in Wheaton is also kosher. I keep looking for good pastrami in NoVA and I keep going back to Deli City in DC and Weiss in Baltimore.

        7 Replies
        1. re: monkeyrotica

          Max's is definitely kosher, but I can't speak to their deli, just their world-class felafel.

          As for Chutzpah, the pastrami is definitely better than the corned beef. We take deli-savvy visitors (NY and Boston types) there and they are always pleasantly surprised.

          The legendary Attman's from Lombard St in Baltimore has opened a branch in Cabin John, but the reviews, at least on Yelp, are literally all over the place -- almost a perfect distribution from 1 to 5 stars.

          1. re: Bob W

            Wow, that Attman's opening seems under the radar. I would think a MoCo Hound or two would have been by now.

            Attman's in Baltimore is great for the spectrum of Jewish Deli. I still say the corned beef at Deli City is better.

            1. re: Steve

              From my relatively limited experience, deli expansion never seems to go well. And this one certainly doesn't seem to merit a trip across the river.

              1. re: Steve

                As it happens, I walked in yesterday in hopes of finding a chocolate babka that has been on my mind since a recent CH discussion of babka. No luck. The place was not as crowded as one might expect at lunch time. The front area - where the counters are - has a number of two-tops and it was empty. The back area had a number of occupied tables. There is a very small bakery case at the register and it was disappointing to say the least. There is a case between the two areas that has cheesecake. When I asked where it was from, the answer was "New York." Anyone who knows cheesecake would know that the answer was devoid of information. Junior's (ugh), S&H, where? They didn't know. On their own website and menu, it says Mrs. Pose's. Which is from Baltimore. Which makes sense since Attman's is from Baltimore. Train your employees, please. Anyway, Mrs. Pose is the NY Jewish style but not great. Just OK. There was no babka.

                I have to admit that I never cared for Attman's in Baltimore so I didn't plan to try this branch. I am super-fussy about my pastrami and would rather not eat pastrami at all rather than be disappointed. Pretty much Katz's, 2d Ave., or nothing. Nothing I saw yesterday caused me to re-think that. The pastrami looked dry and there was no smell of pastrami or corned beef when I walked in.

                If they can't make it in Jewish Rockville, then they (like every other Jewish deli that has tried to make it in the DMV) are not long for this world.

                1. re: Just Visiting

                  The babka Wegmans carries -- Green's, from Brooklyn -- is really good. The cinnamon is good, but the chocolate is the better babka. 8<D

                  1. re: Bob W

                    Thanks, Bob W. Green's is available elsewhere in the area such as Whole Foods. Breads Unlimited/NY Bakery bakes fresh and fantastic babka but only on the weekends. I happened to be passing by that shopping center and though hmmm - Jewish deli should have babka, preferably fresh baked and not Green's but even Green's would do. FYI, here's the thread about babka that got my brain to obsess:


                    Including a link to an article I read that says that all the babka in NY is coming from Green's and is private-labeled when sold by others such as Russ & Daughters, and, of course, a reference to the famous Seinfeld statement that cinnamon is the lesser babka.

                2. re: Steve

                  Steve, I've made several visits to Attman's, but only posted about it on

                  Largely, I think Brooklyn's Deli a mile up the street is better.