“Real NY Style Delis”

Posted on August 27th, 2009 · American Delicatessen


***** “Real NY Style Delis” *****

Over the years, people have asked me…”Hey Jeff, what’s the best deli down here in South Florida?”

If you do some checking…Jeff Eats got tons of bagel-deli joints listed. Most of them are pretty-good—for what they are, BAGEL-DELI joints. Now, I am not going to name names, but most of these joints “sell” just passable deli…pastrami, corned beef, tongue, turkey, brisket. Most don’t use top-shelf stuff… face it, that’s the game down-here in South Florida…very budget oriented crowd. Now don’t get me wrong, these joints are just fine…but if you are looking for OUTSTANDING stuff, most of them just don’t pass muster ( or is it mustard?).

What constitutes great deli, is a very personal thing. What I do know, is that pre-packaged meats that are heated, don’t qualify. I’m looking for the guys who make their own stuff…trust me on this, very few of the joints down here “make their own stuff.”

Now…I am going to give you the names of 5 joints that could compete with any NYC deli. These 5 have outstanding deli meats…these 5, are the joints that you want to go to when you crave a great… pastrami-corned beef-turkey off the bone-tongue-brisket sandwich…not to mention chopped liver, tuna or chicken salad.

Now…I could try and put them in some type of order, but that’s really impossible…because, one joint may have better brisket than another, while its corned beef isn’t as good.

What I do know, is that these 5 joints sell top notch stuff. Like I said before, in no particular order: Pomperdale (Fort Lauderdale, 6/18/08)—Pastrami Queen (Boca Raton, 12/12/08)—Sage (Hallandale Beach, 5/22/08)—Ben’s of Boca (Boca Raton, 3/8/08)—Pastrami Club (Lauderhill, 3/3/08).

You guys know that I eat all over. What I can tell you, is that when I want the best, these are the 5 joints that come to mind.

14 Comments to ““Real NY Style Delis””

  1. marvin r. says...

    jeff, nice picks there. you are correct in that most “delis” down here don’t sell top quality deli meats. they usually use the “national” brand and not brands like hebrew national.
    i have eaten in loads of delis, too jay’s, poppies, moes, 3 ggs, elbaums, gramercy, and you are right there deli meats are ok but nothing great.
    i am pretty familiar with many on your list and there is no question that a good deli sandwich is a rarity in florida.
    i absolutely love pastrami queen and pomperdale. i also like bens but find it to be inconsistent. but most of the time its really good. haven’t tried pastrami club or sage but over the last few years have heard some really good things about them.
    really enjoy your site.

  2. km says...

    Boca resident here.
    I have been meaning to get over to Pastrami Queen for awhile now.
    Did a pastrami on rye, french fries and this rivals any ny deli.

  3. aa says...

    one of worst delis un fl, jerry’s famous. a s. beach tourist trap

  4. Hank B. says...

    Going to be 76 next November 14th. Lived in Brooklyn until I moved down here 10 years ago. You are 1 million percent correct that the deli meats are terrible in Florida. It’s got nothing to do with the water. It’s just that most of these bagel places sell crap meat. It usually comes from National and it’s just reheated. It is rubbery and usually bland tasting.

    As a kid in Brooklyn and for that matter an adult,. there was usually a deli every few blocks. Everybody pickled their own meats.
    In NYC you still got some great places. 2nd Ave Deli, Carneige, Stage, Ben’s, and loads of mom and poppers.

    Don’t know all of your 5 picks but I have eaten in Ben’s and Pastrami Queen. I am going to call it a tossup between the two but I like the pastrami a bit better at Pastrami Queen.

    Really enjoy your picks.

  5. LLJ says...

    Hello Jeff, enjoy your blog. Agree with many of your picks and I also disagree with some. You seem to know your bagels, deli, pizza and Italian food. I sense you really aren’t into Japanese or Mexican food. I live in Pompano and gave two of your picks a try. Pastrami Queeen and Pomperdale. Both are super. Did pastrami at PQ and corned beef at Pomperdale. Great sandwiches.

    Thanks for the picks.

  6. NW says...

    Last night I had a matzoh ball soup and a pastrami sandwich at Pastrami Queen. OUTSTANDING.

  7. KP says...

    jeff eats, had food from PQ for the Jewish Holidays. Excellent turkey, brisket, roast chicken, matzoh ball soup, chopped liver. Have been in Boca for over 30 years. Know all of the past and present food places, like poppie’s, david’s, mr. royal, ben’s, glick’s, 3 g’s etc etc. This was the best prepared food I have had in all of the years I am living here. I highly recommend the prepared food. I also eat regularly at PQ and the pastrami and corned beef are sensational. This is a terrific restaurant.

  8. JF says...

    Very difficult to get a really good deli sandwich down here. The bagel places serve inferior food. Places like Too Jay’s, Poppie’s sell junk. If you know anything about good deli, pastrami, corned beef, brisket, tongue then you know that it is a rare find in Florida. I have eaten in loads of places. There is no question in my mind that Pastrami Queen, Ben’s, Pomperdale, David’s, and Pastrami Club are the best in Florida. I have eaten in Jerry’s in S. Beach, you name it and I have probably tried it. The ones that I mentioned are the only places that are good.

  9. JAMES STANTON says...


  10. Chris A. says...

    I am a big big BIG fan of Pastrami Club but the Pastrami Queen is running neck to neck….I don’t care for the deli people at Pastrami Club the one in Boca is from NY

  11. John G. says...

    Sun Sentinel gave Bens 3 1/2 stars today. I agree Ben’s is really good.
    I have also tried Pastrami Queen, Sage, Pastrami Club and Pomperdale and you are correct they are also really good.
    You did a review on Deli On Rye. That also is really good.

  12. ss says...

    jeff, just heard that deli den in tamrac area closed. just guessing but it must have been there for over 30 years. what happened? haven’t been there in many years but it was really good back in the day.

  13. Mr. Z says...

    PQ and Pomperdale are top notch. Ben’s is ok. Pastrami Club is just fair.

  14. Jon G says...

    Your wrong!!! There is no Deli in South Florida that comes close to a New York Deli!!! I’ve been to all you mentioned and while they are good they don’t match up!! There is one that is just as good as those you talked about that you left out. It’s The New York Big Apple Deli in North Miami. TRY IT!!!!!!!!

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