The folks at Forest Trace, a senior retirement community in Fort Lauderdale got a great event planned for March 22, 2012—eight of South Florida’s top “delis” going head to head (mano y mano) -to decide whose matzah ball is the best. From what I gather, a blue-ribbon panel of local celebrity judges will make the call– There is also an on-line contest for the general public—so, if this kinda stuff is your bag, check for details.

Amazingly, Jeff Eats has fressed and has reviews for all of the contestants.

In no particular order they are…

Zinger’s Delicatessen (8/18/11)
Too Jay’s Gourmet Deli (4/28/09)
Ben’s of Boca (3/8/08)
Sage Bagel & Restaurant (5/22/08)
Ally’s Comfort Cafe (12/26/11)
Mo’s Bagel & Deli (8/14/08)
The Pastrami Club (5/3/08)
Mitch’s Westside Bagels (2/9/09)

Let’s see how this one turns out.

May the best ball-win!!!!

PS…to the wise-guys out there, I know that there are something like 22,000,000 different spellings for the word matzah.

***** March 22, 2012 ‘Contest Results’ *****
Press Release:

Eight South Florida restaurants threw their matzah balls in the ring today at Forest Trace, a luxury retirement community in Lauderhill, for the chance to win the title of “Best All Around Matzah Ball” and $500 to the charity of choice in the Third Annual Golden Matzah Bowl. This pre-Passover main event for matzah balls packed quite a punch with the 150 residents and guests that attended this bout.

Ben’s Kosher Deli scored a unanimous decision with the judges by winning “Best All-Around Matzah Ball” and donated $500 to Jewish Community Services of South Florida. In addition, SAGE Deli, Hallandale Beach, scored a technical knockout (TKO) with the attendees by winning the People’s Choice Award.

Some of the judges included Sam Cohen, VP of the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, and Matt Baiamonte, co-owner of the world famous Angelo Dundee 5th Street Gym. Matt presented a title belt “Turn Back Time” award to Sam Cohen for changing the stereotype of aging and proving that 80 is the new 60.

Chef’s Choice-Pastrami Club

Most Like Mom’s-Ally’s Comfort Café

Best Floater-Mo’s Bagel’s and Deli

OOH IT’S SO GOOD!! Zinger’s Deli

Knock Out: Best Out of the Box Award-Josh’s Deli (Surfside, opening April 2012)

Best of Broward-TooJay’s

People’s Choice-Sage Deli

Best All-Around Matzah Ball-Ben’s Kosher Deli


  1. cantor says...

    jeff, going to be a tough contest, they all make delicious matzo ball soup.

  2. HerbK says...

    The best matzo ball soup I have had in the past 10 years is at, of all places, Dyan’s Country Kitchen, In Coral Springs. Many of the deli’s on that list use some form of chicken base to make their chicken soup, Dyan’s is world class Jewish Grandmother soup made from scratch

    • Karen Dennis says...

      I am going to add all the suggestions to a list for next year’s event. We always need new restaurants! Check out the Forest Trace facebook page at and vote for your favorite matzah ball mix. You could win a $25 gift certificate! Thank you Jeff for sharing the news.

  3. Sheryl G. says...

    I am only familar with Ben’s and Zinger’s. Both make delicious matzah ball soup.

  4. Jon G says...

    From: Jon G
    Subject: Gamaroff’s

    Message Body:
    You got to try this one great Prime Rib at an amazing price! It’s at 100 s. Federal Hwy. Hallandale Beach, 33009

  5. ROBERT HABER says...


    Message Body:



    ps who has the best bagel?

  6. Joe Conger says...

    Since you are talking Jewish delicatessen food…. I was in Pomperdale the other day and it has gone down a few notches. Must be under new ownership. All new people behind the counter and a new “pay first” ordering system. All I ever get there is a pastrami sandwich. This time it was lukewarm and pastrami not as good. I missed the steaming hot pastrami I use to get. The thrill is gone for me at least. Before the pastrami and its presentation was a 10. Now it’s a 6.5

  7. brooks says...

    sage, ben’s make delicious matzo ball soup. havent tried the others for soup. that contest sounds like it will be really fun for the residents.

  8. Ruven’s and Poppie’s both in Delray Beach make very good matzah ball soup.

  9. DR says...

    Just saw the list of delis. Other than Ally’s I have been to all of them. They all have great food and terrific soups. Can’t really recall which was the best.

  10. Sheldon K. says...

    I definitely could handle being a judge out this one. They picked some of the best delis in Florida to compete.

  11. Ed Kramer says...

    Don’t know about the rest. But Mo’s make a delicious matzo ball soup.

  12. LR says...

    Been to Ben’s and Zinger’s. Both have delicious soups.

  13. BR says...

    Too jays has excellent matza ball soup.
    Not on the list is poppies in Delray which makes top soups.

  14. Jeff says...

    From: Jeff
    Subject: maxs harvest delray

    Message Body:
    I went to this restaturant last night, quaint Bistro type place in Delray Ray. We went in for a late dinner around 845. The food consisted of a salmon dish and a Shrimp pad Tai. The food comes out cold. For the price of 26.00 and 31.00. a la carte the food should be hot? Anyway the manager brings the food out after reheating it and breaks a water glass on the table. Glass and water all over the place, I wanted to leave my wife was hungry and elected to stay. I asked him to prepare me two new dishes which he did not do, he switched the plates. Let ths serve as a warning that this conduct is unacceptable anywhere

    This mail is sent via contact form on Jeff Eats

  15. food lover says...

    yuo should send this to Dennis max.

  16. Sharon J. says...

    Other than Ally’s I have been to all of the contestants. Havent eaten matzo ball soup in all of them but the food in all 7 is very good.
    Cute idea.

  17. RONALD says...

    I eat at Ben’s a lot. They have delicious matzah ball soup. Same goes for Too Jays and Zingers. Havent been to the other listed.
    The judges are going to have a tough one deciding.

  18. Sammy says...

    It all depends what type of matzo ball your mom made.

  19. BB says...

    Hey Jeff, who do you is going to win today’s contest?

  20. JeffEats says...


    Just had a chance to read your comments.

    After the “winner” is picked, I’ll let you know.

    Didn’t know I was a politician, did ya?

  21. Steven Horowitz says...

    So who won?
    I’ve eaten in all of the contenders.
    Don’t recall if I had matza ball soup in all of them.
    What I do know is that I loved the soup at Sage.

  22. DFG says...

    I and my wife have eaten in everyone of the listed restaurants. They are all terrific.

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