409 Plaza Real in Mizner Park, Boca Raton
Is there anything better and more satisfying than good Jewish deli food? One of the most celebrated NY delis is the famous Junior’s, on the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues in Brooklyn. It opened in 1950 and was as much a part of Brooklyn as the Dodgers, the Fox Theater, Coney Island or Brighton Beach. Lately the restaurant has opened outposts in the New York area, at Grand Central Terminal and Times Square. Recently it even ventured outside the city limits to Connecticut. But the Mizner Park location brings it home again, to Boca Raton, the "Sixth Borough" of NYC. The large space reflects the sunny locale, with a steel and glass art deco décor and vibrant orange accents.
It may be SoFlo, but they’re still serving up the soul-stirring classics; matzo ball soup, brisket, corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, and of course the cheesecake that made Junior’s famous. Let’s start with the sammies. They’re not the grossly overstuffed behemoths that made the Carnegie and Stage delis legendary, but there is still more than enough to satisfy even the most devoted carnivore. In fact, you could take half the meat off and save it for a later sandwich (as I, in fact, did) and still have a satisfying meal. The deli sandwiches average about $15 and are served with a variety of pickled veggies; beets, pickles and a vinegary slaw. The Sensational Sandwiches (combos) are a few bucks more, but include fries.
Other sandwich options include the "Something Different", a hefty pile of beef brisket served in a potato pancake-bun and a burger stuffed with sautéed mushrooms and pastrami and topped with Swiss cheese and even more house-made pastrami. For those searching for healthier fare, the tuna salad sandwich and entrée salads are options. Or, for more in the comfort fare category; try the Hungarian beef goulash with egg noodles, cheese blintzes, roast chicken or Roumanian skirt steak. There are even such unexpected finds as crab-stuffed shrimp, linguini with meatballs, chicken Parmesan and seafood platters. The only disappointment was the onion rings. They’re appropriately oversized, but it’s all breading, with just a sliver of onion inside.
No matter how large your entrée, save room for one of the desserts that made the deli famous. There are mile-high hot fudge sundaes, and, of course, that famous cheesecake. You can go with the basic, a blend of Philadelphia cream cheese, eggs, sugar, heavy cream, and a touch of vanilla with a classic graham cracker crust, but for true decadence try one of the combinations; such as the carrot cake cheesecake, which is basically an entire cheesecake served between two layers of carrot cake. The same construction method is used with red velvet, devil’s food and coconut cake. There are also cheesecakes topped with Dutch apple pie or crumb coffeecake, as well as seasonal and standard variations. Each is easily enough to be shared (or saved for later) and are fairly priced at between $7 and $8.
If you’re craving the authentic Jewish deli experience and want to stay a bit closer to home, check out the following places:
Top Hat Deli
415 NE 3rd St., Fort Lauderdale
N Y Deli
3916 N Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Pomperdale NY Deli
3055 E Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
1237 S. Powerline, Pompano Beach