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zippyjet
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Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:17 am

Just returned from another fun trip to Miami Beach (South Beach) and generally I like things much better down there than say 20 years ago with the exception of dining out choices. The upside is there are some great reasonably priced Cuban restaurants but! Sadly such stalwarts of Jewish Deli fame are now long gone. Wolfies, the Rascal House, Pumperniks and several others have bit the duts. They were always packed even in their last few years of operation and the customers were not just old people from New York! Why did they close? Why don't current places like Jerry's Deli adopt some of these bygone places charms like fresh table rolls, pickles, relish and other condiments? In Miami Beach they could still gouge price wise and people would pay. The non-Cuban food to me is very underwhelming and way overpriced. Your two cents please.
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:36 am

It is a shanda I tell you. I used to get a noon arrival at MIA and make a bee-line to Wolfie's for a hot Pastrami on fresh Jewish rye slathered with brown mustard and a side of potato salad. I would stop at the pastry counter on the way out and pick-up a bag of assorted rugelach. It was just the bomb. Reminded me of my childhood visiting MIA. I know Wolfie was niftar and the old man that took it over had to retire. I just think it was going to make him more money to sell it to a developer than it was to find another restauranteur.

It was bad enough when they closed Pumpernicks.

Atlanta has seen the loss of Leb's and Harry Baron's over the years as well as Royale Bagel.

New York has lost the Carnegie.

Crazy man!
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srbmod
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:33 pm

Some of it may have to do with there not being anyone in the family interested in taking over the business (which is something fairly common with small family-owned businesses that have been open for many years) or nobody interested in acquiring the business to keep it running. In other cases, establishments may have closed due to lease issues and the owners decide to throw in the towel instead of reopening elsewhere or paying higher rents that would cut in their margins (restaurants have been taking huge hits in the price of goods in recent years). The traditional deli is a dying thing as the older patrons are disappearing and with the newer generations, such establishments seem old fashioned and out of step with the times.
 
flymia
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:13 pm

You are right about Miami Beach but I think a decent amout of that has to do with the demographics. The old New Yorkers and elderly Jewish have either pass on or don't live/move to Miami Beach anymore. There aren't many great deli type places but more north and on the main land I have a few places I enjoy which have been opened for a long time now. You just need to leave the beach area.

Most of Miami Beach has been moving more and more towards tourist and upper class condos, especially forginers who come down just for a few months etc.. On Biscayne blvd from 125th street and north there are a decent amount of choices for the Jewish delis. Not as good as say NYC or the older places which shut down but it's still pretty good.
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zippyjet
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:55 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 2):
The traditional deli is a dying thing as the older patrons are disappearing and with the newer generations, such establishments seem old fashioned and out of step with the times.

But, one would think and hope that those loons we love to hate, the hipsters in their unwashed glory would start embracing the old school Jewish Delis, table rolls, pickles, pastrami and all. They brought that cat piss (Pabst Blue Ribbon) out of obscurity so why not a Wolfie's or Rascal House?

And, I was in a hurry when composing this thread. Also a great Italian classic bit the dust in the 80's. Anyone remember Picciolos? Picciolos pronounced Peachalos, was on Collins AVe. I believe 100 Collins Ave. almost near South Pointe paralell to Ocean Drive. It was open since the 40's. You could eat indoors in the A/C dining rooms or out in their gardens. They had some kik ass pizza, the best garlic knots, before anyone else caught on to them and excellent Italian food. It was old Miami Beach. I'm sorry to say, the pizza at least in South Beach was dreck at best vile at it's worst. These cosmopolitan rich hipsters have food tastes in their ass. Those outdoor overpriced chi chi eateries where they have the clamation models of their way overpriced Alfalfa an Buckwheat crap are an insult to anyone who appreciates good food at REASONABLE prices.
With the Rascal House, the Wolfie Cohen family sold out to the Jerrys Deli guy named Starkman who kept the RH the way it was for a bit but gouged with high prices. Then he closed it down in 2008. His Jerry's Deli is an overpriced tourist trap that pales in comparison to all those great gone but not forgotten delis. For you Miami vet's out there do you remember Corky's?
Corky's was a mile or two east of the massive Golden Glades junction on 163rd. st. Sometime in the 90's they moved to Pembroke Pines where they spent their last few years and like that they closed.   
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flymia
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:10 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
But, one would think and hope that those loons we love to hate, the hipsters in their unwashed glory would start embracing the old school Jewish Delis, table rolls, pickles, pastrami and all.

Unfortunately its not. I love that type of food and I know plenty of people who do but again you won't find this stuff on Miami Beach anymore for good reasons. Its a lot of tourist, a good portion, maybe over 50% from outside the U.S.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
Also a great Italian classic bit the dust in the 80's

I think its time to move on  
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
It was old Miami Beach

From what I have seen old Miami Beach sucked. 1970s-1980s Miami Beach. Sure it was not an expensive vacation destination but it was full of crime, poor old people on the verge of dying and not much else. I guess it had some good delis. Property values were on the floor and it offered nothing. I like the new Miami Beach.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
I'm sorry to say, the pizza at least in South Beach was dreck at best vile at it's worst.

There are some ok hole in the wall places on Washington. But again what do you expect its a tourist area.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
Those outdoor overpriced chi chi eateries where they have the clamation models of their way overpriced Alfalfa an Buckwheat crap are an insult to anyone who appreciates good food at REASONABLE prices.

Agreed. But again its tourist areas. There are not that many places I eat in Miami Beach that are east of Alton Road and south of 41st street. Which for the most part are the areas with the outdoor dining and such. Lincoln Road, Collins Ave and Ocean Drive. Just like most people don't eat near times square or people from D.C. don't eat much in Georgetown. The mainland is where the good food is these days.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
His Jerry's Deli is an overpriced tourist trap that pales in comparison to all those great gone but not forgotten delis.

I am no fan of Jerry's either. If people want food 24hrs Big Pink is a much much better choice.

Any decent delis are on Biscayne blvd now. 120th street up to the county line. Miami Beach is what it is. The best places to eat these days in Miami are on the mainland. Funny I did have a good meal in Miami Beach tonight, but it was on the western end of the island, much more local than tourist.
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:15 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 4):
I'm sorry to say, the pizza at least in South Beach was dreck at best vile at it's worst

Pizza Rustica on the corner of Washington and 9th has the best pizza I have ever eaten

Although maybe I'm just a cosmopolitan rich hipster  
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cmf
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:45 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 5):
Its a lot of tourist,

Not just that, residents are very different too. When I moved here a good portion of my building was Orthodox Jews. Today none is left. Look at how the Jewish restaurants on Arthur Godfrey have changed.

Quoting flymia (Reply 5):
From what I have seen old Miami Beach sucked. 1970s-1980s Miami Beach.

South Beach sucked. At that time everything was further north.

Quoting flymia (Reply 5):
There are not that many places I eat in Miami Beach that are east of Alton Road and south of 41st street. Which for the most part are the areas with the outdoor dining and such. Lincoln Road, Collins Ave and Ocean Drive.

At least not at reasonable prices. Most of the restaurants are about people watching and possibly about sitting outside. Surprisingly a few places on Ocean are getting better. Lincoln is falling apart.

Quoting flymia (Reply 5):
I am no fan of Jerry's either. If people want food 24hrs Big Pink is a much much better choice.

Been to jerry's twice. Not going back. Big Pink is hit and miss.

Quoting flymia (Reply 5):
The best places to eat these days in Miami are on the mainland.

But you already see midtown and design district falling apart.

Quoting flymia (Reply 5):
Funny I did have a good meal in Miami Beach tonight, but it was on the western end of the island

Where? Only western restaurant I like is the Standard though I eat at B&B from time to time.

The last year I've used different delivery services more often than not. Most often http://thespecialmiami.com/ but it is vegetarian so not for everyone.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 6):
Pizza Rustica on the corner of Washington and 9th has the best pizza I have ever eaten

Pizza Rustica has multiple locations. The are interesting is that they have unusual combinations but I've never liked how they have the slices sitting long time to be seen before they heat them up.
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:55 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 7):
Pizza Rustica has multiple locations

You're right, that's a bit of a downer as I assumed they were a local mom-and-pop, although the one of the corner of 9th is - apparently - the original location.
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flymia
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:56 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 7):
But you already see midtown and design district falling apart.

What do you mean falling apart? There are renovations going on but Lincoln is still Lincoln road. Every year it becomes more touristy but I'm there once in a while. I am a 15min drive away and don't see how it's falling apart.

Quoting cmf (Reply 7):
But you already see midtown and design district falling apart

What do you mean falling apart? The design district has a lot of maturing to do IMO. Midtown/Wynwood can't be compared to what it was just 5-7 years ago.
I'm a 5min drive from there not even.

Quoting cmf (Reply 7):
Where? Only western restaurant I like is the Standard though I eat at B&B from time to time

Pubbelly on 20th and Purdy. One owner to a bunch of the resturants on that corner. They share a kitchen. Barceloneta is there too and IMO its one of the better Spanish tapa places in Miami. And I take Spanish food seriously after spending 5 months in Barcelona a few years ago. And parking is $1 and hour. Miami Beach public lots are a steal for $1 an hour.
Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 8):

Yes pizza Rustica is a chain but that is its original location. I enjoy their flavor combos a lot but I agree with CMF about the slices siting there all day. Takes the freshness out of it.

Quoting cmf (Reply 7):
Not just that, residents are very different too. When I moved here a good portion of my building was Orthodox Jews. Today none is left. Look at how the Jewish restaurants on Arthur Godfrey have changed.

Absolutely. There are probably less Orthodox to begin with and I feel like many moved more north of Miami Beach.

Quoting cmf (Reply 7):
Surprisingly a few places on Ocean are getting better

That's a major surprise. I haven't had a drink or meal on ocean drive in years and years.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
cmf
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:37 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 9):
What do you mean falling apart?

There is a generation shift where the unique restaurants are closing down and are replaced with chains and generics.

Quoting flymia (Reply 9):
Pubbelly on 20th and Purdy.

I thought it might have been them but they have been there so long I hoped it would have been something else. They are good. A bit surprisingly they have a very good vegetarian menu but somehow I very rarely end up there.

Quoting flymia (Reply 9):
Miami Beach public lots are a steal for $1 an hour.

Have not spent a single dollar on parking since decobike opened  
Quoting flymia (Reply 9):
That's a major surprise. I haven't had a drink or meal on ocean drive in years and years.

Was a major surprise to me too. Got dragged there by potential new clients and pretty glad they did. You still need to avoid the big places, the "specials" and all the fried junk but order from the menu at the small places and it isn't half bad.
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sulley
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:24 pm

At least the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale is still open... what kitschy fun! 
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zippyjet
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:20 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 6):

Pizza Rustica had some interesting choices but they looked much better than they tasted. Sure, demographics have changed in Miami Beach over the years but I'm surprised of the radical change and in my opinion extreme decline in food quality and value. There is still a significant NYC influence so, you'd think the food especially the Italian including pizza would be much better tasting. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being outstanding/heavenly and zero being hurl worthy. Pizza Rustica (Lincoln Road) barley made a 5 average. At least for what you paid the portion was halfway decent but again, quite underwhelming.

And I forgot to mention another gem that went to restaurant heaven and believe it or not it was of all things a cafeteria. It was the Concord Cafeteria located in the Town House Hotel on the Collins Avenue side. I believe it closed during the height of the Regan era-1983.

Overall, I like the Miami Beach of today. The Miami Beach of old was a depressed place economically where time passed it by. And, at least, Miami Beach (South Beach) took the route of restoration vs. the disaster that Atlantic City took back in the 70's. Atlantic City used to have some grande old hotels and yes they went to seed even worse than the buildings in South Beach but the geniuses in government (maybe the mob) decreed in Jersey that Casinos could not just patch and paint their old properties. So most of the old classics like the Charles, Chelsea, Chalfonte to name a few succombed to the wrecking ball whereas the few existing oldie but goody buildings that survived got redone in "Guido modern." Garrish 80's shiny red dayglo mirrors which looked tired after 4 or 5 years. But, I digress getting back to Miami Beach. It's a wild crazy place that is cosmopolitan, wordly and hip but the food is anything but. Much of it being overpriced and tasting like crap you'd scarf down at an I-95 rest plaza. You know for example the pizza sucks when you get pizza that's light years better at an airport (PHL)!
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Death Of Old School Delis In Miami

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:00 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 2):
The traditional deli is a dying thing as the older patrons are disappearing and with the newer generations, such establishments seem old fashioned and out of step with the times.

I think that pretty much sums it up. Can't imagine Wolfie's with a drive-thru.

Quoting flymia (Reply 3):
old New Yorkers and elderly Jewish have either pass on or don't live/move to Miami Beach anymore.

Yes. Jewish people can live pretty much anywhere in the US today. You younger guys don't remember how it was back in the day. If there was a sign out-front that said "No Colored" chances are it also said "No Jews" or "No Hebrews". Today's revisionist history fails to mention that little tid-bit. Florida was awful for it. I remember when Jews couldn't get in to anything North of the Eden Roc. Forget about Tampa/St.Pete or Naples or Sarasota, North Florida or just about anywhere else in the then, jungle, of Florida. It was serious Klan Kountry.

Quoting cmf (Reply 7):
When I moved here a good portion of my building was Orthodox Jews. Today none is left. Look at how the Jewish restaurants on Arthur Godfrey have changed.

Yeah, I used to have relatives all over South Beach. Most of the old Hotels catered to the religious elderly on fixed-incomes. There were shuls in most of them. A favorite aunt of mine lived at The Cadillac" for years. I remember the little shul they had. They also had a patio out front where the alter kockers used to hang-out smoking cigarettes and playing cards. Or heckling the scantilly-clad "youts" that passed-by on the way to the beach--------not that the scenery was a problem.  

It was funny to see the Jewish Restaurants along Arthur Godfrey considering how hateful he was to the Jewish people back in the day. It was like the restaurants opened out of spite! Arthur was a close friend of Eddie Rickenbacker of EA. It's no wonder whenever Jews wanted to travel to/from Florida the lines at the NA ticket counters were full. Old Ted Baker was a stand-up guy. He used to play poker with some of my relatives and I heard some great stories. EA was always the last choice for years and years.

Quoting flymia (Reply 9):
There are probably less Orthodox to begin with and I feel like many moved more north of Miami Beach.

Well, or south-west to Mt. Nebo.  


Aventura is the place nowadays at least as far as North Beach is concerned. I still have a few folks in the Bal Harbour area.

Oh well, time changes everything eventually.
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