Jewish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere

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Ketteract
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2014/12/24 13:00:00 (permalink)

Jewish food, in Connecticut and elsewhere

With my flights pushed to tomorrow, I decided to venture out and see what Connecticut had to offer for Jewish delis. I'd already been to Katz's and Carnegie in NYC, and I wasn't expecting them to be topped, but I've really just been going to pizzerias and grinder shops and Italian restaurants lately and I wanted something different. Rein's was pretty well-rated, and it was in Vernon, reasonably close to Hartford.
 
I got an "overstuffed" (yeah, not so much compared to a NY place, but still big) corned beef on seeded rye with a mustard that seemed to be Gulden's. The corned beef was legit. Juicy and well marbled. More mildly flavored than I was used to, but this was actually a good match for the Gulden's which is on the weaker side for spicy mustards.  They provided two extra packets of Gulden's with my to-go order.
 

 
I had my very first knish! Some kind of finely ground meat and potato (and cabbage? hard to tell) mixture within a pastrylike shell. Very well seasoned and absolutely delicious - I think I liked this better than the sandwich!
 

 

 
Got some macaroni salad too because I'd been thinking about Hawaiian plate lunches, which I'd never had, and it was on my brain. Underwhelming. Slightly sweet and carroty and not much else.
 

 
The requisite pickle. Fantastic, maybe the best pickle I've ever eaten. I think this was what's called a half-sour.
 

 
Celery soda? Huh!
 

 
If they'd sold single servings instead of six-packs, I'd have had the nerve to try it. Instead I got a candy I hadn't had since grade school:
 

 
Overall I'd give Rein's a hearty recommendation. It's obviously not in the same class as NY Jewish delis, but it's solid and enjoyable on its own.  I'll give their pastrami a try next time, but honestly I think I'd be satisfied with just two or three of those knishes.
post edited by Ketteract - 2016/12/16 12:39:38
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    ann peeples
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2014/12/24 13:04:10 (permalink)
    Yum!!! Corned beef looks excellent!
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    wanderingjew
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2014/12/24 13:08:19 (permalink)
    I was very underwhelmed with my first and only visit to Rein's Deli, 15 years ago. I've had no desire to go back
    #3
    Ketteract
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2014/12/24 13:11:44 (permalink)
    wanderingjew
    I was very underwhelmed with my first and only visit to Rein's Deli, 15 years ago. I've had no desire to go back




    Curious to know what you didn't like? 
    #4
    wanderingjew
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2014/12/24 13:21:04 (permalink)
    I don't remember what I had, but I'm sure it was most likely either a pastrami or corned beef sandwich and matzoh ball soup- since I those are my benchmarks for assessing the quality of a good Jewish Deli. I just remember my entire meal being very ordinary.
    #5
    Ketteract
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2015/06/20 08:06:47 (permalink)
    Returned to Rein's last night to try their pastrami!
     

     
    It was even more mildly flavored than the corned beef - to the point where the rye bread actually spoke up more than the meat.  Good quality meat, for sure, and again a good match with the Gulden's, but yes, very mild.
     


    The knish, even with just a potato filling, again outshined the sandwich.
     

     
    I don't know what the heck they season that filling with but it is outstanding.  If I didn't intend to explore their menu further, the knishes would definitely be my go-tos.
     

     
    I got their potato salad too, to compare with the mac salad I'd had before. Enough starch for ya?  It was way better than the mac salad, herby and creamy and comforting.  They should just use parts of the one's recipe in the other - it would be so much improved.
     

     
    I got another half-sour, of course, and it was as delightful as last time.
     
    It's a little disappointing that their appetizers and side dishes impress more than their actual sandwiches; that shouldn't be the case at a place like this.  But they're the best I'll get in central Connecticut, and they're still worth my time.
    post edited by Ketteract - 2015/06/20 08:08:20
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    billyboy
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2015/06/20 10:15:21 (permalink)
    Ketteract, that's a good looking' sandwich.  I've often found that some spicy brown deli mustard really adds something extra to a knish.  I'll add a small dollop to each bite as I eat it.  As for the Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda, that is definitely an acquired taste.  My girlfriend's dad loves it but I think he grew up drinking that with his family is the old delis of NYC so there is a nostalgia factor to it for him.  I tried it a couple of times but never took to the flavor.
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    Ketteract
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2015/06/20 13:52:50 (permalink)
    I actually found Cel-Ray at a Stop & Shop in Cheshire some weeks back and picked it up.  When I tried it, I thought, "Huh. Well. It's exactly what it says it is: a celery-flavored soda."  I was ... utterly neutral, which doesn't happen often!  
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    Ketteract
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2016/12/16 12:41:42 (permalink)
    Today, I finally got around to trying the Crown Market in West Hartford.
     

     
    They've been around since 1940. Two Februaries ago, they had announced intent to close, but then three "high-profile businessmen" purchased the store and renegotiated its lease.
     
    All sorts of prepared dishes, as you'd expect...
     

     
    ...including one that you only find in New England, or, at least, find labeled this way:
     

     
    (I had to get some for later, of course, and I made a mental note to pick up a challah loaf on a future trip.)
     

     

     
    What I was really here for, though, was a corned beef sandwich. This was $10.99 and included two sides of my choice. How could I not make one of those a half-sour pickle?
     

     
    Good stuff. Not dazzling, but competent. Leaner than Rein's corned beef, yet somehow a little more flavorful. The white stuff oozing out the side is a horseradish sauce that had a quality kick.
     

     
    I'm sure I'll be back to try the pastrami, knishes, stuffed cabbages, stuffed peppers, and everything else they have.  
    #9
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2016/12/16 13:07:20 (permalink)
    There used to be a Crown in New Haven, on Whalley Avenue.
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    mar52
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2016/12/16 13:48:50 (permalink)
    Love a good knish. The first knishes from 2015 look more hand made than the recent knishes.
    You are right about the American chop suey. I make it but I've never seen it out.
    Potato knishes are usually just seasoned with fried onions but I can see the flavor lift d if they were fried in schmaltz.

    I don't know how my sentences switched order. this iPad has to be at blame. Or to blame?
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2016/12/16 14:12:38 (permalink)
    My personal opinion is that a knish should have thin pastry crust and be filled with chopped chicken liver. It's my personal opinion because that's the only kind of knish I ever had growing up. I had an "aunt" who was a caterer, and she'd bring over tons of her knishes all the time.
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    JoyB
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2018/05/18 09:27:31 (permalink)
    I think the next deli you try should be Katz's deli in Woodbridge.  
    I find it to be better than Reins. Love their pastrami and they do have a very decent matzo ball soup. They are NOT affiliated with Katz's delicatessen in NYC. 
     
    But, you must save the best for last and that is Gold's Deli in Westport. I grew up going to the one in Bridgeport. Now it is kind of far away and I miss it but it is worth a drive if you want good Jewish Deli in CT. 
    post edited by JoyB - 2018/05/18 09:29:27
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2018/05/18 11:47:06 (permalink)
    JoyB
    I think the next deli you try should be Katz's deli in Woodbridge.  
    I find it to be better than Reins. Love their pastrami and they do have a very decent matzo ball soup. They are NOT affiliated with Katz's delicatessen in NYC. 
     
    But, you must save the best for last and that is Gold's Deli in Westport. I grew up going to the one in Bridgeport. Now it is kind of far away and I miss it but it is worth a drive if you want good Jewish Deli in CT. 


    Is Gold's the Kosher delicatessen on (I think) Park in Bridgeport?
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    pnwchef
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2018/05/18 11:54:23 (permalink)
    JoyB
    I think the next deli you try should be Katz's deli in Woodbridge.  
    I find it to be better than Reins. Love their pastrami and they do have a very decent matzo ball soup. They are NOT affiliated with Katz's delicatessen in NYC. 
     
    But, you must save the best for last and that is Gold's Deli in Westport. I grew up going to the one in Bridgeport. Now it is kind of far away and I miss it but it is worth a drive if you want good Jewish Deli in CT. 




    JoyB, where was the Gold's in BPT. I remember the name but can't place the deli for some reason. I'm from the Eastside Of Bridgeport and we kind a stayed in our own territory. I guess in many ways every neighborhood had it's own places to keep them satisfied. Are you from BPT ??????????
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    mar52
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2018/05/18 12:10:39 (permalink)
    Adding to the knish part of the conversation...
     
    Also try a kasha knish.  I love all things knish with potato, the most represented being at the bottom of my list.  A beef knish is very much like an English Pastie.
     
    Time to venture on to Kishka!  Order it crispy and eat it with gravy or without.  I prefer without. 
     
    I have one in my freezer and I believe I'll go downstairs, take it out and that will be tonight's dinner!  Must think of a vegetable now.
     
    Thanks!
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    JoyB
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2018/05/18 12:14:12 (permalink)
    pnwchef
    JoyB
    I think the next deli you try should be Katz's deli in Woodbridge.  
    I find it to be better than Reins. Love their pastrami and they do have a very decent matzo ball soup. They are NOT affiliated with Katz's delicatessen in NYC. 
     
    But, you must save the best for last and that is Gold's Deli in Westport. I grew up going to the one in Bridgeport. Now it is kind of far away and I miss it but it is worth a drive if you want good Jewish Deli in CT. 




    JoyB, where was the Gold's in BPT. I remember the name but can't place the deli for some reason. I'm from the Eastside Of Bridgeport and we kind a stayed in our own territory. I guess in many ways every neighborhood had it's own places to keep them satisfied. Are you from BPT ??????????


    Yes, I was born and lived in Bridgeport until I was 13 and then we moved to the valley (Shelton) where I spent a quick 5 years and then hightailed it out of there...LOL
     
    I think it was on Park Ave. MIchael Hoffman. I can't remember exactly where on Park but I think it was there. I think Katz was downtown, maybe near Howlands and/or Reads. Remember those stores???? 


    post edited by JoyB - 2018/05/18 12:28:32
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    JoyB
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    Re: Rein's Deli - Vernon, CT 2018/05/18 12:40:02 (permalink)
    pnwchef
    JoyB
    I think the next deli you try should be Katz's deli in Woodbridge.  
    I find it to be better than Reins. Love their pastrami and they do have a very decent matzo ball soup. They are NOT affiliated with Katz's delicatessen in NYC. 
     
    But, you must save the best for last and that is Gold's Deli in Westport. I grew up going to the one in Bridgeport. Now it is kind of far away and I miss it but it is worth a drive if you want good Jewish Deli in CT. 




    JoyB, where was the Gold's in BPT. I remember the name but can't place the deli for some reason. I'm from the Eastside Of Bridgeport and we kind a stayed in our own territory. I guess in many ways every neighborhood had it's own places to keep them satisfied. Are you from BPT ??????????


    I grew up in the West End on Laurel Ave. behind the Klein Memorial Auditorium. (on the end of Laurel Ave. closest to Park Ave and Norman St.) I went to Maplewood Elementary and Jr. High. 
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