Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Authentic New York Deli at Saul's In Berkeley

The minute you walk in the door of Saul’s Restaurant and Deli in Berkeley, CA you will know that you have found authentic New York deli. The décor is simple with a checkerboard floor and black and white photos on the wall.

The deli case is stocked full of whitefish, sable and Nova lox and there is a server wandering around the lobby with a tray loaded with little samples of chopped liver on rye. Tuna on rye is available for those less daring.

The short wait for a table can be a mouthwatering yet torturous experience as people get enormous kosher dills from a self serve barrel in the deli and black and white cookies and hamentashen are sold from the bakery. Where’s that boy with the chopped liver?

Peter a co-owner and host extraordinaire hears our conversation with some people in the lobby about a similar establishment is San Diego. The gauntlet was unknowingly thrown down and an order of potato latkes hit the table minutes after we got there ourselves. “These are from Peter” our server tells us. Crispy golden brown on the outside and moist and delicious inside, these super sized latkes are enough for the whole table. They were served with applesauce and sour cream and they lasted about a minute.

I ordered a bowl of the matzo ball soup to share with my son. The broth was dark and rich and very flavorful. There were two large matzo balls in the soup, they were very tender and fluffy and perfectly seasoned. This is a really large bowl of soup so unless you're a big fresser or sharing it, stick to the cup.

For the main course I ordered a personal favorite; corned beef and chopped liver on rye bread. It came nicely stacked with some coleslaw on the side and every table has a great jar of deli mustard brought over from New York for authenticity. The bread is bakery fresh with a crisp thin crust. This sandwich is the epitome of Deli and was perfectly executed. The warm corned beef is very tender and not salty and the portion is not skimpy.

Other items at the table which I was able to sample were the Lox and cream cheese bagel; served with shaved red onion and plenty of delicious capers, and a Pastrami Reuben on buttery grilled rye; crispy and dripping with thousand Island dressing and tangy sauerkraut. All wonderfully fresh, prepared, and presented perfectly.

If you want to experience authentic Deli but you can’t get to New York, Visit Saul’s, It’s the same!

Saul's Restaurant & Deli
1475 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709

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