For now – until restaurants fully open again – I am turning my attention here in Utah Bites to “Tales of Takeout.” These are short “takeout tryout” reviews of various restaurant to-go options that I’ve been enjoying while restaurants are temporarily shuttered for in-house dining. Granted, they won’t be the sort of in-depth restaurant reviews I’ve done for the past 25 years, since ambiance, decor, wine, cocktails, and even traditional table service, for the most part, don’t enter into the equation. But, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade.
This week, we visited my favorite Utah delicatessen: Feldman’s Deli, which offers online ordering with curbside pickup in front of their deli patio. For authentic Jewish fare, Feldman’s is hard to beat.
I can’t resist the overstuffed, half-pound sandwiches at Feldman’s, which remind me of my days in NYC eating at renown delis such as Katz’s, 2nd Ave Deli, Sarge’s, Eisenberg’s, Fine & Schapiro, Carnegie, and others. With some 15 hot sandwiches and another eight or so cold ones to choose from, settling on a sammich at Feldman’s is always a Sophie’s Choice situation. However, I tend to lean toward the scrumptious Reuben Combo: corned beef and pastrami with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye bread. Each sandwich comes with a choice of French fries (which are excellent), potato salad, cole slaw, or health salad.
Another killer sandwich is the Rachel, which is one of my stepson’s faves. It’s grilled Jewish rye with tender pastrami, Swiss cheese, homemade coleslaw, and Thousand Island dressing. One benefit of buying a Feldman’s Deli sandwich is that it’s usually good for two meals; I can never finish an entire sandwich in one sitting.
Of course, man cannot live on sandwiches alone … even at Feldman’s. So there are other great foods available for takeout, including potato pancakes, knishes, pickled beets, salads, hummus, blintzes, and my favorite: Janet Feldman’s soul-affirming Matzo Ball Soup. It’s chicken soup made with celery, carrots and fresh dill, a big baseball sized matzo ball, and lots of love. This sensational soup is perfect for our current situation; as you may know, chicken soup is also called “Jewish penicillin.”
As for my wife, she loves a good Tuna Salad sandwich and the one at Feldman’s Deli is superb. It’s not always easy to get tuna salad right, but Feldman’s does. It’s hearty (and blessedly not soggy) tuna salad that my wife likes on gluten-free bread with mayo, lettuce, onion and tomato. Simply put, it’s a terrific tuna salad sandwich, pictured here with a side of homemade ‘slaw.
My second stepson is very fond – as are MANY Feldman’s Deli regulars – of the outrageously delightful Sloppy Joe. Now, if when you hear the term “Sloppy Joe” you automatically think of ground beef smothered in a ketchup sauce on a hamburger bun, think again. Because Feldman’s Sloppy Joe is a whole ‘nother beast, indeed. This bodacious baby is a combination of pastrami and corned beef with coleslaw and Thousand Island dressing on Jewish rye. Accept no substitutions!
Personally, I can’t wait for Feldman’s Deli to reopen for in-house dining so that we can again enjoy Feldman’s breakfasts and dinner specials, as well as the popular Old Jews Telling Jokes evenings and Two Old Guys performances. But hey, for now at least we can still get our authentic Jewish deli fixes at Feldman’s with curbside service.
I want to sincerely thank the generous sponsors of Utah Bites and Utah Stories advertisers – including Feldman’s Deli – for their continued support during this very unstable time. We are extremely grateful. There would be no Utah Bites without sponsors; they are vital to its survival. Please support our wonderful sponsors now and in the future. We wouldn’t be here without them.
Culinary quote of the week:
“Only the pure of heart can make a good soup.” — Ludwig Van Beethoven
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.