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The Early Word on Josh's Delicatessen & Appetizing

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Early last month, chef Josh Marcus converted his Surfside Chow Down Grill location into a Montreal Jewish style deli called Josh's Deli. Almost everything on the menu at this kosher-style comfort food deli is homemade in house from the pastrami to the bagels and pickles and matzoh balls made with duck fat and ginger beer. And so far the early word is pretty positive. Let's take a look:

The Awesome News: An idine commenter writes in with a fantastic review. "The food at Josh's is literally life changing. I actually did not know that Corned Beef could be so amazing. The Turkey is also without equal. I would whole heartedly recommend this "gem" as it has all the atmosphere of a friendly Miami Beach deli, but with a 5-star take on the food." [idine]

The Great News: All the Facebook comments are rave reviews of this new spot and this one is just the latest post. "hands down best pastrami in the states, arguably the world!" [Facebook]

The Mostly Good News: A Chowhound reader writes in to say he likes the food but not the pickles. "Indeed. I went today and had a knish, chopped liver, and a pastrami sandwich and all were very good. I wasn't impressed by the pickles, however. They weren't very sour/briney. More sweet than half-sour. The pastrami was killer though, as was the mustard. The only thing I wanted for was Cel-Ray soda." [Chowhound]

The Okay News: One Miami New Times commenter wrote in with some constructive criticism but made sure to note there can be kinks in the first week on opening. "I would preface my comment with the fact that Josh is doing his best to make his clientele happy and they were overall pleased (at least the two jews from New York sitting at the counter chatting away with Josh while the rest of us at the tables were being completely ignored by the wait staff) (I am jewish so I can say that) With that being said, let me first start with the service. My buddy and I tried vehemently to get served a cup of coffee, and after asking six times, we gave up. I understand that being understaffed doesn't make it easy but its really poor customer service to have to give up because your server can't mentally make a note when there are only three tables of customers totalling eight people. We were not the only ones dissastisfied with this issue. Highlight was the corned beef sandwich. It was very tasty. I really enjoyed the texture of the meat and the fact that it wasn't sliced paper thin like most places do. It reminded me of the pastrami at Mile End in brooklyn, but nowhere near as good. I suggest taking a trip up there to talk with those guys because they are doing exactly what you want to be doing. Not so good: The matzah ball soup (broth). The broth was watery, had no chicken flavor whatsover, and needed a ton of salt and pepper. The ball was hard, which is not my cup of tea, but did have nice flavor. The "pastrami" lox lacked all necessary spices to be designated "pastrami" lox. I undersand this was still week one and the kinks need to be worked out but this is not a first time at the rodeo." [Miami New Times]

More Good News: Food blog Opinionated about Dining writes about their recent trip into Josh's Deli. "Both the Chicken Soup with Matzoh Ball which was excellent. Especially the matzoh ball which passed my matzoh ball test. Most people argue about whether a matzoh ball should be hard or soft. By my test which goes as follows: If a matzoh ball tastes better than a kosher matzoh ball has the potential to taste, then it passes the Plotnicki matzoh ball test, regardless of whether it is a soft or hard matzo ball. But having said that, the matzoh ball at Josh’s is on the hard side, and I would prefer if it was a hair softer. Just sayin’. As for the flavor itself, the version Josh serves is loaded with duck fat and tastes more like it was made by your Grand Mere than your Bubby,Equally as good was the house made pastrami, which Josh serves on delicious kosher rye bread (which comes from the kosher bakery next door to the restaurant) along with house made mustard and house made pickles. Really tasty and for someone who has only been serving pastrami for 4 days, he is off to a terrific start." [Opinionated About Dining]

More Awesome News: A Chowhound reader wrote in about an awesome meal here. "Pastrami sandwich was awesome but the best was the slaw that came with it. Their mustard spiced up the sandwich to perfection. Also loved the taste of pastrami salmon I tried. Good joint that is filling a surprising void in Miami." [Chowhound]

—Sarah Rose
[Photo via Food for Thought/Flickr]

Josh's Delicatessen & Appetizing

9517 Harding Ave., Surfside, Miami