Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Hot Pastrami on Rye at Kevin’s Dockside Deli in Palm Beach Gardens the Real Deal – Says a Yank

June 17th, 2010 · 4 Comments

Dockside Deli's Hot pastrami on rye with mustard/ photo by Brad Schmidt

My friend and fellow food writer, Brad Schmidt, goes into a food trance after tasting – in his words ” the best pastrami on rye outside of New York.”

Big, bold words, but he’s allowed to call it, being a former NY’er. Read all about his take on it at The Meatist. Especially, note his mentions of other fine foods there and feel free to argue with him if you’re qualified.

Learning and trading cultures

I’ve introduced my Yank buddy Schmidt to a number of Southern traditions, and this time, he got to teach me what’s what. I’ve been to this deli dozens of times, but never ordered just a plain pastrami on rye with mustard – fearing it would be a dry and chewy affair.

I was dead wrong on both counts – apparently never having had great pastrami. The meat is luxuriously moist, from fat, from tenderization during curing and the slow cooking. A nice fat-to-lean ratio is a good thing, too.

The swipe of no-nonsense deli mustard,  is all that’s needed. And a warning – half a sandwich is all I can eat – they stack it six feet high on these sandwiches so you get your money’s worth. (It’s around $9, but easily feeds two or more. You also can buy meats and other foods by the pound – it’s a true deli.)

Confession: I am not fond of their potato salad, because it’s the slippery clear kind of dressing over sliced potatoes; I like mine bound with mayo and with chunks of potato. I get cole slaw, instead – you can have chips if you prefer. But I do love their half-sour pickles that make the sandwich perfection.

Sweet location, sweet family

The cheery, nautical-themed deli is right on the marina, so you can sit on the deck and watch the boats bob around, or grab a table  indoors and get out of the heat. Either way, order at the counter, sit and have your sandwich brought to your table on disposable plates, and then pay when you’re done. They know things often lead to a bowl of homemade rice pudding or some other dessert, and you may want to sit a spell – they never rush you.

I’ve known the Dennis family – Kevin, his wife Phyllis and sons Brian and Seth –  owners of Dockside Deli –  for some time now, having written about them often over the years. They are the nicest folks on earth, and know most of their customers by name. When you go – and why would you miss a chance at great corned beef, pastrami, and all those other NY deli foods you love? please tell them that Jan says “hi.”

Take note – during lunch hours, they’re crazy-busy, and on some Saturday early mornings, they’re busy packing sandwiches for boaters and beach picnics, so time your visit. (You may have to contend with the PGA Bridge being up and stalling traffic around the plaza, too.) And, pay attention!! They only take cash – no cards. There’s a Chase bank nearby and a few others as well, but save yourself the trip and get greenbacks before you come.

Kevin’s NY Style Dockside Deli

  • 2401 PGA Blvd. (a few doors east of Carmine’s), Palm Beach Gardens
  • 561-694-7945
  • Open: Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Note: Cash only – no cards.

Kevins NY Style Dockside Deli on Urbanspoon


Tags: Talking Tables

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 naomi and jerry cohen // Jun 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

    We have eaten many times at kevins’ deli. and found the restaurant and all the food they serve to be outstanding. They are the warmest and nicest people we know. Keep writing about them. They deserve the accolades.

  • 2 Billiards Boy // Jun 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    The sandwich looks amazing!! I wonder if all the food they serve looks that good. My friend lives not too far from Kevin’s Dodckside Deli. I am going to ask him if he knows of the place and request that we make avisit next time I’m in town.

  • 3 Jan Norris // Jun 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I’m sure Brad will concur with me on how good this really is…and it’s not just the meat, but the bread, too. All parts of it are just terrific.

  • 4 Susan Krivit // Jan 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I, too, have been going to Kevin’s for many years. (12 to be exact) and I would like to read a review from you currently. New owners took over and Bruce (or Seth?) stayed on for a while and did all the ordering. Since the last of the Dennis’ have gone it’s been downhill. Corned beef has been below par on several occasions, Russian dressing is some white conglomeration and when I told them Russian has ketchup in it , they said they don’t use red dye. Orders have been filled wrong and sandwiches are not “stuffed” any longer. Couldn’t they just raise the price $1 and make a better sandwich? No more cozy family atmosphere, in fact more attitude than friendliness. I go back out of habit and hope; plus our guests from up north like to feel at home, but I am almost ready to give up. I would love to hear your take.

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