When I’m travelling alone by myself on business, I frequently gravitate towards eating comfort foods to keep me from getting too homesick. One of those comfort foods for me is Jewish Deli cuisine.
My co-worker and fellow tribe member, Sam, recently let me know about Michael’s Deli, which is conveniently located in the Town Center shopping plaza in King of Prussia PA. I had to go there anyway because we needed to buy some last minute computer parts at CompUSA for an important customer, and well, I needed an excuse to go eat a pastrami sandwich and a knish.
While Michael’s is not a legendary-status type deli like Katz’s or the Carnegie in NYC (or Schwartz’s in Montreal) it is certainly deserving of significant respect for those that worship the fatty foods of Ashkenazic Jewish culture — however, for those that care about such things, and like many modern “Jewish” delis, it is not Kosher certified. There are things like Reuben sandwiches on the menu which are a definite no-no if you are observant. Since I’m not Kosher observant, that lack of certfication doesn’t make much of a difference to me. However, the hanging of Christmas decorations in a place that should be a sanctum sanctorum refuge from Christmas Trees, Wreaths, Pointsettias and other goyishe trappings was a bit unnerving. Oy. At least there wasn’t any carolling and they played Golden Oldies in the background.
Michael’s has a pickle bar where you can eat unlimited quantites of Kosher Dills. Outstanding.
I went for one of the benchmark dishes, the Hot Pastrami on Rye. Nice and juicy, good fat content, tasty, nicely seasoned. However, it’s machine sliced, so that gets some points off. Given the fact that so few Jewish Delis hand slice their Pastrami nowadays, I’ll not criticise Michael’s too much — and let’s face it, I’ll definitely be going back here when I have a Pastrami urge on future trips to the KOP area.
Pastrami Sandwich side view.
I’d like to call this photo Deli Still Life. Matzo Ball Soup (balls are the springy kind, which I like) with Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda. Despite my previous paranoid rant, it appears that Cel-Ray is not doomed to extinction, although according to Michael’s staff there was a “very scary” shortage of it during the early and middle parts of this year, a shortage that Canada Dry is now in the process of rectifying.
Kasha Knish, another Jewish Deli benchmark. Kasha (made with Buckwheat groats mixed with potato) was cooked in stock (very important) and the pastry crust was flaky and crusty, not too dough-y. A nice Knish indeed.