2 Northeast Ohio restaurants make America’s Best Jewish Delicatessen list

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Two delis in Cuyahoga County have landed on a list of the top Jewish delis in the country.

The delicatessen – pantry in Cleveland’s Hingetown neighborhood and jacks Deli in University Heights – were praised by tasting tablea food-focused site.

It won’t be long before Larder lands in the national spotlight. Co-owner and chef Jeremy Umansky has received numerous hat tips from the national media. Here’s what TT said in part about Larder:

“What do an ancient Japanese mold called koji, a foraging habit, and Jewish food have in common? Three-time James Beard Award nominee chef Jeremy Umansky is obsessed with them all. … Along with his pastry chef and business partner Allie La Valle Umansky, the pair bring their nuanced techniques and culinary training together to create favorites like pastrami on rye, fried chicken sandwiches, babka and gefilte fish alongside some lesser-known dishes like a veggie board with pastrami-cured meat Root vegetables and miso cream cheese.”

TT added, “You would be an idiot to visit Cleveland and miss this old-school hotspot where innovation meets innovation,” where the menu changes daily.

“It was a nice surprise,” Umansky said. “Every time something like that happens — you know, it’s just wonderful on top of that, it’s like — ‘Man, I have this little deli near the West Side of Cleveland, we have some 20 seats and … it really is Occurrence?’ I almost have to pinch myself.”

Umansky said he knows Adrienne Katz Kennedy, the author of the story Larder has featured in the past, but said he was not interviewed for that list and was pleasantly surprised when the story was released this week.

For Jack’s, the website wrote that the deli “has been a go-to place for every corned beef lover in Cleveland since the 1980’s. Founded by Jack Markowitz and his sons, the menu hails from Czechoslovakia, where Markowitz grew up. Jack’s…is now run by Jack’s son Alvie and his business partner Gary and has kept its menu and the shop itself fairly traditional. Like delicatessens in Eastern Europe, Jack’s operates a full-service deli serving cured meats and fish, including homemade corned beef, a wide variety of soups including borscht and barley, and other grab-and-go items. … A classic corned beef on rye or a Reuben sandwich washed down with chocolate phosphate is practically a religious experience.”

“To see Jack’s there,” Umansky added, “I grew up eating at Jack’s. It was really fantastic to see that.”

The list includes 20 delicacies from 12 states and the District of Columbia.

Here is the full list of Tasting Table.

The site sees itself as a “one-stop shop for all food and drink enthusiasts” with cooking tips, dining advice, recipes as well as trends and news from the food world.

I am online cleveland.com‘s life and culture team and cover topics related to food, beer, wine and sport. If you want to see my stories Here is a directory on cleveland.com. WTAM-1100’s Bill Wills and I usually talk food and drink on Thursday mornings at 8:20 am. Twitter: @mbona30.

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