27 N. Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne, 610-622-3354, visit website
This Jewish-Italian deli mash-up is more than just a fun concept that fuses a Reuben into an arancini. It strikes an ambitious spark for a new generation of scratch-cooking delis whose best flavors are made in-house, with house-cured corned beef and smoked turkey, moist Jewish apple cake and hearty breakfasts. A recent visit showed fewer Italian-fusion flavors, but still a focus on homey creativity, including a pastrami spice-roasted chicken sandwich and a lovely tomato-goat cheese tart that struck the perfect tone of casual comfort for brunch after visiting Lansdowne’s lively farmers market.Hopefully it remains steady despite a arecent change of ownership.
BEN & IRV’S
1962 County Line Rd., Huntingdon Valley, 215-355-2000, visit website
It’s hard to argue with the long lines that queue up on weekends, brush up on their Yiddish from the wall posters (don’t eat like a “Chazar!”), and linger over a feast of smoked fish and well-schmeared bagels. I was less impressed by the Reuben, a sloppily built open-face mess. But the matzo ball soup? Oy! With golden beads of chicken fat glistening atop its natural broth and a matzo ball that was the perfect balance of firmness and fluff, it is easily one of my favorites.
Yes yes yes, every contributor for Just Grubbin loves a good deli. So a list like this always get us excited.