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Irving's Delicatessen


ejebud
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I figured it was time to start an official Irving's thread to make it easier to search for later... Beth, the kids and I ate here tonight. we figured we would drive by and see if they were opened, and if they weren't, we would go back up to Eppes Essen. There were several cars in the lot and a blue L.E.D. OPEN sign all lit up so in we went. We were greeted at the door by one of the owners who simultaneously handed us a very familiar looking green ticket with the Irving's deli logo on it and a bunch of check boxes(anyone who has been to Katz's Delicatessen knows how the tickets work) while explaining to us that Irving's is designed to be very much like a place in NYC called Katz's. I stopped him dead in his tracks and told him that I knew how the ticket thing works. You can walk right up to the counter and order a sandwich, watch as it is prepared for you(don't forget to wave a buck at the guy for a little taste while he's slicing the CB or Pastrami) then take your sandwich and sit down OR, you can just sit down and have table service.

We did table service. They are still in the soft opening stage, in fact the other owner that I met named Marc, said that he won't even admit that they are open. they are still working out a few kinks with both food and service, but nothing that isn't out of the ordinary for a new restaurant. i had to laugh when I ordered a pastrami on rye, and egg cream and the waitress was perplexed. I pointed to the egg cream on the menu and she said that she would check to see if they had it. Then she asked me " and what would you like to drink. I explained to her that an egg cream IS what I would like to drink, LOL She was embarrased, but I told her that I own a restaurant and that I completeley understand the whole soft opening thing.

Oh, you want to know about the food?? We had the Matzoh Ball Soup, the appetizer potato latkes, a potato knish, a pastrami sammy, and a (of course, how could I resist?) a hot dog.

The food is very good, the kids approved of the soup, the knish , and the potato pancakes. The pastrami was good and fatty and the rye was warm and soft. They have good deli mustard so what could be bad? I had introduced myself to Marc and gave him my card and we "talked shop" a little bit. I asked him about his hot dogs, and he recited the "Official hot dog restaurant creedo" We are fortunate enough to have them made exclusivley for us. they are 5 to a LB all beef dog with a hint of smokiness. Of course I told him that it was the 2nd best hot dog that I had today. He laughed and understood my humor. If the dogs ARE made for him exclusvley, God bless him, but I am a little skeptical that a meat packer would create a dog for a brand new restaurant that specializes in pastrami and CB. I am sure that there are others among us who can figure this one out. It was a good dog nonetheless. The real winner was the Pastrami.

I'll say this, when I get the urge to sink my teeth into a nice Pastrami sandwich or a great knish, I'll be at Irving's in a heartbeat. I encourage everyone to check it out now; I think it will be a busy little place once they open for real.

President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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Sign me up! :wink:

Did Marc give any indication of when they're officially going to be open?

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I was craning my head around as we passed it Saturday, thinking well we are pretty far from home and should really try it now. But I kept my mouth shut, both in comments and more food since we had just had lunch.

I do like the words "fatty pastrami" though

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

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If they want to be like Katz's, then they would have to HAND SLICE the pastrami, it has a totally different texture and flavor that way... But somehow it sounds like they are more caught up in the ticket-checks than the hand-slicing...

There's NOTHING like Katz's!!!

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They might actually be hand slicing the pastrami. I do recall seeing a gentleman behind the counter slicing some meat with a nice sized knife. I'm not sure if he was cutting pastrami, corned beef or another meat.

They had slice the pastrami, corned beef and brisket at Hershel's in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. No ticket checks, though.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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If they want to be like Katz's, then they would have to HAND SLICE the pastrami, it has a totally different texture and flavor that way...  But somehow it sounds like they are more caught up in the ticket-checks than the hand-slicing... 

There's NOTHING like Katz's!!!

Definatley hand slicing at Irving's. The way I see it, claiming to be likes Katz's can be blessing or a curse. It's a huge reputation to live up to, If you raise peoples expectations, you better come VERY close or your'e in trouble. On the other hand, it gives people a clear picture on what type of restaurant you are.

FATTY PASTRAMI=YUM!

President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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I stopped by for a late lunch a few days ago, and the front door (which for some reason was locked) was opened for me by one of the waiters, a young fellow named Larry. He looked slightly amazed when I immediately asked for a ticket and proceded to the pastrami counter to order my Full Pastrami-Rye. The kid behind the counter was clearly not used to either carving pastrami or building Katz's-worthy sammiches, but, to his credit, he didn't skimp, and put whatever wouldn't fit between the bread on the side of my plate, on which I also received two pickels (I dislike pickled tomatos also). Larry reappeared behind the drink counter when I ordered my free-refillable fountain drink (Boylan's Cream Soda).

Eddie a more senior staffer, came over to see how I liked my lunch, and chatted about the progress made in the three weeks they've been open.

The pastrami could've been sliced thinner, but was great. I'll be back.

-s.

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I stopped by Irving's today at around 2 PM. A little past what many would consider lunch time, but there was a good crowd. I met Marc Singer, one of the owners, who was kind enough to sit with me for quite awhile. He talked about Irving's, their food, and hot dogs. I went with the intention of having a hot dog and coming back tomorrow to have a full lunch with my wife. I wound up having the hot dog and a delicious Boylan's red birch beer, but also wound up sampling the pastrami, knockwurst, and pickles.

Marc is very enthusiastic and passionate about his business. He spent a lot of time sampling all the foods that he gets from various suppliers before settling on the ones he uses. He is using this time to "work out the kinks" and to make adjustments that he feels is necessary before having a Grand Opening. Unlike a lot of delis and other establishments, he doesn't use just one or 2 suppliers for his meat products. He gets his pastrami from one source, his hot dogs from another, his salami, from someone different, etc. A lot of time and research has gone into the selections that he made. I didn't sample the corned beef, but Marc wasn't 100% happy with it, so he had it made more to his specifications.

Much of the food is homemade such as the soups and sides. The coleslaw looked really good. I'll have that next time.

The hot dogs are 5 to a lb natural casing all beef dogs that are prepared on a griddle. These dogs are the exact same size and shape as the Syd's dog that was served at Syd's for years before they closed and is now being served at Jimmy Buff's. But those dogs were from Best Provisions. Irving's gets their dogs from a different source. I promised Marc that I wouldn't reveal it on a public forum, but in a couple of weeks you will be able to buy them packaged (with an Irving's label) to take home.

The Irving's hot dog has a nice spicy, slightly smoky beef taste. I love the size and shape of this dog. Long and thin rather than shorter and thicker. Cooked sufficiently on the griddle, it was served hot and tasty. Definitely a top notch dog and one of the top 3 or 4 all beef dogs in Jersey. I do prefer the spicing and flavor in the Best 5 to a lb dog.

The knockwurst or special, which is similar to beef kielbasy, was thicker, juicier, and spicier. Very good as well, but I prefer the regular frankfurter. I had a sour pickle and a half sour. I really don't like sour pickles. The half sours were fine, but I prefer BaTampte half sours to any other pickle.

The pastrami was extraordinary. I rarely have pastrami, so I'm probably not qualified to make any comparisons. Years ago I had a bite of my wife's pastrami sandwich at Katz's and don't even remember how it tasted. At a deli, I either have hot dogs, reubens, or sloppy joes. But next time I'm here, I'll have the pastrami. The only way I can describe it is moist, hot, fatty, well spiced, and delicious! I don't know if I ever enjoyed a piece of meat more. Now I'll have to start eating pastrami more often.

I noticed a familiar face that took me awhile to recognize. It was one of the owners of Tabatchnik's in Union! For years they were located in the same strip mall as Syd's and Sonny Amsters, but were kicked out to make room for a Staples. What a waste! I can assure you that if Staples leaves that mall, no one will care. Syd's, Tabatchnik's,and Sonny Amster's are sorely missed by their former customers.

At Irving's you have dedicated, passionate owners, experienced help, and delicious food. I'm glad I came across this thread. I'll be back there in a few days, depending on my wife's schedule.

John the hot dog guy

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I didn't mention that the pastrami is definitely hand sliced. And the former owner of Tabatchnik's that I ran into works at Irving's. He makes the sloppy joes. Tabatchnik's sloppy joes were among the finest in Jersey. I preferred them to the Millburn deli.

John the hot dog guy

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Well that was definitely good, hand sliced, fatty pastrami. BUT, if it was a fish you would have had to throw it back for being under weight.

After the sandwich Karl went back to the counter to order a hotdog but after a few min of standing there we decided to just give up, fork over the 18 bucks and head to BK.

Just kidding I wouldnt let him stop at BK but did promise to make something yummy for dinner.

Now I have to order up a Boars Head pastrami and pop it in the crockpot with my secret recipe

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Well that was definitely good, hand sliced, fatty pastrami. BUT, if it was a fish you would have had to throw it back for being under weight.

tracey

I've been to Irving's three times, and had that same experience on visit 2. Visit 1 got a piled high job, easily an inch and a half of meat. Visit 2 got much less, and I nicely asked the guy what happened to the rest of the meat (I was watching him cut it). He was happy to add several more slices.

Visit 3 was a nicely piled sandwich. For $13, I expect a lot of meat.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Stopped by early this morning to check out the breakfast offerings, and ordered Irving's $7.95(!!!) Pastrami Hash/2 Scrambled Eggs/Well-done Home Fries/Rye Toast Combo, plus a bottomless Coffee Cup.

Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge breakfast portions! The hash, eggs, and fries, each served on separate plates, were each 2 1/2" X 5". The hash was entirely pastrami--no potato at all (although Mark swears that "it's in there"), which I found to be delightfuly decadent, but also (for some reason) mildly alarming. The eggs were light, creamy, and firm. The home fries were spiked with peppers, but a bit underdone & a tad greasy (I can't believe that I just complained of greasy fries after downing all that pastrami!) The toast & coffee were both fine, and refills were offered without my asking.

I was somewhat time-pressed today, but can't wait to return for breakfast with some hungry pals, and savor a more leisurely gut-buster breakfast. I think I'll skip lunch & dinner today...

--S.

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We went for dinner on Christmas night with my parents. Since we frequented Katz's in NYC in my childhood, there was a deja vu feel.

My wife and I had turkey. My wife noticed that you can get a half sandwich on two slices of bread, which is a good idea for those of us who are "watching" how much we eat. I ordered a regular turkey sandwich and I had to take off a lot of turkey to make it an edible size. The turkey was very good.

My parents had pastrami, which looked good. I find it too powerful in general, but if you like it, this is the place to get it.

The entire East Hanover movie theater let out and descended upon Irving's. Their staff was challenged by the hungry mob, but the manangement was in good spirits and the staff was trying hard to do well.

Not our favorite cuisine (we prefer New American, Modern Italian, Japanese, etc.), but a good representative of the genre. Try it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went yesterday and had an INCREDIBLE Pastrami sandwich. It had that melt in your mouth quality that you get at Katz's. Mark the owner stopped by and asked how everything was and I gave him the thumbs up. Eppes essen just lost my business!

Irving's is the real deal.

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  • 3 months later...

Oh man, Eppes Essen stinks. Overpriced schlock.

I've been to Irving's several times now. We've ordered the pastrami almost each time - and I have to say, it's close to Katz's -- but it isn't quite there. I love it - it's delicious, and highly recommend. The amount of meat on the sandwich is nowhere near Katz's if you know the routine there, but how much does one need to eat? :-)

We're also huge fans of pastrami and egg - and we've ordered this for breakfast/early lunch a few times. The funny part is that it's come several ways - "pancake style", fried egg layered under the pastrami, and omelet style. It's always good. The only negative - they prefer to only serve eggs/breakfast foods until around 11am.. but if you beg, they'll do it. Really, it should be offered all day a la Hobby's.

Their soups are rich hearty and tasty. Their fries are crispy on the outside and mushy inside. Very good stuff.

The brisket is delicious too! The Matzoh Brie was tasty.

A negative - not enough cheese choices. It'd be great to have Muenster. Not a major negative, but hey... Turkey is just okay, not anywhere near the order of Hobby's in Newark's.

So far - it's a great new place! The guy there (not sure who it was) who helped us said they have Katz's beat. They do not, but there's potential. I'd rate their pastrami 2nd to Katz, and their overall NJ deli experience 2nd to Hobby's in Newark, but that's great company to be in.

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I had sclepped to Morristown, NJ to see (supposedly) one of the La Scala Opera HD theatrical showings (same as the Metropolitan Opera is doing), and it turned out that they couldn't get the digital projector working, and canceled the showing !!!!

Luckily, we remembered reading about this deli on eGullet, so I used my Iphone to track down the name "Irvings" on eGullet and then to get the phone number. The extremely friendly man on the phone (never found out which one he was) said that we were about 15 minutes away and that they would stay open (they were in the process of closing), and when we got there with the trusty GPS, we were greeted by a very friendly staff who told us we were welcome to sit and eat, though we had promised to do take out.

We got a 3-meat combo of only 2 meats (Pastrami and Tongue) - when the counter-guy asked why I didnt get the 2-meat combo, I explained that I wanted extra meat, and though at first he didn't catch on when I couldn't tell him which meat I wanted a "double" portion of to make the three, a minute later the light bulb went off for him, and I got quite the sandwich - and quite delicious too. The pastrami was absolutely not fatty, which worried me when I saw it, but it was tender and delicious, and sliced nice and thick by hand; the tongue, too was excellent. And my companion wimped out and just had the regular pastrami sandwich, which was perfectly good sized, and delicious.

So as not to make the trip a total loss, we tasted the brisket (superb) and took home a few pounds for dinner, and we took out some orders of stuffed cabbage as well, but we haven't eaten them yet.

But delicious and friendly would certainly be my vote!

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

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Stopped by today for lunch

Darn good pastrami, corned beef was pretty good and brisket was tad over cooked for my taste.

gallery_41917_5935_31241.jpg

1/2 corned beef, 1/2 pastrami

gallery_41917_5935_66548.jpg

little drips of russian i squirted on

what was quite bizzare/"shocking" they do not have any bbq nor hot sauce. But the real thing that caught me off guard when I was chatting with the manager/cashier fellow; said all the meat is made off premise then shipped over and reheated via steamer.

Jim

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