Saturday, August 6, 2016

Slow Saturday Special: Globe Delicatessen

I think I'll skip lunch today:

"Rubin’s may not have served its last knish" by Laura Crimaldi Globe Staff  August 06, 2016

BROOKLINE — People who keep kosher, take heart. Owner Allen Gellerman has sold Rubin’s Kosher Delicatessen to an investor who says keeping Rubin’s open is part of his family’s plan to help the Jewish community in Greater Boston.

The new owner, David Danesh, said he grew up on Rubin’s brisket sandwich and fondly recalls meeting New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and legendary Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach there.

The history dates back to 1927, when Morris Rubin, an immigrant from present-day Lithuania, decided the neighborhood around Congregation Kehillath Israel was perfect for opening a deli, said his granddaughter, Shuly Rubin Schwartz.

At the time, Brookline was not the Jewish enclave it is today and Congregation Kehillath Israel’s synagogue on Harvard Street was only a few years old.

Rubin ran the business and his sister, Bessie Cohen, ran the kitchen, preparing chicken, knishes, and a garnish known as soup nuts for customers.

“It became a gathering place for the Jews of Boston,” said Rubin Schwartz, a historian who lives in New York. “It was the only kosher restaurant in Boston for decades.”

The deli has maintained its kosher roots. Sam Schlossberg, a kosher food supervisor from the Rabbinical Council of New England, spends 30 to 35 hours at the deli each week, making sure all the food is prepared in accordance with Jewish law.

“Kosher food is a cornerstone of Jewish life,” Schlossberg said. “It’s really a community institution.”

It's got the Globe seal of approval, too.

Gellerman said he worked at the deli during the day while his wife covered the night shift. Their business was a destination for first dates, business lunches, family dinners, and celebrity clients like singer Cher, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, and actor Kelsey Grammer, he said.

His daughter, Brittany, said the deli was a second home to her and her brother. When she went to college, Brittany said, trips home usually started with matzoh ball soup and a turkey sandwich at Rubin’s.

Make them out of flour, do you?

“It’s going to be weird not having this place to stop in and say hi,” said Brittany Gellerman, 21, an incoming senior at George Washington University.

Hafeezah Bell of Roxbury said she likes Rubin’s meats because the kosher preparation is similar to what is prescribed by Islam’s dietary laws.

“I love reuben sandwiches, and they make the best reuben sandwiches,” said Bell, who stopped by after hearing Rubin’s would close. “Very tasty.”

Leandro Oliveira, the deli’s head chef, said he prefers the pastrami, which is unheard of in his native Brazil.

Related: Let The Games Begin! 

What do you mean I can't get a pastrami on rye?

Joyce Ann Caico has been a waitress at Rubin’s for 38 years. She said it’s a job she doesn’t want to give up.

“I loved it,” she said. “I still love it.”

They'll take care of you at your table, and don't forget to floss when you are done eating.


You sell lottery tickets?

NDU: Your hipster Jewish deli dreams just came true at Mamaleh’s

Got to take home a waitress?