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Rascal House - Miami Beach, FL

Rascal House - Miami Beach, FL
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  • Rascal House - Miami Beach, FL

    Post #1 - February 1st, 2006, 8:44 am
    Post #1 - February 1st, 2006, 8:44 am Post #1 - February 1st, 2006, 8:44 am
    "As I see it, there are two kinds of people in this world; People who love delis, and people you shouldn't associate with."
    -Damon Runyon

    VI, in his post South Florida - Days 1 - 3, referred to Miami Beach's Rascal House as the best deli in the US. I am hesitant to call anything "the best", but I have a hard time arguing with VI on this one. Rascal House, if not the best, is easily among the best, and one of my all-time favorites. I was there this past weekend. (I was disappointed to see that they lost all of their signage to Hurricane Wilma, but pleased that they were still bursting at the seams with business.)

    I've been visiting Rascal House once or twice a year for about 15 years. My snowbird grandmother lives about a block away during the winter months. When I visit her for a long weekend, one meal at RH is mandatory. Two meals is preferred.

    A meal at RH begins with the pickle lottery. You usually have three stainless steel covered bowls on your table, the contents of which are unknown. You're sure to have some kind of dill pickle, but you may also have pickled cabbage, peppers, new pickles, etc.

    Contemplating the pickle lottery
    Image

    During my most recent visit this past weekend, I chowed down on new pickles, half-sours, and some pickled cabbage. I was on my third visit to the bowls before I realized that I should think about lunch. In my world, lunch at a deli is comprised of soup along with one or more of the following: pastrami, corned beef, lox, sable, whitefish (and maybe an order of potato pancakes for the table). I wash it all down with a Dr. Brown's soda (cream soda or cel-ray: Dr. Brown's is the only sweetened, carbonated beverage you will ever see me drink). On my most recent visit, I went with the pastrami and cold borscht.

    My lunch
    Image

    petit pois always goes for a chocolate egg cream. Even if she says she's not going to have one, before the waitress walks away I hear, "...and a chocolate egg cream, please"

    Chocolate egg cream
    Image

    The pastrami at RH is damn fine. petit pois claims that it's not as good as Katz's, but I think it's right up there (if RH sliced it a little thicker, I think she could be fooled). It's got more of a spicy flavor than the pastrami at Langer's, it holds up nicely on their house-baked rye, and usually has a good balance of fat and lean. I've had few better pastrami sandwiches.

    On the way out, a quick stop at the bakery counter so petit pois could pick up a black and white cookie (beteween the egg creams and the black & whites, I think she is possessed by the spirit of a 50-year-old New Yorker) and my grandmother could get a loaf of seedless rye. While they waited in line, I had just enough time to snap a photo of the quote that greets you at the head of the line to be seated:

    Image

    Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House
    17190 Collins Ave.
    Miami Beach, FL
    305-947-4581

    Also in Boca Raton (can't vouch for it)

    2006 Executive Dr. NW
    Boca Raton, FL
    561-982-8899
    http://www.epicure-market.com/rascal_home.html

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #2 - February 1st, 2006, 10:26 pm
    Post #2 - February 1st, 2006, 10:26 pm Post #2 - February 1st, 2006, 10:26 pm
    Personally, I like the food from Sage's on Hallandale Beach Blvd. better. Having grown up in NY, my childhood memories make it hard to say any deli outside of NY is the "best", though.
  • Post #3 - February 2nd, 2006, 6:47 am
    Post #3 - February 2nd, 2006, 6:47 am Post #3 - February 2nd, 2006, 6:47 am
    gep wrote:Personally, I like the food from Sage's on Hallandale Beach Blvd. better. Having grown up in NY, my childhood memories make it hard to say any deli outside of NY is the "best", though.


    gep,

    I've been to Sage quite a few times and it is definitely the go-to place for bagels when I'm down there, and they have some very nice fish. But when it comes to pastrami, pickles, and soup I'll stick with RH.

    I'd love to hear about some of your favorite NY delis.

    Best,
    Michael

    Sage Bagel & Appetizer Shop
    800 E. Hallandale Boulevard
    Hallandale Beach, FL
    (954) 456-7499
    http://www.sagebagel.com/
  • Post #4 - February 2nd, 2006, 7:02 am
    Post #4 - February 2nd, 2006, 7:02 am Post #4 - February 2nd, 2006, 7:02 am
    Michael,

    While the Boca Raton Rascal House's food is well within the edible range, it in no way compares, eats or ambiance wise, to the Miami Beach Rascal House. The Miami Beach Rascal House is a step out of time gem and is dear to my heart. In fact, I think I still have a bit of arterial plaque from a pastrami/corned beef/chopped liver on an onion kaiser I ate in '97.

    Sorry to hear about the signage, here's a pic I took a few years ago.

    Rascal House, Miami Beach
    Image

    Petit Pois's chocolate egg cream looks terrific as does your pastrami and cold borscht.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #5 - February 2nd, 2006, 7:40 pm
    Post #5 - February 2nd, 2006, 7:40 pm Post #5 - February 2nd, 2006, 7:40 pm
    eatchicago wrote:VI, in his post South Florida - Days 1 - 3, referred to Miami Beach's Rascal House as the best deli in the US.
    I really appreciated that thread as my lunch at Rascal House was wonderful. Like Gary stated above, the atmosphere of the Miami Beach location is killer.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #6 - February 4th, 2006, 10:09 pm
    Post #6 - February 4th, 2006, 10:09 pm Post #6 - February 4th, 2006, 10:09 pm
    G Wiv wrote:While the Boca Raton Rascal House's

    Boca Raton Rascal House is gone, RIP, kaput, no more. No great loss from my point of view. Though, and perish the thought, I’d weep real tears if the Miami Beach Rascal House closed.

    Had lunch today at Nestor's, home of the .50c upcharge. Meal was ok, though only matzo balls, no kreplach, and my wife's spinach soufflé omelet was (and I'm being kind) slightly overdone. Good overall deli feel to the place, even if the wait staff is of the 'I'd as soon you dropped dead as bring you another glass of water' school.

    Dinner at Seafood World in Lighthouse Point, which was terrific and deserves it own post. Short version, fish market/modest fish shack interior/fresh stone crab, incredible fried shrimp, hog snapper that was fresh enough for even Steve Z and a smattering of Caribbean specialties.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - February 5th, 2006, 7:18 am
    Post #7 - February 5th, 2006, 7:18 am Post #7 - February 5th, 2006, 7:18 am
    G Wiv wrote:Boca Raton Rascal House is gone, RIP, kaput, no more. No great loss from my point of view.


    I remember hearing that when the family of Wolfie Cohen sold off their restaurants in the 90s, the only one that stayed was the MB Rascal House.

    Over breakfast down there last week at another restaurant, I mentioned to one of petit pois' aunts that I think the Boca one is gone. She swore up and down that it was still there, bascially calling me crazy. I think that she even said that she goes there from time to time. That was enough to convince me that I was wrong.

    Thanks for confirming that I'm not the crazy one.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #8 - February 5th, 2006, 11:20 pm
    Post #8 - February 5th, 2006, 11:20 pm Post #8 - February 5th, 2006, 11:20 pm
    eatchicago wrote:Thanks for confirming that I'm not the crazy one.

    Michael,

    Rascal House Boca Raton is most definitely closed. Far as you not being the crazy one, I'd have to meet your aunt. ;)

    Boca Raton 2/5/06
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - February 6th, 2006, 4:17 pm
    Post #9 - February 6th, 2006, 4:17 pm Post #9 - February 6th, 2006, 4:17 pm
    We're visiting my in-laws in the West Palm Beach/Boynton Beach area at the end of next week -- anybody have any recommendations? The last time we were there we had a mostly miserable meal at Legal Seafood in the CityPlace shopping center in West Palm. I had hoped for a trip to the Boca Rascal House until my father-in-law ("he who must be assuaged") swore up and down it is closed.

    Gregg
  • Post #10 - December 23rd, 2006, 9:11 pm
    Post #10 - December 23rd, 2006, 9:11 pm Post #10 - December 23rd, 2006, 9:11 pm
    So, the word on the street in South Florida is that Rascal House will be closing this year due to less-than-desired income (probably linked to the fact that the current owners payed a fortune for it).

    My mother-in-law just heard it on the news today.

    I'm glad that I'll be down there in a couple weeks for what is likely to be my final meal at one of my favorite delis.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #11 - December 23rd, 2006, 10:35 pm
    Post #11 - December 23rd, 2006, 10:35 pm Post #11 - December 23rd, 2006, 10:35 pm
    Landmark Rascal House deli a casualty of building boom wrote:Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House, one of the last of the old-school restaurants, is slated to close to make room for a new development.

    Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House, a Sunny Isles Beach landmark known for more than 50 years for its kitschy sign, its striped orange and teal awning and its too-big-to-handle sandwiches, is slated to become the latest casualty of the small city's building boom.

    ''Things change,'' said Sunny Isles Beach Mayor Norman Edelcup. ``We are creating a new, luxurious Sunny Isles Beach.''
  • Post #12 - December 24th, 2006, 10:06 am
    Post #12 - December 24th, 2006, 10:06 am Post #12 - December 24th, 2006, 10:06 am
    Wow, that ruined my year :(
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #13 - February 1st, 2007, 10:33 am
    Post #13 - February 1st, 2007, 10:33 am Post #13 - February 1st, 2007, 10:33 am
    A Goodbye and a Thank You

    I am not someone who expends much energy on culinary nostalgia. I do not lament great restaurants that have closed. I do not mourn their loss but I celebrate their accomplishments.

    I choose to be hopeful for the future and content in the idea that for every restaurant that closes, a new one opens. I believe that every dining experience is as unique as a snowflake and the best should be cherished as if they will not be available tomorrow, because they might not. I am confident that there are new culinary artisans being born every day who will continue to delight us with their creations and uphold valued traditions.

    That is not to say I do not value the old-timers, especially the consistent ones who have stood by and given me so much pleasure, time and again, giving me so many snowflake meals that I could build a mountain. There are certain places that speak to me in the way that only food can. I value those places, lament their passing, but remain hopeful for the future.

    This past month, I had what is likely to be my last meal at The Rascal House. I did not cry in my soup or eat the pickles with a sullen face. It was a celebratory meal full of pickled cabbage, chocolate egg creams, rye bread, latkes, and kreplach soup. There was a sassy waitress who managed to deal with my table of elderly aunts, uncles and in-laws with a manner of wit, grace, and mild annoyance that I appreciated. And, yes, there was pastrami:

    Image

    Farewell, Rascal House, if the news of your imminent demise is true. I grew up waiting in your lines, eating your pickles, and arguing with your waitresses. You have given me so much. For that, I thank you.

    "As I see it, there are two kinds of people in this world; People who love delis, and people you shouldn't associate with"
    --Damon Runyon

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #14 - April 16th, 2007, 3:22 pm
    Post #14 - April 16th, 2007, 3:22 pm Post #14 - April 16th, 2007, 3:22 pm
    has a firm close date been posted yet ?

    --
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #15 - April 26th, 2007, 6:58 am
    Post #15 - April 26th, 2007, 6:58 am Post #15 - April 26th, 2007, 6:58 am
    Wow, I grew up in Miami and we used to eat at the Rascal House! Haven't been there in years.

    Has anyone ever eaten at Too Jay's? Not sure if there is one in Boca but we like it.
  • Post #16 - April 26th, 2007, 9:03 am
    Post #16 - April 26th, 2007, 9:03 am Post #16 - April 26th, 2007, 9:03 am
    I'll be in Miami in two weeks, so I'll check it out and post an update.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - May 7th, 2007, 4:50 pm
    Post #17 - May 7th, 2007, 4:50 pm Post #17 - May 7th, 2007, 4:50 pm
    This:
    Image

    Has changed into this:
    Image

    Soup and egg cream holding its own.
    Image

    Pastrami, sadly, only a shadow of it's former self. Very dry. Not much fat. Different taste.
    Image

    Bakery practically non-existant.

    I wish I had better news. Actually, I do. Word on the street is that Wolfie's will remain open at least until some time next year. So if you need a final meal, you've got plenty of time to get to Miami before the end.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #18 - January 5th, 2008, 10:54 am
    Post #18 - January 5th, 2008, 10:54 am Post #18 - January 5th, 2008, 10:54 am
    Does anyone know when the Rascal House closed its doors? I just heard about this in the "Post your Ten Best of 2007" thread.

    This is so disappointing. My family used to vacation every year in Sunny Isles, from the time I was about 5 until I was 13 years old. We stayed at a hotel about a mile down the road from the Rascal House. That hotel was torn down a few years ago and replaced with one that charges about $900 a night. Now the Rascal House is gone. Bah, progress!

    Kim
  • Post #19 - January 5th, 2008, 11:25 am
    Post #19 - January 5th, 2008, 11:25 am Post #19 - January 5th, 2008, 11:25 am
    eatchicago wrote:I am not someone who expends much energy on culinary nostalgia.

    Michael,

    Neither am I, but I echo your sentiments, The Rascal House has been a constant in my life since I was knee high to a knish.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #20 - January 5th, 2008, 12:41 pm
    Post #20 - January 5th, 2008, 12:41 pm Post #20 - January 5th, 2008, 12:41 pm
    Kim3 wrote:Does anyone know when the Rascal House closed its doors?


    My on the scene corespondent has confirmed that The Rascal House is still open with no immediate plans to close. They are open 7 Days/week until 10:00 P.M.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #21 - January 5th, 2008, 1:25 pm
    Post #21 - January 5th, 2008, 1:25 pm Post #21 - January 5th, 2008, 1:25 pm
    Every time I go down there, someone (or some printed news story) says it's closing or closed. When I go, they're open and always angrily tell me that they're not closing.
  • Post #22 - January 5th, 2008, 2:59 pm
    Post #22 - January 5th, 2008, 2:59 pm Post #22 - January 5th, 2008, 2:59 pm
    eatchicago wrote:Every time I go down there, someone (or some printed news story) says it's closing or closed. When I go, they're open and always angrily tell me that they're not closing.


    The story I heard (from a fairly reputable source) is that the land is going to be re-developed into some kind of condo/hotel high-rise, but the project is held up in massive red tape (both financial and governmental). Until permits are issued and a construction schedule is set (which my never happen, given the current Real Estate environment in S. Fl), The Rascal House will remain open. Keep in mind that it's nowhere near the quality it once was, but it is open.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - January 5th, 2008, 10:28 pm
    Post #23 - January 5th, 2008, 10:28 pm Post #23 - January 5th, 2008, 10:28 pm
    Thanks Steve.

    The only article I could find on this was published in December 2006.

    http://www.miamisunpost.com/archives/2006/12-21-06/fifthststoryfrontpage.htm

    Kim
  • Post #24 - April 1st, 2008, 10:30 am
    Post #24 - April 1st, 2008, 10:30 am Post #24 - April 1st, 2008, 10:30 am
    It's Official
  • Post #25 - April 1st, 2008, 10:49 am
    Post #25 - April 1st, 2008, 10:49 am Post #25 - April 1st, 2008, 10:49 am
    eatchicago wrote:It's Official


    It's also April Fools Day (OK, I'll admit I'm grasping at straws).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #26 - April 1st, 2008, 6:54 pm
    Post #26 - April 1st, 2008, 6:54 pm Post #26 - April 1st, 2008, 6:54 pm
    There's an article about the closing in today's NY Times....
  • Post #27 - April 2nd, 2008, 8:44 pm
    Post #27 - April 2nd, 2008, 8:44 pm Post #27 - April 2nd, 2008, 8:44 pm
    It's closed:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/us/01 ... use&st=nyt
  • Post #28 - April 6th, 2008, 7:01 pm
    Post #28 - April 6th, 2008, 7:01 pm Post #28 - April 6th, 2008, 7:01 pm
    Some strong feelings elicited with the closing of this legend --

    http://www.savethedeli.com/2008/04/02/rascal-house-the-final-indignity/
  • Post #29 - November 13th, 2008, 6:03 pm
    Post #29 - November 13th, 2008, 6:03 pm Post #29 - November 13th, 2008, 6:03 pm
    Can anyone remember if the Rascal House sold alcoholic drinks or just beer and wine? I would love to hear from anyone who might remember.
  • Post #30 - February 7th, 2013, 8:53 am
    Post #30 - February 7th, 2013, 8:53 am Post #30 - February 7th, 2013, 8:53 am
    Hi,

    I saw this blog where they were reconstructing Rascal House's strawberry cheesecake. Since it included a link to Wolfie's cheesecake recipe.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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