When it comes to my wish-list for restaurants, I definitely had a delicatessen for Raleigh on the list. Lo and behold, I get word that a new Jewish deli has opened up on Davie Street, Reuben’s NY Deli. I’ve had a couple of chances to visit for lunch and I can say for sure that I am glad to have them here in the Oak City. And the crowds at Reuben’s NY Deli makes me think there are a lot of people who agree with me. Read on if you love deli sandwiches piled high and want to know what to expect for your visit to Reuben’s NYC Deli!
From the outside, Reuben’s NY Deli doesn’t look like much with a plain storefront on this busy block, the Oak City Meatball Shoppe is right next door. Inside you’ll find a simple order counter set-up with white, cartoon font menus hanging overhead. Reuben’s NY Deli has a short menu focused on breakfast, sandwiches and bagels given its 7am to 7pm hours. You’ll find special eats like latkes, knishes, matzoh ball soup, reubens and more; pretty much typical of many Jewish delis but different for Raleigh. With prices in the $5 to $12 range, it’s all pretty affordable at Reuben’s NY Deli!
As a popular new restaurant, just be careful about trying to pop in between 11:45 and 12:45 during the work week, Reuben’s can get pretty busy for lunch and there will be a line at the counter. I’d recommend the hot sandwiches and particularly its namesake menu item, the reuben. I’ve tried out both the D.D. reuben (turkey, corned beef pastrami) and the Johnny (pastrami). Once you order at the counter, grab your drink and your food will be brought out to you. Note, Reuben’s also has some sidewalk seating which is perfect in nice weather.
The dining room is pretty casual with prints and images of New York City on the walls. The addition of Dr. Brown’s root beer and cream soda makes Reuben’s just a bit more authentic given the popularity of those sodas up north. All meats are sliced to order and fresh so it may take a bit of time to get your food. But when it does make it over, wow!
Reuben’s uses a thinner, light rye for its bread which is slightly toasted and substantial. And the bread has to be solid given all the meat on their sandwiches! Thinly slice corned beef, pastrami and more are stacked on the bread with some nice melty cheese and shredded sauerkraut on top. It all makes for a wonderful, soft bite with a bit of savory meat, sour and umami from the cheese. The pastrami meat shows off a slight and subtle spice (typically pepper, coriander, mustard, etc) but all the salt is pretty mild which works well for me since I’m very salt-sensitive. Sandwiches are served with house-made potato chips or you can order up some classic potato latkes served with applesauce and sour cream on the side, very traditional.
Service at Reuben’s is efficient and effective but don’t expect that Southern hospitality! Which is fine by me because we’re talking about an authentic NY deli in all its glory. The food here is durn good at Reuben’s and those stuffed sandwiches will keep you smiling with each bite. It’s so nice to have a taste of NYC in downtown Raleigh and we were long overdue. Thanks for the great eats Reuben’s and welcome to the Oak City!
170 E. Davie Street
Raleigh, NC 27601