OK, this is a preview: Rascal house fed you absurdly, ridiculously huge portions, to the point where it wasn’t even funny, while there are several perfectly wonderful Jewish delis along the US-1 corridor in the North Miami area that provide huge but sane portions at lower prices and are just as charming (although without the admittedly fantastic RH signage) as you could want. Post coming soon.
Oye!! I can’t wait for that post, I’ve been on a search for a Rascal House replacement myself. This week, I tried “Famous Deli”, formerly known as Katz’s Deli at 20301 Biscayne Blvd in Aventura… its only mediocre. I’ve heard that Mo’s on 187th St. just off US-1 in NMB is good, but I haven’t tried it yet. The other day I drove past and the parking lot was completely full… always a good sign. I’m looking forward to your suggestions.
It’s more the history of a deli that really gives it its… deliness, if that makes sense. Bagel Cove, Sage, yhadda yhadda… you can get the same (or better) food as you could get at Rascal House. Roasters & Toasters and Bagel Cove win my vote for best deli… but they’re more bagel places than delis…
A deli is old… last re-done in the ’60s (at latest). Like… Katz’s in New York, or the Carnegie Deli in New York. Those places are sticky and shopworn, but they’re comfortable. Rascal House was the same.
There’s something about knowing that a stuffed cabbage leaf from someone long dead is wedged beneath your booth, that’s comforting.
That’s why I’m so sad about Rascal House closing up. It’s not that their food was good. It wasn’t. But their hamentaschen was passable, and their macaroons were pretty good. They had kishkie, and back in the day, they served rye bread and pumpernickle and pastries and rolls and pickles and coleslaw… they stopped doing that about three years ago… I never went to the Rascal House for the food. I went there because it was the Rascal House.
Superbee is right. It’s not about the food. It’s about the history.
The closing of the Rascal House symbolizes the end of an era in Miami, an era when Jews were the majority on Miami Beach.
It was the last of the original Jewish Delis in Miami.
I remember as a kid eating at Pumpernik’s on Biscayne Blvd. with my dad. No, he wasn’t Jewish, but he had a taste for Jewish delis that he passed on to me.
I remember eating at Wolfie’s on Miami Beach after partying all night at the Kitchen Club when I was in my early 20s. It sure as hell beat Denny’s.
And I remember eating at the Rascal House a couple of years ago after returning to Miami after living away for ten years. After living in the Southwest for so long, I had a longing for good East Coast Jewish Deli food.
But even then, I knew its time was coming.
One day, maybe two or three or maybe four generations into the future, Versailles might shut down, marking the end of another era.
And when it does, many of us will remember it in its heyday.
But the younger generations will never understand what the big deal was.
I go to delis for the food. Rascal House may have had history, but when they can barely get a good chicken soup out of the kitchen (for under $10 dollars or so), they should have closed a long time ago.
I’d really like to try those delis that article mentions but even if with my, um, prominent nose and off-white skin I’m afraid I’m not quite Jewish enough for 41st street.
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