Not All Delis Are Created Equal

great deli

The deli, or as some would term it, delicatessen, is one of the most iconic food shops you would ever see across the globe. The name may vary from place to place; a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, for example, might not be properly termed as a deli but is classified as a deli nonetheless. Delis are most iconic for their exotic cuts of meat and freshly made cheeses that most restaurants and butcher shops simply fail to provide. The best feature of a deli is that one could sample the meats, sometimes with a glass of wine, or the fact that a number of delis are now beginning to provide their own sandwiches. The ingredients are, of course, straight from their selection. Yes, the concept of the deli is indeed unique in its own way. But as with all other shops, whether it is about food or not, the truth of it is that not all delis are created equal.

“What equal?”, you may ask. Well, not all delis provide the same services as that of other existing delis. And not all of them provide quality service. Some even call their shop a deli even though it clearly is just another sandwich shack. So the question really is: what makes a deli, well, a deli? And we’re not talking about the definition; we are talking about the qualities of an authentic deli.

Traditionally, delis have been dominated by four cultural backgrounds: Italian, Jewish, Mediterranean, and Polish. Depending on the region, one could be more commonly seen than the rest. Basing on their origins, a quality deli would have what we call a “theme” going on. In this, it means that the majority of the meats and dishes they prepare would have a distinguishing flavor that is a unique trademark of their country of origin. Unlike some restaurants and shops that focus on multiculturalism with their selections from the get-go, delis are seen as specialized; even if a deli expands and turns into a restaurant or a diner, one could still notice their specialization. Once you get a good look at their menu, you should be able to distinguish what dishes they specialize in.

The deli is one of those places where pre-packaged meats are rarely seen. Some people wouldn’t even consider calling a meat shop as a deli if they do not serve fresh cuts of meat. From beef briskets to lamb shanks, the deli provides only the freshest meats. Traditional delis even proudly present their cuts of meat to anyone who happens to walk in their shops. Meats of various types and sizes can be seen displayed on windows for customers to see. One could even see the process of cutting the meat of their choice while they wait.

Another defining factor of a true deli is the inclusion of homemade products. Now this would be a combination of both previous qualities; in that, the homemade products being served comes from their own origins. If a Jewish owner serves a product, you would bet he or she would serve a dish of Jewish background. The same goes for other kinds of delis. A deli restaurant in Fort Lauderdale would obviously specialize on a dish they are familiar with. Even if they serve the good old-fashioned cheeseburger on one end of the menu and pasta on the other, you’ll bet that the ingredients aren’t frozen beforehand and might even include their own take on the dish to accent their own respective heritage. If they serve food with ingredients that are pre-frozen or is assembled from a conveyor belt, that wouldn’t be rightfully called a deli. One also couldn’t simply slap on a piece of frozen cut of generic ham on a bun, put some factory-made cheese on the side and call it a deli special, no. Delis incorporate their own selections of meat into the dishes they provide, so you can guarantee that the meat on your sandwich is the same as those cuts of meat you see on the windows.

This leads us to the final quality, one that you, as a reader, would definitely agree with. The ingredients used in making their homemade products cannot be found that easily, unlike other restaurants and so-called delis that use ingredients you typically find in the grocery store. Typical sandwich shops, for example, serve their products without any meat dangling from either end of the sandwich; the same isn’t true with deli sandwiches. You could bet that the cheese they use in your sandwich is made in the back and not created on a conveyor belt in a factory somewhere. Delis usually go all out and present you with a dish that’s authentically enticing, making you feel that you’re really getting your money’s worth for something as simple as a sandwich.

If you’re looking for an authentic deli restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, we at Tower Deli & Diner are here to provide you with an authentic experience that you’ll look for time and time again. Choose from our wide selection of special dishes that not only satisfies but also depicts our culture. We have been in the business for years now and have expanded from a humble deli to one of the best restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. Our selections range from specialty dishes to good old-fashioned American food, but you can always guarantee they’re made fresh all the time. For catering services and deliveries, you can call or visit or browse through our website and order online. Here at Tower Deli & Diner, we define Delicatessen.

Voted No.1 by Sun-Sentinel

Best Delicatessen & Bagel Shop of 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013

Live well. Eat well.