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Katzner’s Deli-Terranean Café beckons the hungry of suburban Boynton Beach

An alternative to Flakowitz, 3G’s and Two Jays in West Boynton Beach that offers New York-style deli as well as Israeli dishes is attracting large crowds, but does it deliver?

In the restaurant desert known as suburban Boynton Beach, Katzners Deli-Terranean Café, a relatively new arrival in the Publix shopping center at Jog and Woolbright,  could have been an oasis to the area’s restaurant-starved populous.

A bright yellow sign above the expansive shopping center’s northern endcap and tiki lamps ablaze outside the front windows on a  Saturday evening beckon to  the restaurant-starved populous of western Boynton and Delray Beach. On the inside, there are bright orange and yellow walls plastered with pseudo New York City Subway signs and a deli counter surrounded by black and white tiles. All very welcoming.

Inside Katzner’s

The staff, too, is friendly and accomodating, from the moment you walk through the door until you depart. They deal quickly with diners’ concerns.

The lengthy, molded-plastic menu offers a variety of traditional New York style deli meats and sandwiches as well as a selection of Israeli-Mediterranean culinary offerings, such as schnitzel. An open refrigerator case is filled with cans of Dr. Brown’s soda.

No sooner are you seated then a busser asks your pickle preference. He brings sours and half sours and a huge tureen of finely chopped, creamy cole slaw. The sour pickles are indeed the real thing and the cole slaw is delicious.

Matzo ball soup

A bowl of chicken noodle soup is definitely the homemade variety. Rich, flavorful and soulfull.

But that’s where Katzner’s promise of deliverance ends for those bored with Flakowitz, Reuven’s, 3G’s and Too Jays.

A hot pastrami sandwich was filled with lots of lean meat, but the meat was dry and lacked the bright red hue appreciated by pastrami mavens and it was anything but hot. A schmear of Sy Ginsberg’s Detroit-made mustard (Ginsberg is Detroit’s corn beef king) provided a spark to the otherwise boring filling between two slices of rye. Cucumber salad, a side dish, also lacked verve.

Katzner’s cucumber salad, pastrami sandwich, mustard and coleslaw

A roast beef sandwich, served on a plain kaiser roll—a substitute for unseeded rye that was gone by 8 p.m. on a Saturday — was rare as requested. But as my mother used to say, it had no tam. Some spicing or even some salt on the crust might have improved things.

A turkey burger, for a millennial who doesn’t eat deli, was served undercooked and then replaced. The replacement, however, had an odd taste. It was more than turkey, we were later told as it was taken away to be replaced by a well-cooked, but bland piece of panko-coated chicken schnitzel. Again, where’s the spice?

These issues didn’t seem to deter a steady steam of Saturday night customers, although by 8 p.m. less than a handful of tables were occupied. That’s not unusual in these parts. Neither is bland food.

While there’s lots more on Katzner’s menu to try, this mostly disappointing experience has dampened any enthusiasm for another try and dimmed my hopes for better dining in the Boynton burbs.

 

 

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