Jacob’s Deli in Boynton Beach offers specials that appeal to value-conscious fressers

Jacob’s three meat deli patter with potato pancake, rye bread and coleslaw, part of three-course $16 dinner.

This no-frills strip center Jewish-style deli, oft derided in the past on social media, is being revived by a new owner, its chef of 25 years, Jose Mendez, who is dishing out traditional Eastern European Jewish fare. Some of it is pretty good. A three-course dinner for $16.


The first time I visited Jacob’s Restaurant and Delicatessen in Boynton Beach late last year, I looked in, saw an almost bare deli case with little more than an overcooked roast beef and then walked out.

But after reading recent favorable comments from Facebook’s “Queen of Pastrami,” Ellen Fried, I decided recently to give the Jewish-style eatery in the Village Square at Golf shopping center at S. Military Trail and Woolbright Road another try.

Jacob’s deli has the look of a no-frills coffee shop. Décor is sparse and tables are closely bunched. The deli has occupied the same space since its founding in 1995 by Joe and Elaine Spiegel and until late in 2020, when its chef of 25 years, Jose Mendez took over the restaurant’s reins.

Jose Mendez 

Jacob’s deli case.

Jacob’s dining room.

At 7 p.m. on a recent Sunday evening, there were few patrons in the dining room.  The deli case this time held a bright pink roast beef, a handful of knishes, a side of smoked salmon and dozens of cans of soda.

Mendez could be seen hustling from behind the counter to the kitchen with a facemask dangling from his ear. Nobody ever said you had to be Jewish to cook and serve traditional Eastern European fare. But it’s apparent that Mendez has developed the chops over his more than two decades in the deli’s kitchen.

Jacob’s menu is a combination deli and diner menu, likely unchanged since Mendez took over. In addition to the traditional deli sandwiches, there’s lots of comfort food here, especially at breakfast time. To be sure, Jacob’s is not kosher. There’s ham on the menu.

Our server seemed all business, perhaps because it was the end of the day – Jacob’s closes at 7:30 p.m. – and the number of tables she was handling, but she was efficient and our orders arrived promptly.

Matzo ball noodle soup.

Seven-layer cake.

I dined on a three-course dinner special for just $16, including matzo ball-noodle soup, a three-meat deli platter with potato pancake, Dr.Brown’s Cel-Ray and dessert.  The soup, a flavorful, albeit light, broth arrived with a baseball sized, firm matzo ball (the kind I like) and overflowing with twisted egg noodles. The knaedel (Yiddish for matzo ball), to my palate, needed more tam (taste). The meat platter was partially successful. Moist, tender pastrami had a nice crust, or bark, and the nicely brined corned beef was equally tender. Mendez told me his meats are custom produced for Jacob’s in Miami, but not too long ago, he told Ellen Fried they were from National Deli, which happens to be in Miami.  Jacob’s brisket, on the other hand, looked dull and could have benefited from some gravy (it was more enjoyable as leftovers reheated the next day).

The Sy Ginsberg mustard on the table was just right and the thick-sliced, crusty, seeded rye bread served alongside the deli platter was terrific. The potato pancake, served with apple sauce, was the size of a hockey puck and equally dry — and grainy from an abundance of matzo meal. Seven-layer cake, which I haven’t had in years, seemed like it had been sliced a day earlier.

Roast beef on a roll.

My wife opted for the rare roast beef sandwich ($13.50), requesting it on seedless rye. Alas, she settled for a large Kaiser roll since the seedless rye was already gone. She spent an inordinate amount of time dissecting fat from the meat, which she said was tough. The accompanying cole slaw was crunchy and just the right amount of vinegar to suit her palate.

Everyone in South Florida has a favorite deli. Will Jacob’s be on the list? Katz’s it’s not, nor 3G’s, nor Flakowitz. Nevertheless, Jacob’s, under Mendez, is a decent place that might appeal to some deli fressers (Yiddish for big eaters) who order judiciously and are seeking value-priced breakfast, lunch and dinner specials.

Jacob’s Deli & Restaurant

3861 W. Woolbright Rd., Boynton Beach, FL 33436

(561) 734-9195

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