Things changed for us fressers the moment lawyer-turned-deliman Warren Rosenfeld walked out of his high-profile law firm, tossed the keys to his business partner and said, “I’ve had it. I’m opening a deli at the beach.” Fast-forward to 2013, and Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli is open and busy at 63rd St. and Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Md. Rosenfeld’s Rehoboth will open in a building to be built just south of the Wawa at Rts. 1 and 24, but that won’t be for almost a year. So Warren has filled that year-long gap with the introduction of Rosenfeld’s Roadside Jewish Deli. As one of the latest restaurateurs to jump on the food-truck bandwagon, he’s treating us to a taste of things to come.
The OC location is small, but it’s not as small as a truck. So the mobile menu includes only the most popular items, including corned beef, pastrami, turkey and roast beef sandwiches with your choice of cheese, kraut or slaw (get ‘em on marble rye!). Sharing the spotlight is the quarter-pound hot dog, New York potato knishes, matzoh ball soup and assorted desserts.
There’s a big difference between a Jewish deli and a kosher deli. That point was served up (with a disapproving frown) last weekend at the 2nd Ave Deli in New York City when I inquired as to the whereabouts of the swiss cheese on my corned beef sandwich. “Not kosher,” I was informed. Kosher (Kashrut in Hebrew) is the body of Jewish law dealing with what foods are permitted and how those foods must be prepared. Kosher is not a style of cooking, so there is no such thing as “kosher-style” food. In fact, any kind of food – Indian, Chinese, etc. – can be kosher if prepared in accordance with Kashrut guidelines. On the other hand, traditional Jewish foods like knishes, bagels, corned beef, blintzes and matzoh ball soup can be non-kosher if not strictly in accordance with Jewish law. So 2nd Ave Deli is certainly kosher. No cheese on your corned beef sandwich! On the other hand, Katz’s Deli on the lower East Side, the now-closed Carnegie Deli in Midtown, NYC – and Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli in Ocean City serve Jewish-style foods that are not bound by the kosher rituals and specifications. So bring on the swiss cheese, pleez.
The happily "retired" Warren Rosenfeld1/6 Rosenfelds Roadside Jewish Deli2/6 Rosenfelds Roadside Jewish Deli3/6 Rosenfelds Roadside Jewish Deli4/6 Rosenfelds Roadside Jewish Deli5/6 Matzoh ball soup on wheels6/6
One of the distinguishing features of Warren’s delimobile is that you need not be limited to the abbreviated menu. Rosenfeld’s offers the opportunity to have sliced meats, cheeses, breads, chopped liver, whitefish salad and other items from the OC mothership loaded onto the truck so you can pick them up at one of the satellite locations, thus saving a trek to Ocean City. Place your order by 3:00 on Thursday, and it will be on board for Friday pickup. At the moment, the Rosenfeld’s truck lands in front of the Schell building next to Big Fish Grill every Friday from 11 a.m. until around 2 p.m. The truck accepts credit cards and cash. Simply call 410-520-0283 to start the process.
Rosenfeld’s joins pioneers Taco Reho and Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, along with Zogg’s Sea Hogg, Mike Clampitt’s lime-green Po’Boys Creole-mobile and the Italian Pavilion as our locally based kitchens on wheels. Check out the DeliMobile’s Facebook page for locations.