Editorial Note: This restaurant is closed.
I tend to rank delis on an indigestion scale, one being hardly worth a belch while five is a full-on gaseous bloat with accompanying salami-based halitosis. Using said scale I’d give Rascals’ a solid three—not too uncomfortable, but with a nice, 3 p.m. reminder of the lunchtime experience.
It stands to reason that on Morris Zucker’s retirement trip from New York to Miami, he must have blown an axle somewhere around Cincinnati and stayed on to open this chip off the ol’ Manhattan block. Start with the chicken matzo ball soup, served with a ball big enough to throw out on Opening Day.
Then bring on the Reuben, piled high with corned beef, Swiss, a touch of sauerkraut, and a generous dollop of their Russian dressing. It’s grilled between two slices of Chicago rye bread baked in-house, and that first bite will send you right back to the Lower East Side. If a Reuben isn’t in the cards, catch a textbook-perfect grilled pastrami or egg salad sandwich, the latter firmly planted on Team Mayo, none of that goopy, tart Miracle Whip mangling the originality.
Or channel your inner 4-year-old with a mutant-sized, quarter-pound, all-beef Hebrew National hot dog.
I asked a handful of regulars about dinner, and everyone replied with a surreptitious wink, “Cabbage rolls.” It’s tough to say if it’s the just-right spiced ground beef or the sweet-and-sour tomato sauce they bathe in that wins the crowds over. Service is consistently jovial and they never charge extra here for the indigestion.
Rascals’ New York Deli, 9525 Kenwood Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 429-4567, rascalsdeli.com. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mon and Wed–Sun.