Pastrami Reuben and cheesecake at Junior's in New York!

Who doesn't know Junior's? Well, I did not know it until, few years ago, my cousin Sandrine who came in New York for a visit, told me that she absolutely needed to go there. I remember that, at the time, the only cheesecake I tried were in various restaurants and I was just ok with that dessert. After going to Junior's, I was addicted!

What is Junior's? It all started in 1929, when the Rosen family opened a diner in Brooklyn. It is only in 1950, that they decided to change the name to Junior's, apparently referring to Rosen's two sons, Marvin and Walter. What I discovered is that in 1982, Governor Mario Cuomo declared May 27th Junior's restaurant day! I love this type of celebration!
I never went to the restaurant in Brooklyn or Grand Central, but I am sure the food is as good. I always went to the one in Time Square: it is like a beehive! Always crowded! Although, at the top of the Financial crisis in 2008, Junior saw a decrease in its number of customers and had to layoff 7 staff members. Based on what I saw yesterday, I guess they are doing well now!

I go to Junior's for two reasons: the deli and the cheesecake! I think that with Katz's, Carnegie Deli and 2nd Avenue Deli,  Junior's is at the top. They offer the traditional deli food as well as diner food. Their menu is quite big. Like any good deli, they will start by bringing pickles. I love the pickled beets!

Yesterday, we tried some classics:

Matzoh ball soup: one of the best we had. But note that the soup does not contain any vegetables like for instance at the 2nd Avenue Deli. 

Potato pancake: very good! Not overcooked, not greasy and served with a fantastic homemade apple sauce.

Pastrami Reuben: pastrami, grilled sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing (blend of mayonnaise and ketchup complemented with such additional ingredients as horseradish, pimentos, chives and spices) served in a toasted rye bread. You need a solid appetite to eat this, especially if you go for dessert after! This was awesome: the meat was very tender and the toasted rye bread and grilled sauerkraut added a bit of crunchiness to the sandwich. I love the layer of flavors between the bread, the cheese, the sauerkraut and the meat! Definitely one of my favorites!

They also have other great dishes:
  • Tuna melt sandwich: they serve it open face on a big (trust me, big) English muffin. For those who do not know what it is, it is tuna salad on a piece of bread with melted cheese on top.
  • Pastrami or salami sandwiches: classics!
  • Grilled cheese made with thick Challah bread.
  • Chopped liver served with lettuce and onions.
I also tried their roasted chicken, but did not really like it.
Some of the dishes are served with fries: know that these fries are thick cut (I prefer the thin and crispy ones!).

Yesterday, we saw some Mac & Cheese at the next table: they looked good...Maybe for the next time!

So, now, let's talk about dessert and of course the famous cheesecake! Yesterday, they had a special: red velvet cheesecake. As I already know the traditional one, I decided to try the special. It was made of several layers: cream cheese frosting, red velvet cake and traditional cheesecake. It was very good, not too sweet and kind of light (yeah, right). But my heart goes to the traditional one: dense and tasty.

Of course, they are smart: if you do not have time to eat at the restaurant, they have a place for take out. You can also order online...

Junior's is definitely a great place to go for deli and cheesecake, with good quality food that is not always easy to find when you are too close to Time Square!

Enjoy (I did)!

If you have any question, story or comment on Junior's, enter a comment below!

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