The Jewish deli is one restaurant category that Dallas-Fort Worth sorely lacks. So hooray for this new one, tucked inside an unlikely place: inside Tulips FTW, a music venue that opened in Fort Worth's Near Southside neighborhood in November.
The deli debuted on December 4 and is serving "Texas Kosher" sandwiches all day and night, from 11 am-2 am. The menu includes:
- Smoked chicken salad sandwich
- Pastrami Rueben with shaved corn beef, Swiss cheese, house-made sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on rye
- Rachel’s Reuben, with turkey, cabbage, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese on rye
There's also a Pimento Grilled Cheese on sourdough bread, and an Avocado Toast with smashed avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, shaved cucumber, red onion, and goat cheese spread on walnut scallion bread.
Founder Jason Suder says that they launched the deli operation primarily as a way to stay open.
"It was borne out of necessity, to stay alive during COVID, since we can no longer operate as purveyors of entertainment," he says. "You have to have a food component. But we are striving for an elevated experience."
That meant doing something with a little personality, a little zing.
"We said, let's dig in and do food to complement the beverage and beer program built by my partner Matthew Harber that above all is delicious," Suder says.
He worked with Bria Downey, sister of Tulips' beverage director Tia Downey, on a menu that would also reflect who they were.
"We wanted something that was tied to our brand and who we are as individuals," Suder says. "We could have just done a sandwich shop, but we decided, 'Let's do a deli, something that ties to my Jewish roots and experience going to visit my father's hometown in New York and New Jersey.'"
They're using good ingredients including Boar's Head meats and bread from Empire Baking.
"These are Bria's very specific recipes for items like chicken salad and pimento cheese," he says. "In Jewish cuisine, you don't mix meat and cheese, but that's why we're calling it Texas Kosher."
One of the sandwiches, the Rachel Reuben, is a nod to a sandwich with the same name served at Carshon's, the most famous (and only?) Jewish deli in Fort Worth.
"It's not the same sandwich, but I grew up with Carshon's and love that place and their sandwiches," he says.
Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story.