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Rein's

435 Hartford Tpke, Vernon, CT - (860) 875-1344
Posted By Michael Stern on 12/5/2004 3:58:00 AM
New York itself seems to have fewer and fewer real old-fashioned Jewish delis, but in Vernon, Connecticut – of all places! – Rein’s deli has been going strong for longer than a quarter century. And make no mistake, it’s the real thing: piled-high sandwiches on chewy rye bread, chopped liver infused with plenty of schmaltz (chicken fat), grandmother-good stuffed cabbage with sweet and sour sauce, and genuine New York cheesecake. The only thing missing in this restaurant east of Hartford is a staff of crabby waiters. In our experience, the waitresses are all quite nice – unheard of in a real New York deli!

The menu is gigantic, ranging from beet borscht and matzoh ball soup to such old-neighborhood beverages as chocolate egg creams, and a glass of “2 cents plain” (seltzer water) costing … exactly 2 cents. Some of the best things to eat, in our experience are the potato pancakes – small, crusty discs that make a great side dish to almost any meal or sandwich, the butter-tender beef brisket, either stacked between slices of rye bread or as an open-face sandwich with gravy and potatoes on the side, and the especially excellent warm noodle pudding, known as kugel. There are smoked fish platters, triple-decker sandwiches, and a whole roster of meatless dairy dishes, including cheese blintzes (crepes) topped with sour cream, apple sauce, blueberries, or cherries, and the traditional “farmer’s chop suey” of cottage cheese, sour cream, and chopped fresh vegetables.

Virtually everything on the menu is available to go, and there is a whole case full of frozen things to take home – facts worth knowing if you are zooming along I-84 with no time to stop for a meal.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
potato pancakes
chopped liver
whitefish salad
Corned beef and pastrami combo sandwich
beef brisket
Pastrami rachel sandwich
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Known as
"Known as "latkes," potato pancakes are a good companion for any meal. They are served with your choice of sour cream or apple sauce."
Michael Stern





Meals at Rein's begin with a plate of crunchy half-sour dill pickles.  There were three on this plate, but the photographer had to eat one before he took the picture...
"Meals at Rein's begin with a plate of crunchy half-sour dill pickles. There were three on this plate, but the photographer had to eat one before he took the picture..."
Michael Stern


Tender crepes, wrapped around faintly sweet pot cheese:  true comfort food.
"Tender crepes, wrapped around faintly sweet pot cheese: true comfort food."
Michael Stern


The brisket is piled high in this sandwich.  It is soft as butter.
"The brisket is piled high in this sandwich. It is soft as butter."
Michael Stern


The original Rein's burnt down about ten years ago.  The new one, at first glance, looks like any mall restaurant.  Inside, it's a special kind of place.
"The original Rein's burnt down about ten years ago. The new one, at first glance, looks like any mall restaurant. Inside, it's a special kind of place."
Michael Stern



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