Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Will Brent's Deli be Around Forever?




I first sank my teeth into one of Brent's Deli's Reuben sandwiches about ten years ago.

I loved it, but I never went back. After all, Brent's is on the other side of the universe in Northridge. (I think I regard the San Fernando Valley in the same way that many Westsiders view the San Gabriel Valley: a long way to drive for a non-destination.)

And I figured that crowded and popular delis like Brent's would be around forever. In spite of my Reuben infatuation, I was in no hurry to return.

But that was before my "restaurants might kick the bucket before we do" epiphany. So when my deli-loving friend suggested Brent's as a "half-way" location for a lunch meeting, I bit.

I circled around the mini-mall parking lot five times before snagging a space. At 11:30 am, Brent's was already crowded.

The bustling deli was filled with families: elderly mothers breaking rye bread with middle-aged sons; grandmothers, mothers and toddlers sharing a table and chocolate cake; doting dads spoon feeding cabbage soup to adoring daughters. Brent's, like a treasured family brisket recipe, is passed from generation to generation.

And as I once again sunk my teeth into the Black Pastrami Reuben Sandwich, I could see why. The thick layers of succulent pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing between grilled rye live up to the menu's promise: the sandwich melts in your mouth.

I don't think I'll wait another ten years to return.

Brent's Delicatessan and Restaurant
19565 Parthenia St.
Northridge CA 91324
818.886.5679
Open daily 6am to 9pm



24 comments:

Chrissy said...

I agree about the distance but I remember when I went there w/my daughter and other friends... omg, the corned beef was to die for!. and we had come from the heart Van Nuys..A free lunch is always nice.

Susan C said...

Chrissy, Oh, so you know what I'm talkin' about - both with the distance and the to-die-for meat.

Funny thing - I actually don't think anything of driving to the westside for lunch or dinner and it's even farther away.

Mary said...

Susan, I'm a bit envious. I haven't found a restaurant like this since we left the East coast. Not complaining - we've found a whole new world, but do so miss a great Jewish deli. Girl, you're going to have to eat for two of us:-).

Cafe Observer said...

No! It won't bee around 4ever. Bcuz they will close, only to reopen anew & fresh in the SGV!

Nothing like eating a healthy Reuben sandwich. Xtra russian dressing please. Brents really seems located deep in the Valley. It doesn't help that it's not particularly large for its demand.

Anyhow, its about time they open another location besides the original.

Bean said...

This is why I adore you. You'll drive to fricking Northridge for a sandwich.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I'm gonna call Finnegan, "Bean" from now on!

Susan C said...

Mary, Eat for two? No problem!

CO, They opened a second location in Westlake Village a few years ago. Wish they'd open one in the SGV. We need a good deli.

Oh, Bean, your comment made me laugh out loud.

altadenahiker said...

We all love the name Bean.

What do you think of The Hat? For some reason I've never eaten there, but I've heard it's good.

Susan C said...

AH, I know The Hat has its followers. When I worked in downtown LA, a group would often hop the freeway to grab a pastrami sandwich from the Lake Ave. location. I found the meat a little fatty and chewy.

Desiree said...

Have you checked out Billie's in Glendale?

Susan C said...

Des, I've never heard of Billy's, but I just checked out their website. Gee, looks like you can get a lot of food on the "specials" menu for less than $10.

altadenahiker said...

Billy's is very good and the meat not fatty.

I'm making Joffrey Ballet Chili and if it turns out very, very good, I'll drop a baggy by.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I always enjoyed Langer's near MacArther Park. Is it still around? Right off the red line.

Northridge? I don't think so. I do love the geography of Chatsworth

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Looks like the hikers taking a picture of me.

Susan C said...

AH, Will the chilli leap from the bowl? Hope it comes out yummy.

PA, I can't believe I've never been to Langer's. Their pastrami is supposed to be the gold standard.

Cafe Pasadena said...

And SC, I can't believe you didn't even hear of Glendale's Billy's!

You best fast get over to both b4 they kick the bucket! You saw what happened to your oldie but Goody's when you didn't go every week!

Food Gal said...

Sometimes you just need a sandwich that's 10-inches tall with meaty goodness. You just have to indulge. And when you do, you savor every single drippy, messy bite.

altadenahiker said...

I am taking a picture of you PA.

I had a Langer's a couple of years ago. Really funky area, but good sandwich.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

now I'm back to being a wallflower

Funky (and dangerous). I applied for a Public Art project at the library in the park next door to Langers. I pulled up to the curb and within seconds was approached by a dealer. Fortunately I got the Cahuengah Branch Library instead.

Susan Carrier & said...

CP, I still have a lot to learn about restaurants. :) Now that I've heard of Billy's, gotta get over there.

Food Gal, "you savor every single drippy, messy bite." Aint it the truth!

PA, It was probably fortunate that you didn't get the McArthur Park adjacent library 'cause of all the potential pounds you'd pack on eating at Langer's every day.

After the Wilshire subway was complete, downtown worker bees started taking the underground to Langer's in droves.

Nelle said...

OH MY my mouth is watering. One great thing about living so close to NYC is that many delis have owners from there. I can get a great Reuben in many places. It is hands down my favorite sandwich but with trying to be good cholesterol wise I limit myself to a few times a year. but..........life is short so maybe I should increase my Reuben consumption!

Chef Matt and Megs said...

It's so nice to rediscover something you once liked and discovered why you liked it in the first place! Nice blog by the way. Please feel free to by my food blog @ offthemenunow.blogspot.com
I've got some great recipes you might like. Thanks!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

The Cahaunga Library is in a El Salvadorian/Thai neighborhood which I prefer to deli. Fortunately I was only there for the installation.

Paula L. Johnson said...

As a former, like, omg, "Valley Girl," I have been to Brent's many, many times. I have friends who had Brent's cater nearly every important occasion in their lives.