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September 30, 2014



By Chef Josh Marcus of Josh’s Deli



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General Information

Josh’s Deli

9517 Harding Avenue

Surfside, FL 33154

T: 305.397.8494







Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

“Josh Marcus is a one-man show and his food is excellent. He’s bringing back the deli wrong. He does all his own corned beef, his own pastrami, his own bacon, his own bagels and tons of other things that you might not think is deli. It’s shellfish to swine.”

- Chef Daniel Serfer of Blue Collar

Chef Josh Marcus is a new school chef giving old school deli recipes an unorthodox spin at his Surfside Miami diner called Josh’s Deli. “Everything I do is a little bit twisted. I got a review once and the guy called me a fake deli and I thought, ‘you’re right. I am a fake deli.’” One man’s fake is another man’s fusion. Josh’s menu features items like a Jewban Sandwich (house-made pastrami, pork, pickle and Swiss), Matzo Ball French Onion Soup, and gefilte fish made with shrimp. “I have a sign that says ‘Doing Deli Wrong’ -- I’m not doing deli right and I’m doing wrong by deli.”

Doing deli wrong includes adorning the walls with autographed photos of famous comedians who have never dined at Josh’s Deli. “I have all these dead Jewish comedians on the wall. It’s a joke. They had been dead for years, like Lenny Bruce and the Marx Brothers. But people will ask me ‘was your grandfather named Josh? Did he own a deli?’ So I started making up lies to keep up with the questions.”

House-cured Smoke Salmon at Josh’s Deli   

Photograph courtesy of Josh’s Deli

Marcus worked as a chef in Miami at BLT Steak, China Grill, Timo and North One 10 before opening his own place. He makes everything himself from scratch with the exception of ketchup, french fries and rye bread, which he buys locally from New York Bakeries. “I cure my own salmon; I roast my own turkey; I make my own corned beef; I make my own pastrami; I make my own smoked fish like sable or tuna; I make my own matzo ball; I make my own bagels; that is what I concentrate on.” For his bagels, he uses a combination of 00 Italian pizza flour and bread flour. “I have to compensate for the humidity here in Miami so I keep fixing it until it works. Most bagel places wouldn’t think to put in a different type of flour. My bagels have their own characteristics.”

On weekends, Josh does brunch with dishes like deep-fried Chicken Fried Chicken Salad with Waffles and on Thursday nights, he features pizzas made in his wood-burning oven.

When you are a one-man band making everything in-house, there isn’t a lot of time to explore other restaurants. When Josh Marcus does dine out, he opts for smaller, independent, family-run places. Here are five Miami restaurants he says are worth going out of your way to try. To get his full list, download the Find. Eat. Drink. iPhone app.


Blue Collar   

Photograph courtesy of Blue Collar

Blue Collar

“I love the way chef Daniel Serfer builds flavors and the way that everything has a richness to it. The price points and quality are fantastic. I like to order the pork and beans with smokey bacon, sausage, white beans and a fried egg on toast.”

Get Chef Daniel Serfer’s recommendations in the Find. Eat. Drink. iPhone app.

Biscayne Inn, 6730 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33138

T: 305.756.0366 |

Primo Trattoria Italiana

“It’s run by a father, wife, daughter and son. The men are in the kitchen and the women are in the front. They make their own pasta and it is a very inexpensive Italian restaurant. They are not doing spaghetti and meatballs, but dishes like chicken marsala and it is so fantastic. The veal is perfect. It’s not like a flattened out hockey puck, it is beautiful.”

2216 NE 123rd Street, North Miami, FL 33181

T: 305.891.3312

Sushi Deli & Japanese Market   

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Sushi Deli & Japanese Market

“This is a local Japanese market and I love that it is family-owned. The father is the sushi chef, the daughter is the second-in-command and the wife runs the market. The quality of the fish is very unique for such a small place. They are doing the right thing and everything is very good.”

1412 79th Street Causeway, North Bay Village, FL 33141

T: 305.861.0143

Ricky Thai Bistro

“This is small, intimate and family-run by a husband and wife team. She is Thai and he’s Italian. It’s fun, the flavors are clean and not overburdened by sauces, it’s really good. The Tom Kha coconut soup is great and you can get chicken or shrimp. The spicy shrimp appetizer is fantastic and the Pad Thai is really solid. They have a garden out back where they grow their own herbs.”

1617 NE 123rd Street, North Miami, FL 33181

T: 305.891.9292 |

The Federal   

Photograph courtesy of The Federal

The Federal

“This is a bistro owned by a couple who create upscale versions of comfort food, but it’s not heavy or burdensome. I really like the Jar o‘Duck and the Buffalo Style Pig Wing, which is a pork shin. It’s small, independent and I really like what they are doing.”

Get chef Cesar Zapata’s recommendations in the Find. Eat. Drink. iPhone app.

5132 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33137

T: 3057589559 |