Saul’s Restaurant & Deli – Berkeley California

Urp, sorry. Saul’s Restaurant & Deli has been open since 1986, doesn’t seem too terribly long. But for anyone to has enjoyed the faire, it feels as though it’s been a lifetime. My mother frequented it so often that if anyone she knew would come to eat, the waitresses would send home cookies for her. My sister and her husband Meathead go all the time, I’m sometimes in tow, pried from underneath from my rock.
It’s a little on the large side for a “deli”, but perfect for a restaurant. Saul’s has gone out of their way since the beginning to bring their customers not only an excellent Jewish Deli, but also the best in local, sustainable and organic ingredients. In-house made pastrami? Yup. In-house made pickles? Yup. In-house made tons of other goodies? You bet!
Your grandmother would be grins from ear to ear to be served their, “Chicken in a pot.” A home-made chicken soup that contains it all, and about half the size of the Titanic. One of my favorite parts though is their policy about NOT trimming the fat off their pastrami brisket. Pretty cool, eh?
To be perfectly honest though, the reason I go back is the fact is that the quality of their ground beef is so high they can offer their burgers cooked rare. That’s right, rare.
The burger is so perfect, so wonderful. It’s served on an Acme bun, resting by itself. Next to it lay nestled good leaf lettuce, thin red onion and tomatoes so read they hurt your eyes. You can order cheese and/or pastrami as a topping, I chose pastrami this time. Sure you can get real french fries, potato salad or whatever. I find they detract from the burger. When cooked rare, I suggest you do not lay it down. Once you hold it how you want, eat it. The juices are the one you want in your mouth, not on your plate.
I love Saul’s, as do many. If you’re looking for destination burger and pastrami, Saul’s is the place to seek. After your meal, you’re left to wander Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto with The Cheese Board and Chez Panisse and many others.
Saul’s Restaurant & Deli
1475 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709

9 thoughts on “Saul’s Restaurant & Deli – Berkeley California

  1. Man, I’ve been jonesing for a Reuben for a long time. I’ll have to make it there when I’m home for Xmas.

  2. I absolutely love Saul’s. It was one of my faves when I lived in the ‘hood. And there’s that thing about how I almost ended up working there. (I turned down their job offer for another one.) Sometimes I find myself thinking, “If things had been different, you could be eating there five days a week.”

  3. The Cheese Board used to be a twice-weekly event for me. How ever did I miss Saul’s? Pastrami on a hamburger?!? Why did I ever leave the Bay Area?

  4. Well, of course: “leave the fat” on pastrami. The worst thing that I ever heard in a New York deli was a request for “lean” meat on a sandwich. I may have to get over my bridge-as-border hangup and go over to Saul’s. Thanks for the motivation!

  5. Hey Kudzu,
    Yeah huh. I remember one of the last times I worked the Fatted Calf stall in Berkeley a woman and her grandfather asked if there was anything that wasn’t made with so much fat. People giggled, I kinda looked around in disbelief. I mean, it’s a charcuterie for crissakes! All I had to offer was beef jerky.
    Saul’s is worth the trip or add it in to another excursion. It’s usually pretty busy, but they have a great waitstaff and move the tables very efficiently.