CLASSIC NEW YORK STYLE JEWISH DELICATESSEN RESTAURANT
The Whole Megillah.
Schmaltz Delicatessen and restaurant was founded in 2004 with the goal of providing premium quality authentic Jewish Deli experience to everyone!
That includes not cutting any corners.
We are known for our award-winning, overstuffed sandwiches, matzo ball soup, savory breakfast plates and other Old World favorites. Schmaltz Deli was originally founded by a Culinary Institute of America graduate and former chef at the Four Seasons, who decided his friends and neighbors deserved a great New York style deli that was accessible. Thus, our motto:
SPREADING DELI GOODNESS EVERYWHERE.™
Today, our Executive Chef has very exclusive culinary credentials that have only been bestowed on only 100 people in the world.
In addition to premium quality, overstuffed corned beef, pastrami and beef brisket sandwiches, we developed a great all-around sandwich menu, with traditional Jewish favorites, including homemade soups, salads, bakery and a full-service deli. All are available in-store, at our drive thru, catered, by delivery or shipped nationwide.
You won’t find a chef with the credentials that Executive Chef Michael Garbin has. He is well-known having worked at the Union League Club for 26 years. He holds three designations: CEC (Corporate Executive Chef) and AAC (American Academy of Chefs) which represents the highest standards of professionalism in the organization, society and industry. His greatest achievement is that he is one of only 100 lifetime members of the HGT (Honorable Order of the Golden Toque).
Treat Yourself to Executive Chef Michael’s Cuisine.
Featured on TV.
We were recently featured on America’s Best Restaurants. Co-owner Mark Goodman and TV host Luis Rivera talkin about the deli business and sampled some of our sandwiches, and bakery items. Michael Goodman, co-owner in charge of operations, and host Luis Riviera talk about the deli being a family run business and our fresh in-house Bakery program. Luis sampled our Eclairs and Chocolate Blackout Cake. It also featured our Schmaltz Hot Dogs and talked about the move from Naperville to Lisle.
The Deli Man Movie
We have toured some of the most famous Jewish delicatessens across America. We’ve builtrelationships with some of the finest people in the deli business. We’ve talked about the history and traditions of New York style delis and the food itself. One of the delis we visited was Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen in Houston, “arguably the finest delicatessen restaurant in the U.S.”
David “Ziggy” Gruber has a long time passion for delicatessen food and when he’s not doing that, he loves watching movies. In 2014 he became part of one, “Deli Man,” released in 2015.
It’s a New York – produced film documentary looking at the men behind the food and traditions of delicatessens and Jewish culture.
The film is an entertaining study on how delis were an integral part of every Jewish community in the first half of the 20th century and raises the alarm on how their numbers are diminishing. Ziggy Gruber is featured prominently in “Deli Man.” It’s a popular film.
Schmaltz Deli Featured on Chicago’s Best
For more on the history and traditions of Schmaltz Deli. check out the video from WGN-TV’s Chicago’s Best. Ted Brunson with Schmaltz founder Howard Bender. Brunson claimed that no deli has been suggested more by their Facebook fans than Schmaltz Deli. Fans of Windy City Live may remember our delicatessen and restaurant being featured on Chew On This.
Deli Celebrity Sandwiches
Jewish delicatessens have a long history with celebrities. It was not uncommon for a deli located near a theater to honor a visiting star with their own sandwich. There were DOZENS of celebrity sandwiches served in delis coast to coast.
Schmaltz had one too. We catered a book signing by Henry Winkler in Naperville, honoring him with The Winkler: Brisket, melted cheddar cheese, pickled onions and chipotle barbecue sauce on a hero roll. AAAAYYY!
“Authentic deli for sure! The food is phenomenal and there’s plenty of it. I’d recommend it for sure. Just order anything, it will be the best of whatever you ordered ever. I give it a six out of five.”
Do you want to know how to speak Yiddish? Oy vey! Here are some of the essential Yiddish words and definitions you need to know. You might also be surprised how many Yiddish words you may be using already.
Bar Mitzvah/[Bat Mitzva]: The term applied to a Jewish boy [girl] who has reached the age of 13 , indicating that he/she is considered an adult in the eyes of Jewish law. Bubbe: Pronounced “Bubbeh” or “Bubbee” Yiddish for Grandmother.
Bubelah: A term of endearment or form of address, usually for a child or an elderly relative.
Bupkis: The word means nothing. It’s a synonym for “nothing” It’s a Yiddish word you can use referring people who know zip, nada or zilch about a subject matter. It can also refer to a disappointing amount of something. Example: “I worked hard today and all I got was bupkis.”
Chaver: A relatively contemporary term for friend, close friend or comrade.
Chutzpah: Can be a positive or negative word, depending on context. Usually: arrogance, nerve or over confidence.
Geshmak: Tasty or yummy. Urban Dictionary translates ‘geshmak’ as Yiddish for “the bomb.” (Maybe we need a new sandwich idea and call it ‘The Geshmak?)
Heymish: Feels homey, cozy or unpretentious. Example: “Little family-owned delicatessens can feel more heymish than Schlotzsky’s or Jersey Mike’s.”
Keppie: Jewish mothers love to kiss their kids’ keppies. And, in case you didn’t grow up in a Jewish household, keppie is just a much sillier way of referring to the forehead.
Kibbitz: To give unsolicited or unwanted advice or to make unhelpful or idle comments, often while someone is playing a game. Some say kibitzing is chitchatting or gossiping.
Klutz: Clumsy person.
Kvell: A Yiddish word for “bursting with pride,” with someone’s accomplishments You can kvell over your grandkids grades at school or if someone gets a promotion at work. It’s good to be a kveller!
Kvetch: As a noun, it means ‘complainer.” As a verb, it refers to ‘complaining.’ To complain or whine.
Mazel Tov!: Means congratulations! Just don’t use it when a woman is pregnant. The superstitious believe that this might cause something to happen to the baby. Megillah: a lengthy, detailed explanation or account.
Mensch: An honorable, decent person. Someone with high moral integrity or simply for being nice. Meshuggeneh: Can be used as an adjective or noun. Crazy, ridiculous or insane. Mishpacha: Yiddish for a Jewish family or social unit including close and distant relatives.
Nosh: Yiddish for snacking. For example you often hear people say, “I’m headed to Schmaltz Deli to nosh with my friend.” There is a lot of noshing going on here, Oy vey: An expression of woe.
Putz: A jerk or fool.
Schmaltz: A Chicago brand known for the best Jewish traditional delicacies, from pastrami to cheesecake to Nova lox to Chicken Matzo Ball soup to Black & White cookies. It also means chicken fat.
Schmegegge: Yiddish for baloney, hot air or nonsense. Schmendrick: Yiddish for an ineffectual, foolish, or contemptible person.
Schmuck: Also a jerk or fool, schmuck literally means penis.
Schmutz: Something dirty; dust or dirt. Even tomato sauce on your shirt, Schmuck. Schlep: A noun or a verb related to moving something in a slow or tedious manner. May also refer to a tedious or never-ending journey.
Schmooze: A verb, according to Merriam Webster: “to chat in a friendly and persuasive manner especially so as to gain favor, business, or connections.”
Shtick: A gimmick or comedic routine. (Think Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin or Laurel and Hardy performances.)
Spiel: A spiel is a lengthy speech or story, primarily used as a means of persuasion.
Tchotchke: Small trinkets, usually overpriced , that are more decorative than functional.
Tuches: Pronounced “tuh-kiss.” The Yiddish way of referring to someone’s backside. As in, “Get your tuches over to Schmaltz and bring back a cheesecake.”
Verklempt: Feeling overwhelmed or overcome with emotions.
Zaydee: Yiddish for grandfather.
Practice Your Yiddish
Mazel Tov! Now you know bupkis, but with a little chutzpah you can now tell your mishpacha you speak fluent Yiddish! Or not.
So, Bubelah, schlep your tuches over to Schmaltz. Show us your shtick – the whole megillah. We’re ready to schmooze.
Leave your schmegegge at home. Don’t be a schmendrick, putz! But we’ll listen to your schpiel.
You want to kibbitz? Fine. Oy vey! No kvetching!
Bubbe says, “Eat your geshmak soup.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a delicatessen?
A store selling foods already prepared or requiring little preparation before serving. The history of delicatessens goes back to the late 1800’s, probably 1877. It is related to “delicacies, articles of fine food,” or ready-to-eat foods. Delicatessen is an American English term coming from the German word
‘delikatessen.’ It was the Germans who brought delicatessens to the United States. The French had a similar word, ‘délicatesse (In the 1560s), from délicat, meaning “fine.” The first delicatessens to appear in the United States were in New York City in the early 1880s. The first kosher delicatessen opened in New York in 1889. The first U.S. short version of this word, ‘deli,’ right after WWII (@ 1948).
Delicatessen Pronunciation: Pronounced del·i·ca·tes·sen.
Delicatessen Style Meaning: You often see the words ‘delicatessen style’ with mustard. Deli style mustard is a little spicier than regular mustard. It comes from an old German recipe that combines white wine and horseradish. It’s made to stand up against other robustly flavored meats like pastrami, roast beef, and sausages, making it a good choice for overstuffed meaty sandwiches.
Can I buy pastrami or lox by the pound?
Yes. Our retail store has many grab and go items in our coolers and you can walk up to the counter and purchase meats by the pound, loaves of bread, baked goods, a bakers dozen of bagels, salads, deli sides and much more.
How do I order on the go?
You can use our Schmaltz Online Ordering portal by clicking on Order Now from our website or click here.
Can I cater my event at Schmaltz Deli?
Yes. You can cater your event at Schmaltz Deli in our party room. You can schedule the party room by calling and discuss your event details directly using the catering hotline at 630.839.9433 or email Lynne at firstname.lastname@example.org