I’m not a religious person, but I was born in to Judaism. And in all my years of trying not to get kicked out of Hebrew school classes for talking too much, here’s what I learned about my people: We can eat. If you’re wondering why we refer to ourselves as the “Chosen People,” it’s because we were blessed with appetites larger than Kanye West’s ego. But make no mistake: Rappy’s Restaurant, located in the Park Plaza in Boca Raton, is no Jewish deli. IT’S BETTER.
My meal started off with a twist on one of my favorite drinks, The Moscow Mule. Rappy’s Blackberry Mule is made with Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka (one of my favorite spirits), Fresh Lime Juice, Monin Blackberry Syrup, and Fever Tree Ginger Beer. If you’re also a mule fan, this one’s for you. It’s the Beyonce of mules: flawless.
Like I said, this is NOT a deli. Would a deli take your favorite meats and give them an Asian twist? No, but Rappy’s does! Meet their Spring Rolls. Made with House-smoked Pastrami, Corned Beef, Swiss, Caraway-Braised Cabbage and Served with Russian Dressing, these babies put a twist on your normal Reuben. I loved the crunch of the spring roll shell versus soft bread, and the flavor of the meats with the braised cabbage was simply delicious.
We were also treated to 2 baked knishes. For those who don’t know what a knish is, you clearly have never lived. A knish is essentially a puff pastry filled with savory ingredients. We sampled the Potato & Caramelized Onion Knish and the Brisket & Creamed Spinach Knish. I can’t even choose which one I liked most! The creamy potato is right at home with the flaky crust, and I love the sweet flavor that caramelized onions bring to any dish. The other knish was like having spinach dip inside a crusty shell of heaven, with savory bites of brisket adding delicious notes of salt and brine. Again, if you’ve never had a knish before, Rappy’s is the place to do it.
I grew up in a very heavily Jewish populated town, so between the ages of 12 and 14, I was going to Bar and Bat Mitzvahs every weekend, sometimes twice a weekend (somehow despite my buck teeth and elephant ears, I was still pretty popular in the Hebrew School party circuit). At first, all the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs were fun, but after a while, they start to get old. I mean, there’s only so many times you can play Coke/Pepsi, and only so many blowup hands and guitars to collect to junk up your closets. But there was one thing that never got old: Cocktail Hour. Clearly at 12 years old, cocktail hour meant a very different thing to me than it does now (drink all the free booze!!!!), and I would patiently wait through the boring services and Torah reading featuring the sounds of going through puberty with only one thing on my mind: Pigs In A Blanket. So when I saw that we would be served Franks In A Blanket, I was ecstatic. And they did not disappoint, not even close. The beef nitrate-free dog was nice, thick, and juicy and I loved the addition of the everything seasoning on the puff pastry shell. The mustard was spicy, just how I like it!
A really great, fresh find on Rappy’s menu is the Florida Salad, made with Mixed Greens, Hearts of Palm, Avocado, Fresh Strawberry, Candied Walnut, Goat Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette. Since many of the dishes that night were on the heavier side, this was a welcome intermission. I especially enjoyed those candied walnuts!
I bet you’re so busy trying to dive into the middle of that sandwich that you’re not even reading this anymore. Welcome to Rappy’s House-Made Corned Beef Reuben. If you know Reubens, you should be able to tell just by looking at this picture that Rappy’s nailed it. That picture is all you need for this sandwich to throw down a mic drop.
And of course the fries. So good I had to mooch off someone’s else to get two orders. There’s only two things in life I steal: french fries and hearts.
At this point, all the other bloggers at the dinner were kvelling (Yiddush for fawning is the closest translation I can think of) over the Back 9 With Daly, Rappy’s twist on a Blackberry John Daly. The drink is mixed with Hangar One Citroen Vodka, Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka, Fresh Lemon, Simple Syrup, and Monin Blackberry Syrup. Drinkers, beware: this one goes down so easily, you’ll either need to pace yourself or get a breathalyzer to make sure you don’t get sloppy. It’s so refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to the sandwiches we were served. Like an Arnold Palmer, but intoxicating.
And just when you thought your appetite might fail you, you remember that if the Jews made it 40 days walking in the desert, you can make it through a few more dishes. I geared up my appetite and I was ready for entree time. Above is the Stuffed Cabbage, served with Sweet & Sour Sauce and Mashed Potato. So hearty and melts in your mouth. It screams comfort food, and will make a bad day better, or take a good day to the next level!
I’m a firm believer that breakfast can and should be eaten at anytime, so this dish off of Rappy’s All Day Breakfast menu was especially welcome. Rappy’s Hash is made with Corned Beef, House-Smoked Pastrami, Over Easy Eggs and your choice of Toast Or Bagel, and served with Homefries. Already having tasted the corned beef and pastrami, I knew that this dish would be extremely flavorful. This is no Denny’s Grand Slam – THIS is a Rappy’s Home Run.
But my absolute favorite? The Slow Braised Brisket, served with Mashed Potato, Roasted Root Vegetables and Red Wine Gravy. Wow. Without a doubt, this is some of the BEST brisket I have EVER had. It was so tender, you don’t even need a knife to cut it. That is how brisket needs to be done! The red wine gravy enhances it to a new level – the dish is an absolute MUST. This is a dish I grew up on, so for me to rave about it when I am such a harsh judge IMO is very high praise, and well deserved. Carnivore Heaven to the max.
It was time to cap off the night with some desserts. You might think you are looking at Rapoport’s Original New York Cheesecake, but what you are actually looking at is the BEST cheesecake that you will EVER eat. I think many cheesecakes just taste like frozen cream cheese, but this cheesecake was light and fluffy, and the consistency for me really made all the difference. I wouldn’t recommend sharing, unless you want to get into a fork fight.
We also sampled the Homemade Chocolate Pudding, and this ain’t no Jell-O. You might think pudding is kinda basic, but try this and the chocolaty goodness will put that thought to shame.
Before I leave you with the only Jewish hangover you will ever know (aka a full belly), I do need to comment on the fashion of the night, which is the cold shoulder, as demonstrated by myself and my fellow blogger Erika of Essentially Erika. I was once told by a fashion expert that the cold shoulder is so popular because a woman’s shoulder never ages. I don’t know if that is true, but I intend to find out, because I love these tops and I may never stop wearing them. Ever. Check back with me when I’m 85. Oh and for reference, the top is from Target, hat is from Lord & Taylor, and jeans and boots are from Forever 21.
Again, don’t mistake Rappy’s for a deli. It is SO much more. And no matter what you believe in, trust me, after trying their food, you will believe in everything about this place.
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own