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D.Z. Akins

6930 Alvarado Rd., San Diego, CA - (619) 265-0218
Posted By Michael Stern on 12/25/2012 9:46:00 AM
Native Chicagoans are raised to be happy when they spot a hot dog stand or deli that sports a bright red and yellow sign advertising Vienna Beef. Vienna Beef is good, especially the taut hot dogs and garlicky salami; so we were thrilled to find such a sign while wandering around in search of the KPBS studio at San Diego State University. When we walked inside the immense deli known as D.Z. Akins, we were nothing short of flabbergasted. The air was perfumed with spiced beef and the bakery shelves up front held a spectacular array of ryes, pumpernickels, bagels, hard rolls, and challahs, plus countless macaroons and cookies, all baked right here.

The sandwiches we got were fantastic: hot, fat-striated corned beef radiant with flavor, cut thick and piled between two slices of the best rye we've had in years: soft inside with a nice sour smack and a hard savory crust. Roast beef – soft and luxurious – was presented in a poppy-seed spangled hard roll that was also impeccably fresh. And the kosher salami (Vienna brand, of course) packed a garlic wallop.

We liked our sandwiches so much that we returned to D.Z. Akins the next day for breakfast and plowed into a platter of matzoh brei that was nearly as good as the brei I make (and I make the best), homemade blintzes, and a plate of bagels and lox. Nothing was short of excellent.

Unfortunately, we left town that day (taking a few D.Z. sandwiches with us on the plane), but we sure intend to return for such lunch delights as chopped liver and brisket, and breakfast of latkes, smoked chubs, and pancake-style omelets.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Corned Beef Sandwich
Challah Bread
Matzoh Brei
Pastrami Sandwich
Blintzes
Matzo Ball Soup
Chicken in the Pot
Egg Cream
Rye Bread
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

One of the best corned beef sandwiches we've had in a long, long time: hot meat, fresh bread, snappy mustard. Perfection.
"One of the best corned beef sandwiches we've had in a long, long time: hot meat, fresh bread, snappy mustard. Perfection."
Michael Stern





Blintzes come four to an order with sour cream on the side.
"Blintzes come four to an order with sour cream on the side."
Michael Stern


According to the menu, this is 'Grandma Fay's' Matzoh Brei. We tip our hats with respect and admiration to Grandma Fay! (Those are apple sauce and sour cream in the background.)
"According to the menu, this is 'Grandma Fay's' Matzoh Brei. We tip our hats with respect and admiration to Grandma Fay! (Those are apple sauce and sour cream in the background.)"
Michael Stern


This close-up picture of the matzoh brei shows a perfect confluence of egg and matzoh that is the essence of the dish.
"This close-up picture of the matzoh brei shows a perfect confluence of egg and matzoh that is the essence of the dish."
Michael Stern


Some of the just-baked ryes and pumpernickles for sale on D.Z. Akins' shelves
"Some of the just-baked ryes and pumpernickles for sale on D.Z. Akins' shelves"
Michael Stern


These challahs have an eggy-yeasty aroma that is dizzying.
"These challahs have an eggy-yeasty aroma that is dizzying."
Michael Stern


D.Z. Akins is a huge establishment, the size of a whole small shopping center.
"D.Z. Akins is a huge establishment, the size of a whole small shopping center."
Michael Stern


We haven't yet tried any of these soups, but we'd bet they're very good. Note the celebrity 8x10 pictures on the wall. The interior is plastered with publicity photos from famous and not-so-famous friends of the house.
"We haven't yet tried any of these soups, but we'd bet they're very good. Note the celebrity 8x10 pictures on the wall. The interior is plastered with publicity photos from famous and not-so-famous friends of the house."
Michael Stern



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