Fans of Mazie’s in West Palm Beach were disappointed when the restaurant closed last year, but chef Eric Baker has reinvented the concept with a twist. Uncle Pinkie’s Market & Deli opened in February next door to his popular Boca Raton gastropub, Rebel House.
“We did Uncle Pinkie’s as a pop-up during lunchtime at Mazie’s and it was extremely popular,” Baker says. “I decided to create a Jewish deli for the next generation. It’s food that pays tribute to my family and heritage, but in a way that’s more relevant to how people eat now.”
That heritage emerges on the Uncle Pinkie’s menu through Edith’s Chicken Soup, named for Baker’s great-grandmother; Ada’s Dip, a brisket-centric reinvention of the French dip that memorializes his maternal grandmother; and the Mazie Melt (corned beef or pastrami on rye with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing), which pays tribute to his father’s mother.
The towering, overstuffed sandwiches that were a hallmark of the New York deli experience are a thing of the past, but dishes such as chopped liver, noodle kugel, and potato latkes remain to delight traditionalists. Not everything is traditional, though: There’s a Manischewitz Margarita on tap (tequila, Manischewitz, and fresh lime juice) that Baker insists tastes much better than it sounds.
For now, Uncle Pinkie’s uses a space that formerly served as Rebel House’s private dining room, and the food comes out of the same kitchen, but Baker sees a bigger future for the concept. “Sandwiches get people excited because they strive for perfection and intricacy in a small package.”