Best Of Minnesota: Delis

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — For a Jewish kid from the East Coast, Cecils Deli in St. Paul, might be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

“We have homemade potato latkes, knishes, blintzes, cabbage soup, homemade chicken soup,” said owner David Leventhal. “We make our own Matzah balls.”

At Cecils, they also have experience.

“Sheila, Cecil’s daughter — she’s been here since she was 9 years old and she’s in her early 70s,” Leventhal said.

Leventhal’s had the smell of rye bread on his clothes for half a century now.

“I married the boss’ daughter, and that’s how I got working in a delicatessen for 50 years,” he said.

But it’s not just David and Sheila — Cecils is the ultimate family business.

“A lot of things on the menu are named after children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Cecil and Faye,” Leventhal said.

Many of whom still work here, including all four of David and Sheila’s kids: Becca, Bradley, Amy and Aaron.

“One of my children are here most all the time, or I’m here,” he said. “It requires working seven days a week. I’m complaining, I’m not bragging about that.’

But what they should brag about is the food.

“The recipes that we have, that we use, have evolved over 63 years,” he said. “So, we know what the people want and we give them that.”

More from Matt Brickman
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