Joan and Ed's Deli (CLOSED)
Sherwood Plaza (Route 9 East), Natick, MA 01760
Mmmmmm...warm corned beef on rye, thick potato pancakes, delicious matzo ball soup, spicy pastrami with heaps of mustard...sounds like a nice meal at 73rd and Broadway in New York, or perhaps Harvard and Beacon Streets in Brookline, right? Wrong. Try the Sherwood Plaza on crazy, manic Route 9 in Natick. Yes, Joan and Ed's Deli serves up some yummy comfort food just like mother used to make, but you have to pretend that mother lives on a road that was designed for the sole purpose of having cars crash at high speeds. A strange location for a Jewish deli, indeed, but the food more than makes up for the stress of driving to Joan and Ed's.
It seems that nearly every type of deli food is served at this surprisingly large restaurant. The menu at Joan and Ed's includes all kinds of sandwiches, a variety of dinners including meat loaf and chicken stew, and traditional items such as a dense, rich, and hearty cheese kugel, homemade potato pancakes with applesauce, gut-busting meat and potato knishes, chopped liver, and kishka. Breakfast is also served here, with pancakes, omelettes, and, of course, bagels. All of this is served by a gregarious, engaging waitstaff that makes you feel like family. Don't forget to save room for dessert, specifically, the chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and whipped cream. This writer split one during one visit and finished it within about 45 seconds; perhaps not a feat to be proud of, but the waiter did appear to be impressed.
If you are looking for comfort food in the Natick/Framingham area, you do have some choices. Kelly's Roast Beef, which has a restaurant in nearby Jordan's Furniture, is a good place to dine if you're short on time, and Ken's Steak House has more than a few admirers. But how can you go wrong with tasty food from an authentic delicatessen? Joan and Ed's is surely one restaurant Boston diners should have on their short list if they happen to be in the area. Just be careful on Route 9, though...
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