Jimmy's Sand Trap: A Deli with Jewish Soul Food, in a Dive Bar, Arrives

By Megan McDonald February 22, 2012

Jimmy's Sand Trap.

Do not be afraid of the name, which sounds more like a 19th-hole watering spot (but looks more like a somewhat dingy bar).

Do not be afraid of the Kermit-the-Frog-green walls and Bud Light pool table lights (note: pool table has been removed).

Do not be afraid of the 1960s green, scalloped shell chairs (which are actually pretty comfortable).

A deli classic: Hot pastrami on rye.

Jewish soul food has arrived, and it is anything but a Katz Deli location. On the corner of Webber and Beneva lives an obscure concept. What started as a true dive bar and was once home to many failed restaurants (including Barnacle Bill's for some years) is now alive and well and serving up some darn good Jewish foods.

Jimmy's matzo ball soup.

Rumor got out that Jimmy's Sand Trap had good matzo ball soup, and suddenly it added chopped liver and briny pastrami to the menu. Then Longboat Key residents discovered it. By the time we found it, knish, white fish salad, pickled herring in sour cream and onions and a darn good Reuben were added as well. I was home!

Do not be confused that the woman writing this blog post has a last name like Gallagher--I just happened to fall in love with a nice Irish boy from Dorchester. I grew up with delis all around me, and monthly trips from our home in Connecticut to Zabar’s were a family ritual.

Jimmy’s Sand Trap is not exactly Reins Delicatessen, which catered my bat mitzvah after-party, but it is a darn good expression of what Jewish deli can be. They even have Dr. Brown’s cream soda, and a local culinary student makes the cheesecake. There are half-sour pickles and a new deli case for take home.

Knish, anyone?

If enough of us go, perhaps they will paint the walls white, hang black-and-white photos of famous people and have an obsessively large laminated menu like the Carnegie. But for now, I am just happy with a place to call home and a hot pastrami on rye.

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