A sandwich from Little Red Window's forthcoming Jewish deli concept.
A sandwich from Little Red Window's forthcoming Jewish deli concept.

Jewish deli that ‘shuts you up’ coming to North Beach

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

A new Jewish deli concept is headed to North Beach and could be open as soon as Feb. 1. The chef behind it is Adam Rosenblum, the chef-owner of the bistro Causwells in San Francisco’s Marina District and the North Beach Spanish restaurant Red Window.

J. profiled him in May 2021 when he opened Red Window during the pandemic. At the same time he opened a more casual concept next door, Little Red Window, which began by offering empanadas, then burgers, and soon deli.

Rosenblum says he’s always wanted to open a Jewish deli. (A brick-and-mortar deli is his retirement plan, he joked.) But the more he thought about it, the more he figured there was no time like the present.

“I haven’t been this excited about anything I’ve been working on in a while,” Rosenblum said. “If we’re not the first, then we’re close to the first Jewish deli to be in North Beach. Everything has always been Italian deli here.”

Rosenblum says he’s been working on his pastrami recipe since 2006 and is really happy with its current iteration. The menu will consist mostly of soups (chicken soup with either noodles or matzah balls), kreplach and sandwiches using house-made rye, either seeded or not. All smoking and curing will be done in-house.

A spread from Little Red Window's forthcoming Jewish deli concept.
A spread from Little Red Window’s forthcoming Jewish deli concept.

French fries will accompany the sandwiches, flavored with schmaltz and everything seasoning. A wedge salad will have pastrami bacon on it. “This is the first time I won’t have any pork on the menu,” Rosenblum said, “which for me is very weird.”

While he grew up mostly in Silver Spring, Maryland, his extended family was in New Jersey, and he recalled frequent visits to Harold’s Jewish Deli in Edison, N.J., where they’d order platters of sandwiches.

Eating communally with family has always inspired his cooking, he said.

“It reminds me of something that I experienced growing up, or have an attachment to, and know it’s a food that others can relate to in a similar way,” Rosenblum said.

He specifically recalled a sandwich called the Sloppy Joe, though it had no resemblance to the one most people know, with ground beef cooked in a tomato-based sauce and heaped on a squishy bun. The Sloppy Joe of Rosenblum’s memory had turkey, roast beef and corned beef, with Russian dressing, coleslaw and Swiss cheese on rye. He’s doing his own spin, which he’ll call an “East Coast Joe,” so as not to confuse people.

“It’s like a Jewish club sandwich on so many steroids, and so much better,” he said. “It’s very messy.”

Rosenblum said the goal is to serve the kind of Jewish deli that just “shuts you up,” he said. “You eat it and you have no words and you’re just content eating and not talking to anyone else around you.”

He hopes to start serving Jewish deli at Little Red Window by Feb. 1 and said its popularity will determine how long it sticks around. He also might come up with a more Jewish name for it.

Little Red Window, 1500 Stockton St., S.F. theredwindow.com

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."