STATEN ISLAND, NY — Golden’s Deli, the long-shuttered New Springville eatery known for its renowned Jewish delicacies and enormous beige and dark green subway car, still holds a place in our artery-clogged hearts.
The Advance/SILive.com routinely shares old photos and stories on social media about the eatery along Richmond Road that closed more than a decade ago, in the winter of 2012. They’re usually met with a mouthful of nostalgic feels.
The recent posting prompted this author to take another bite of the old-school eatery’s history by searching for the restaurant’s menu. mission accomplished.
WhereYouEat, an online New York City food information utopia, has what is likely the last edition of the beloved Golden’s menu. The front page has “2011 update Q1” on the top right of the photocopied pamphlet containing every bit of deliciousness once served by the eatery within walking distance of the Staten Island Mall.
A white circular logo reading “Golden’s Kosher Restaurant & Deli” contains an illustration of the subway car that once called the center of the location home. That public transportation dining area, where scores of customers inhaled matzo ball soups, and knishes, was branded with “GOLDEN’S” and its former subway line, “AA,” along with “B’WAY LAFAYETTE” lettering. Two photographs — after Golden’s closed, and before it opened — show the car below.
“Old fashioned may be old fashioned, but not at Golden’s,” text on the front of the menu says. Below it, “We still make meats the [time-honored] way. It may take us a little longer, but what is time when you know our quality is the same today as it was 85 years ago?”
The shop, which was open to inside dining and takeout, was open from 9 am to 10 pm most days, with an 11 pm close on Fridays and Saturdays.
Golden’s menu was loaded. Wanted hot corned beef or pastrami? No problem. Meat loaf, chicken salad or a breaded buffalo chicken cutlet? Yep. Roast beef or grilled salami garlic bread sandwich? Take my money.
One of the Combo Triple Decker choices listed above, Ray’s Own, is a nod to Raymond Pannone, who was the main operator of the New Springville location until it went out of business in 2012. Golden’s was named after Marvin Golden, one of the original partners in the restaurant, which eventually expanded into several locations in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan on Madison Avenue.
As for other entrees, Golden’s dished out its own “Jumbo Specials” — “two jumbo all-beef frankfurters with baked beans, French fries and sauerkraut. Other items on the “Old Time Deli Favorites” listing included a mixed platter of meat loaf, derma, stuffed cabbage and kasha varnishkes. Frankfurters, a variety of meats, chopped liver, and several different knish options (potato, homemade or Coney Island style; broccoli; spinach or meat) litter the menu. As do salad platters, chicken soup (with choices of matzo, golden noodles, fluffy rice and more), Golden’s Onion Bloom, and on and on.
But wait. There’s more. “Over-stuffed deli sandwiches” of hot corned beef, fresh turkey, hard or wide salami, tuna or chicken salad, and chopped liver, were on the food listing. As they were the “Chicken Lickin’s Grilled Chicken Deluxe,” featuring a variety of chicken choices from cutlets to BLT, sesame to breaded chicken cutlet, and a barbecued buffalo breaded chicken cutlet. On a roll. Or pita. With lettuce, tomato, and “Golden’s fries.” Want garlic bread? Fork over a buck. Fried onions? Seventy-five cents, please.
Or grab a wrap, also with fries or a fruit salad, for $11.95.
Breakfast was also a fixture at the eatery: Green pepper, tomato and spinach omelets were among the many breakfast choices at Golden’s Deli. Pancakes and French toast, as well as homemade blueberry, cherry or apple blitzes, potato pancakes and nova lox platters, were also available.
Golden’s official address was 2845 Richmond Ave. inside the Kmart Shopping Center. Kmart left the plaza shortly before Golden’s closed.
At the bottom of the menu is the “Future Dean’s List,” a kids’ menu “served in classic cars.” The “Entrepreneur” was the hamburger special. “Architect,” chicken bits, and “Lawyer,” frankfurter. Each came with vegetables and fries.
“Yes, I do believe he’s 12 year old. I just don’t believe he started shaving at age 7,” reads a quote from the owner, Ray, below the kids’ menu.