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Kaminsky's deli delivers big taste

Mike Kaminsky is a touchy and talented guy.

He doesn't like anybody - and I do mean anybody - questioning the taste and integrity of his food.

One day when I walked into Kaminsky's N.Y. Deli, which he owns with his wife, Eva Kaminsky, he was setting a customer straight - again.

The man asked him if the soups of the day, beef barley and chicken matzo ball soup, were homemade.

Mike Kaminsky, who had just rung up the customer's bill at the cash register, was visibly taken aback and alarmed.

"Man, who do you think I am?" he said. "This isn't McDonald's. This is homemade. It doesn't come out of a can."

Another gentleman standing near the fountain drink machine chuckled and said, "He's the Soup Nazi from 'Seinfeld.'"

I disagree. Mike Kaminsky isn't a stone-cold curmudgeon, but he is a businessman who possesses a New York acumen that may hurt a sensitive Southerner's feelings.

If you are such a person, don't let his confident, bordering on cocky, attitude turn you away. Stay. Eat. You will quickly discover he can back up his in-your-face attitude.

The man knows how to make sensational soups and scrumptious sandwiches.

His worst soup, beef barley, is better than the best soups I've tried elsewhere.

And his best soups, including his cream of potato and chicken matzo ball soup, are far superior to the most stellar soups I've enjoyed.

His sandwiches are, in the words of Guy Fieri, out of bounds. In my own words, the sandwiches are mafia meals that murder the competition.

I've tried two thus far, the yellow fin tuna wrap and the classic reuben.

The wrap is killer and comes with pan-seared, sushi-grade, yellow-fin tuna, sliced just right and served with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, julienne carrots, thin slices of cucumber and Asian sesame dressing or tartar sauce. I always choose the sesame dressing. It costs $7.99.

You get a side of potato salad, coleslaw or tuna macaroni salad with each sandwich and a pickle on the side, if you want it.

The potato salad is truly delightful and made with a Dijon or brown mustard. It is so yum. The coleslaw is one of my all-time favorites on the Grand Strand. It's creamy with the right amount of crunch. The tuna macaroni salad is solid, but it doesn't knock me out like the other sides.

Mike, you need a better pickle. The pickle is bland and is sorely in need of a flavor boost. I prefer a slightly salty, garlicky kosher dill pickle that has a crisp crunch.

Now, let's talk about that classic reuben, which is an all-American classic and worthy of its name.

The corned beef on that reuben is as tender as a baby's touch. It is piled high with sauerkraut, melted Swiss and Russian dressing. Served on rye toast, the sandwich made me put my mouth to work.

This is a true, short story.

The sandwich is so big that my mouth (which is fairly big, as anyone close to me can tell you) had to stretch open to a point where the sides of it actually hurt a little. It is well worth the cost of $7.99.

I plan to work my way down the menu and try all the specialty lunch sandwiches, and there are a bunch of them.

Next up for me is the Brooklyn Pct. No. 75 (hot roast beef, onions and melted horseradish cheddar served on a sub roll with Kaminsky's famous dipping sauce for $7.99 and the Special "K" (The Bosses Favorite) that is honey maple turkey and tomato topped with melted Swiss, coleslaw and Russian dressing for $7.99.

The most expensive sandwich is a foot long, assaulted with a gluttonous amount of Boar's Head meats and cheeses with more toppings than any one man or woman needs for $9.99.

Eventually, I'll make it over to the breakfast menu, which has a five-egg omelet with prosciutto, onions, mushrooms, jalapenos and horseradish cheddar for $8.99 and a potato knish topped with eggs, pastrami or corned beef for $8.99.

For now, I am too focused on creating a strategy to try every sandwich on the menu and come back with sassy replies to Mike Kaminsky's sassier tongue.

His wife, Eva, has been married to him for 31 years. Bless her heart.

And I also send out heartfelt hugs and sincere thoughts to Megan Patrick, who, along with Eva, helps make those divine sandwiches.

Before I go, let me tell you this: Don't be surprised to see at least three members of the Myrtle Beach Police Department there at lunch during the week. They are easily among the deli's biggest fans.

Also, remember not to stand in line unless you already know what you want, or Mike might get snippety.

"Come on. You're killing me," he will tell you and then skip over you to the person behind you who knows what he or she wants.

And lastly, don't think you are going to take more than one takeout menu with you to share with someone you want to let know about the deli.

When I tried, Mike told me, "You've already got one. You don't need another," he said while taking the menu from my right hand. "Those things are expensive."