WALTHAM – The pastrami is absolutely addictive. The roast beef takes a week to prepare, and the Bahn Mi is layer upon layer of meaty magic.
At Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions, the old school deli has been reinvented, and the results are astonishingly delicious.
Brand new to Waltham’s Moody Street, Moody’s Deli is a feast for the eyes. Out front, there are salamis hanging from the ceiling, a huge case overflowing with meats and cheeses, and a kitchen cranking out hand crafted sandwiches that are some of the best you’ll ever eat.
The back of the house is home to the area’s only USDA certified facility for curing meats, with about 65 different products being aged, cooked, and cured.
“It’s an old world deli in a new world setting,” said owner Joshua Smith. “I grew up going to delis my whole life, and I wanted to sort of reinterpret that. So that’s what we tried to do with this space, is to take something that we knew -that we all have a preconception of -and really just flip it on its head.”
Smith opened Moody’s just a couple months ago but he’s been dreaming about this place for years. He worked all over the country from five star hotels, to gourmet retail stores, to some of Boston’s best restaurants. All those experiences have provided him with a very particular set of skills that made Moody’s a delicious success from the day he opened the doors.
“Most guys in the meat business have never been chefs. Most chefs have never gotten into the meat business. So I was trying to kind of take both and combine them and create something special,” Smith said.
Every sandwich served at Moody’s is spectacular, so choosing just one can be a challenge. But a good place to start is by ordering The Katz, featuring Josh’s incredible homemade pastrami.
“The pastrami is something that I’ve worked on for about ten years and I’ve served it almost everywhere that I’ve worked. I’m very proud of the formula and the recipe that we’ve created.”
The pastrami itself is just one part of what makes this sandwich great.
“It’s a pastrami on rye, with melted Swiss and mustard, but we use a mustard pickle relish with Abbruzian style goat horn peppers in the relish,” Smith explained. “We use the best bread from Iggy’s; everything’s carefully curated, assembled, but at the end of the day it’s a pastrami sandwich. But when you eat it, it’s something completely different.”
Another must try at Moody’s is their version of the roast beef sandwich, known as The Beast, piled up with a half-pound of meat that’s been brined for days and slow cooked for eighteen hours.
“Then we stack it high with like a caramelized onion jam, a horseradish crema, and then put that on some nice francheze bread, griddle it, let it melt up nicely, a little bit of fontina cheese and you get yourself a good sandwich. It’s a beast. It a decent sized sandwich, it’s definitely a meal.”
Because of all the quality and care that go into everything they make at Moody’s, even the most pedestrian sandwiches become gourmet experiences. Like the Grilled Cheese, oozing with provolone, parmesan, and fontina, along with caramelized onions and red pepper jam on crusty sourdough.
Then there’s Joshua’s Bologna sandwich, which upgrades the lunchbox classic with American cheese, bologna made in house, honey mustard, a habanero pickle relish, and freshly fried truffle potato chips, all on toasted bread.
“When you bite into it, you get the soft creaminess of the bologna, you get the crunch of the chip, and the bologna has a little bit of cayenne, mustard, a little bit of smoke going on, and then the American cheese kind of rounding out the experience, and then a little bit of tang from the mustard to sort of help bring the whole package together,” Smith said.
There are plenty of international flavors to be had here too. The Italian sub is stuffed with house made salami, copa, bologna, and pickled vegetables.
The Spicy Cuban is packed with smoked ham, pulled pork, and sweet pickles.
While the beautiful Bahn Mi, is all about the meat.
“I’m a big fan of Vietnamese food, and the Bahn Mi I always thought was very interesting because it’s typically a lot of vegetables garnished with a little bit of meat,” said Smith. “So I said we need to flip that on its head yet again. So we turned it upside down and crammed it full of some of the best pates that we have, studded it with some of our smoked pork, and then we have a Siracha pork belly that we do. And then just stick that in there for good measure. All the textures are there. Soft, creamy, crunchy, you know it’s all right there.”
Although Moody’s has only been open a few months, it’s already developed quite a loyal following. Not only is the food great, but so is the service -thanks to an owner who is passionate about every product and loves sharing his knowledge with customers.
“It’s a community; it’s an experience; it’s fun; it’s an event; it’s something that you look forward to doing,” Smith said. “How could you not love that? How could you not love making people happy and seeing people come in and just be like ‘Wow, this is amazing, I’ve never had anything like this.’ And then they come back the next week and get more and then they’re bringing their friends in and recommending it to others and it’s just like, wow. You’ve just started something,; you’ve just lit a powder keg and it keeps going.
“We’re doing something different, we’re doing something special, and what’s not to love about special.”
You can find Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions at 468 Moody Street in Waltham, or online at moodyswaltham.com.
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