There’s just something about a great delicatessen, and when Mitch Shidlofsky bid farewell to New York in 1993 and moved to South Florida seeking more opportunities and a better life for his son Jordan, he immediately dove into the world of entrepreneurialism, purchasing an existing deli in Sunrise. He spent the next nine years honing his skills and learning the ins-and-outs of the business, during which time he welcomed his second son, Adam, into the world.
In 2002, he took all the knowledge he’d garnered and, in pursuit of his own personal vision, opened Mitch’s Westside Bagels Too in Coral Springs. It was a smashing success. With the help of his brother Cory, who joined him in 2009, he opened his fourth location right here in Pinecrest, on March 14th.
“I thought there was a specific need for what we do in the Pinecrest area,” says Mitch. “It’s a very dense, affluent area and I think our restaurant is different enough from our competitors that there is room for us down here.”
Solicited to the area by the owner of Pinecrest Town Center, who also owns the -shopping center in which the Boca Raton location of his store is situated, Mitch and Cory are currently overseeing every single aspect of the deli’s development. The stores themselves have a classic, warm aesthetic and are comfortably roomy. Upscale in appearance, from their large-screen TVs and Chicago brick walls to their full deli counters, they can accommodate parties of all sizes and tastes.
Almost everything in the deli – their bagels, corned beef, brisket, tuna, chicken salad, soups and much more – is homemade from scratch, and inhouse. No food is shipped between restaurants. Signature dishes, such as their matzoh ball soup and tuna salad, have drawn praise from Boca, Coral Springs, Weston and now Pinecrest.
“I’ve never changed my recipes, and no matter what price increases occur, we’ve never added fillers to anything,” he says. “Changing the recipes sacrifices the quality of the food, and that will never happen.”
Shidlofsky is not averse to catering to his more health-conscientious patrons. Among other additions, the deli offers a create-your-own-salad menu, where customers can check off ingredients from a list and assemble their ideal leafy concoction.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and during that time we’ve built a particular customer base that enjoys standard dishes like corned beef, pastrami and that sort of thing, but there are also those that take a more healthy approach, and over the course of the last 10 years that has evolved into a big business for us,” he says. “We’re proud to offer meals using egg whites, low-fat salads and gluten-free baked goods including cookies on our menu.”
With both of his sons now in college – Jordan is attending law school at FIU and Adam is starting his first year at UF this summer – Mitch’s passion for food hasn’t diminished an iota. Eager to welcome the neighbors of Pinecrest into his deli, he hasn’t forgotten what got him this far.
“We’ll never lose sight of where we started and who we are,” he says. “Our slogan is ‘Taste the Difference,’ and I think that sums it up as far as our food goes.”
Westside Bagels Too is located at 12729 S. Dixie Hwy, and their hours of operation are from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact them with any questions or for catering by telephone at 305-233-2377, through their website at <www.mitchswestsidebagels.com> or on Facebook at <www. facebook.com/mitchswestsidebagelstoo>. Follow them on Twitter, @WestsideBagels.