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When Josh Pollack opened Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen in Five Points in 2012, Denver was blown away by his faithful recreation of the East Coast–style bagels he grew up noshing. Pollack was essentially immortalized for creating a water system that mimicked the mineral content of New York City’s famed H2O, thus, producing the closest thing to a “real” bagel the Mile High City had ever tasted. He proceeded to do the same thing for New York–style pizza when he opened Famous Original J’s Pizza in April of this year.
But perhaps Pollack’s true genius lies in his ability to innovate, rather than recreate. Take Rosenberg’s, for example: “On the East Coast, there are bagel shops and then there are Jewish delis,” Pollack says. “They’re never one and the same. But we craved both, so we made Rosenberg’s that all-encompassing concept.”
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Pollack is up to something similar with Lou’s Italian Specialties in nearby Curtis Park, which officially opens its doors tomorrow. The takeout-only spot is more than just a replication of a classic Tri State Italian deli. It’s also Pollack’s homage to the “little mom-and-pop Italian restaurants that exist in all of New Jersey’s and [New York City’s] boroughs, together with a market concept like Di Palo’s Fine Foods.” In short, Lou’s is a delicatessen, a restaurant, and a market in one cherry-red-and-avocado-green-hued package.
The result is a paradise for food lovers. You’ll find shelves of specialty olive oils and imported Italian products, fresh pastas and pints of marinara sauce ready for takeaway, deli cases gleaming with assorted antipasti and cheeses and ready-to-grab salads and pastries, and, of course, made-to-order hot and cold subs.
Executive chef Jason Somers and culinary director Nick Severino, both New Jersey natives, certainly know how to make a craveable sandwich. The shop’s flashy Snaidero slicer produces paper-thin sheets of local and imported charcuterie, which are then stacked with great care on City Bakery breads. The classic Louie—Genoa salami, capicola, ham, provolone cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, and oil and vinegar—is a nice introduction. Just be sure to grab extra napkins with your order; Lou’s is take-out only, and chances are you’ll want to tuck into your sandwich before you arrive at your destination.
If you go: Lou’s is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; 3357 N. Downing St., 720-287-3642