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West Bloomfield’s Stage Deli mixes the classic delicatessen with fine dining 

Despite its suburban West Bloomfield location, you almost get the sense that Stage Deli is a small-town corner deli, with the staff seemingly on a first-name basis with every guest. Owned and operated by the Goldberg family, Stage Deli is an institution, dating back to its first incarnation in 1962 in Oak Park.

West Bloomfield's Stage Deli mixes the classic delicatessen with fine dining

"I see the same customers sometimes for lunch and dinner the same day," hospitality manager Ian Goldberg says of the small-town friendliness, himself a third-generation Goldberg. "We have a very loyal clientele."

The delicatessen moved to its West Bloomfield location in 1982 as Detroit's Jewish community moved northwest, and underwent a major remodeling in 2009. Today, it retains elements of a classic deli and combines them with fine dining to create an experience with the best of both. There's your typical deli counter where you can place a carry-out order, peering at smoked fish, salads, latke, pies, and a slew of other options through the glass, and a shelf along the wall that stocks potato chips, pop, and other sundries. But there's also a sizeable seated area, decorated with prints of old Hollywood icons — perhaps a nod to its Oak Park incarnation, whose proximity to Southfield's Northland Playhouse drew guests like Jane Mansfield.

We ordered a classic corned beef sandwich (called "The West Side Story"), which came with a small side of coleslaw, a pickle, and a cucumber. The sandwich was piled high with meat — definitely a two-hand job. At $15.50, it was quite a bit more expensive than what we were expecting, but we can't complain about small portions or lack of quality. We also ordered a pint of Matzo ball soup at $6.45 — simple comfort food made with just broth and one giant softball-sized Matzo ball, which also didn't disappoint.

In addition to classic deli fare, the menu also includes entrees like burgers, steaks, and pasta. Breakfast is available all day, and the menu includes booze as well. A thorough secondary menu makes it easy to tell which items are vegan and vegetarian, along with flagged soy- and gluten-free items.

But the sandwiches are the staple. "You definitely can't go wrong with corned beef or pastrami, or hard salami," Goldberg tells us. "All the classic deli meats — throw it between two pieces of rye bread, that's all you need." — mt

Stage Deli is located at 6873 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield, 248-855-6622; thestagedeli.com. Hours 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

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April 1, 2020

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