Updated
Dec 30th, 2018
First Posted
Oct 14th, 2016

Junior’s Restaurant & Cheesecake

409 Plaza Real
Boca Raton FL, 33432
(561) 672-7301
Overall Rating
2.1
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
10/13/2016

Details

Hours: 11am-11pm 7 Days
Dress Code: Casual
Parking: Street Metered
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Full Bar
Outdoor: Yes
Reservations: No
Delivery: Yes

Pros

World Famous Cheesecake

Cons

Mediocre Food
NYC Prices

Critic's Review

Ruby Tuesday's was the "cheap" place in this plaza of mall stores; but when Yardhouse opened with a good price point and a much better atmosphere, Ruby's had no chance. In it's place has opened Junior's; a chain version of the Brooklyn Deli. I thought I'd take a drive, as there's been a shortage of interesting openings lately.

I got a late start; I'm not used to the 1/2 hour drive for lunch. The plaza was dead, which meant a good parking spot right out front. The place is built into a storefront and it wasn't clear where the front door was. Lots of unoccupied chairs on the plaza.

This turned out to be the wrong entrance; this was the "store", where you can buy Junior's famous cheesecake.

The hostess stand is on the opposite side of the restaurant. There were only 3 tables in the 213 seat restaurant occupied. They tried to seat me right in front of the hostess stand. "Nah, the place is dead, how about a booth". One guy seemed to want to oblige, but another guy overrode him and showed me to a bench seat right in front of the server's station. Another moron operation in South Florida.

6 empty booths at 2:45pm and then can't spare one.

The place has sort of a fake 50's atmosphere; trying to recreate an old restaurant's charm almost never works. Bill Haley and his Comets, Bobby Fuller nor the Everly Brothers could convince me. Meanwhile, nobody was coming by to service me. Finally a girl shopped by and I ordered an ice tea with extra lemon. When she returned, I ordered a lunch combo, which I'd rejected as not worth is until I saw that it includes a beverage. Pastrami and Pea Soup. I didn't want a matzo ball.

Juniors has their own mustard, which means you have no idea what it is. A different girl returned with the tea to take my order, which was kind of strange.

Sword toothpicks are big here. Every lemon wedge gets a sword.

The first girl came by and asked "Do you like pickles and cole slaw"? "Is it included", I asked. What Jewish deli ASKS if you want pickles and cole slaw? It is "complimentary, so I said to bring it on over.

A weak offering. The original Junior's has a real pickle service; These were the waterlogged jar kind; I hadn't had pickled beets in 20 years and I never really hated them.

Junior's slaw is garbage. Cabbage in vinegar and sugar without enough time to meld the flavors. Raw cabbage sucks.

While I was waiting, they were doing some training on the POS right behind me. Why seat all of your customers where the servers are stirring around? Put them on the other side of the restaurant. Another restaurants that seats customers based on what's best for them rather than what's best for the customers.

The soup and sandwich came out right away, which is what happens when you have no other customers.

A bigger "cup" of soup than I expected, though I've never seen croutons in split pea soup before. The pastrami is served on a roll instead of rye; I'd hate to think that 2 of these sliders are somehow worth $14 with no side?

The mustard was good, but the pastrami was too lean and wasn't properly moistened (good NY delis keep pastrami moist with steam or by boiling it). Dry pastrami isn't worth anything.

The soup was pedestrian also; like someone just cooked a bunch of split peas in water. I guess it's good for me; being green and all.

My original plan was to order some cheesecake to take home, but based on all of the other lousy stuff I had, I didn't feel like spending $8 on something that I didn't really want. I'm sure the cheesecake is good. I've hardly ever had bad cheesecake. It's not that hard to make.

My server offered me a take-home iced tea refill, which saved her tip. It worked nicely for the drive home.

Conclusion

Junior's founder, Harry Rosen, died in 1996. Junior's the chain restaurant is what happens when the founder's kids try to cash in on their father's hard work and ideas.

I didn't know that Juniors was opening in Boca; Juniors in Flatbush is legendary in the same way as Katz' and Carnagie Deli. This place is the end result of "chaining"; the problem with making an old-time institution into a chain is that you lose the charm, which is the key thing that made the original place interesting.

The problem with Junior's is that none of the charm from the original idea translated to Mizner Plaza in Boca Raton. It's simply too expensive for what it is, which is a 2nd class deli. If you think $12 for a piece of cheesecake and coffee is acceptable, by all means come by and have a party. But if this place survives I'll be very, very surprised.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Steve
Reply
I ate there a few times and I loved it. The food was always great. Always fresh, always big portions, always good quality, always reasonably priced. I was very disappointed when it closed. So would someone do a big favor to everyone who loved that place and reopen it?
Administrator
Reply
Not everyone has a bar as low as yours. Juniors was garbage and I'm surprise they lasted 2 years.

Given that they probably lost $2M I doubt someone will re-open it just for people who don't know what a good Deli should be.
Larry Baker
Reply
I was there last Sunday. Biggest mistake of my south Florida 30 years of dining hell. Nothing like the original. Way overpriced. Horrifble Service and I agree this place won't be around much longer
Stacy C
Reply
Once again you hit the nail on this one. I should have listened and saved $40.
Judy
Reply
Nothing like the Original. A Boca version for sure.

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