How much of a north central Connecticut institution is Rein's Deli?
After Saturday and Sunday religious services, the place is packed, no matter what faith is practiced.
Then again, there is usually a line for breakfast, lunch and dinner on all seven days it is open and many customers drive a half-hour to get there.
The following is not limited to the locals. Tour buses regularly stop there and a few members of the Eastern Ski Writers Association from Philadelphia and south and central Jersey alter their schedules to stop there when heading to the mountains. Ed Blumstein, a Philly lawyer who is the legal counsel for the organization, said, ''When it's good deli, you have to go there.''
Reins Deli founder Bob Rein had a motto on how to feed his patrons: ''Food that feeds the soul and warms the heart.'' The chicken matzo ball soup will do just that and so will the rest of the extensive menu.
How to describe the cuisine is simple: Rein's is a traditional New York style Jewish deli. Soups range from the matzo to borscht to the house specialty: mushroom barley. Entrees range from liver and onions to stuffed cabbage to a homemade mac and cheese. And what's a deli without chopped liver, tongue, and pastrami on your choice of bread? Rein's also features traditional deli desserts like rice pudding and stewed prunes. By the way, the traditional half-sour pickles are served at the table and can also be taken home by the bucket.
435 Hartford Turnpike (Route 30),Vernon. Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 860-875-1344. Prices: $8.99 to $14.99 for entrees, $5.89 to $13.79 for sandwiches.