Former Pumpernickle’s owner unveils deli food truck

An image of the Deli on a Roll food truck from its Facebook page.

BY ELLEN FUTTERMAN

Apparently, I am part of the minority who has never had the pleasure of eating from a St. Louis area food truck, unless you count the Frosty Treats ice cream van that roams my neighborhood in good weather. At last count, there are more than 25 mobile eateries locally, ranging from trucks that sell barbecue of all nationalities to coastal cuisine to falafel and gyros to cupcakes in flavors like banana split, Cherry Coke and orange Dreamsicle.

Now add to this list what is being proclaimed as the first local Jewish delicatessen on wheels, “Deli On A Roll.”  It’s the brainchild of Jay Silverman, previous owner of Sam & Jake’s Pumpernickle Deli, and his former deli manager, Rachel Carpenter. “With my 25-plus years in the car business and four years of owning Pumpernickle’s and Rachel’s 10 years in the deli business, we decided to join forces and do what we do best,” says Silverman.

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Launched just last week, Deli on a Roll is visiting car dealerships to offer its “kosher-style” food to the sales forces and service department personnel.  Silverman says he has already fielded several requests for catering events, and is looking forward to becoming a member of the St. Louis Food Truck Association (yes, these trucks are so popular they have their own association).  Silverman’s psychedelic designed truck pays homage to “The Partridge Family” while the food is reminiscent of the Protzel family.

“My commissary, my home base, is Protzel’s Deli (in Clayton),” says Silverman, explaining that he has the same meat supplier as he did when he owned Pumpernickle’s. His truck sells breakfast and lunch, with prices for most deli sandwiches around $7, and his signature “Deli on a Roll,” a combination of corned beef, turkey, brisket and pastrami on a hoagie, topping out at 10 bucks.

Silverman says he had been working on the truck since May, a month after he sold Pumpernickle’s. “I didn’t want to do the seven days a week of the restaurant business anymore. The hours were just too long,” explains Silverman. “But I enjoy the food business and meeting people and the interaction, so a deli food truck seemed logical since people had mentioned to me no one was doing kosher-style deli.”

If you can’t locate the truck on the street, you can soon look for it on the web at MyDeliOnARoll.com (Silverman says the website is almost complete), email [email protected] or visit the Deli on a Roll Facebook page.

Rockin’ with Rubin

It seems Jennifer Rubin never falls off her rocker. What began four years ago as a mitzvah project in anticipation of her bat mitzvah has now become a yearly event.  On Saturday, Nov. 3, the fourth annual “Rockin’ 4 Relief” rockathon will take place at 15 participating Dierbergs markets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rubin and friends will once again rock in rocking chairs for nine continuous hours to raise money and awareness for BackStoppers, which gives at least $5,000 to each family it helps.

“During the past three years, we’ve raised over $25,000, including a recent $13,000 donation from Oprah Winfrey,” says Jennifer, who is now 16. “We’re going from seven locations and 30 volunteers last year, to 15 locations and 80 volunteers this year.”

For a list of locations – Jennifer will be at the Dierbergs at Baxter and Clarkson roads in Chesterfield – as well as other information, go to www.rockin4relief.com.

Tweet of the week

Possibly the best Tweet from Monday night’s presidential face-off came from The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg: “No event in the history of Boca Raton has started later than this debate.”

Post mortem

Cardinals fans remember: the shiva period is seven days. Then we need to get on with our lives.