You don’t have to travel 2,000 miles to enjoy an authentic New York deli sandwich. You can indulge your cravings right here in Phoenix at the Miracle Mile Deli, which is celebrating its 70th birthday this year.
The restaurant has been owned and operated by the same family for the past three generations. The City of Phoenix even proclaimed May 10 to be Miracle Mile Deli Day.
“We’re a New York style deli,” Vice President Josh Garcia said, “and we’ve won several awards for the Valley’s best pastrami, brisket and corned beef sandwiches.”
“My grandfather Jack Grodzinsky moved here from Brooklyn in 1949,” Garcia said. “He’d worked in the bakery and restaurant business since he was 9. His father died when he was 10, so he instantly became the man of the house.”
Grodzinsky’s eldest daughter had asthma and her doctors suggested they should relocate to the Southwest where the dry air would alleviate her condition.
When Grodzinsky’s search for employment yielded nothing in Tucson, which was the first stop in Arizona, he caught a bus to Phoenix. Hopping off, he noticed Pat’s Cafe sitting across the street, but he passed it and proceeded to explore Phoenix, still searching for the right opportunity.
“When he didn’t find anything he liked,” Garcia said, “he went back to Pat’s Cafe, walked inside, talked to the owner and bought the restaurant on the spot. While he never graduated from high school, my grandfather had a lot of common sense and he was a very smart man.”
In the early 1950s, the area just east of 16th Street and McDowell was mostly dirt. Over time, this barren space gave way to paved roads and commercialization and the neighborhood took the moniker the Miracle Mile. To honor this developing community, the restaurant adopted the name Miracle Mile Deli.
Over the 70-year span of serving its customers, Miracle Mile has moved around the Valley quite a bit. In 2015, its dream was realized when the deli was able to move to its current location at 16th St. and Campbell Ave.
Garcia officially entered the family business in 2004 following his college graduation. Deli operations, though, were nothing new to him.
“When I was 12,” Garcia said, “I wasn’t tall enough to see over the counter, so I stood on a milk crate and served coffee on Saturday mornings from 7 to 11 a.m. I did my homework on a pickle bucket behind the serving line. The restaurant was my upbringing.”
Miracle Mile Deli has also been known for inspiring ‘miraculous’ love matches:
“My parents met while working in the restaurant,” Garcia said, “and that’s also how I met my wife.”
In addition to its popular brisket, pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, the Miracle Mile Deli offers several daily specials made from scratch. It’s known for large portions and for delivering a quality product at a great value.
“We focus on quality, consistency and service,” Garcia said, “and we’re excited and proud to celebrate 70 years of being able to serve our local community. It’s so cool to see great-grandparents and grandparents bring their grandchildren in to eat and share their memories of this place.”
For more: miraclemiledeli.com.