A Home for Krunchy Latkes in Surfside

By Caroline Hatchett

By

Caroline Hatchett
Krunchy Spicy Tuna Latkes: Sriracha Cream Cheese, Nori, and Pickled Onions
Krunchy Spicy Tuna Latkes: Sriracha Cream Cheese, Nori, and Pickled Onions

Josh Marcus is a wise-ass New Yorker who found a little piece of paradise and a whole lot of community in Surfside, Florida. As chef and owner of Josh’s Deli, he’s in the business of feeding snowbirds a taste of home as they winter in the Sunshine State, and then holding down the fort for year-rounders in the summer months. “Surfside has a great small town feel, which is special for Miami. I’m all up in [my diners'] business. I never thought this would be a byproduct of owning a restaurant—to be that embedded with the people.”

Marcus’s restaurant is a welcoming, 20-seat spot that serves traditional deli foods like house bagels and lox and matzo ball soup, alongside irreverent updates like the Jewban—a take on Miami’s Cuban sandwich with pastrami, roasted pickles, Swiss cheese, and mustard.

Fitting into the latter category are Marcus’s tricked out Krunchy Spicy Tuna Latkes that will blow the doors off of any Hannukah party. They’re deeply burnished, packed with flavor, and crunchy enough to merit the K in their name. Marcus starts the latkes in a cold pan with oil, largely for practical purposes. “Most people can’t get all the latkes in the pan before burning the first one,” he says. To give them a Surfside spin, he tops the fried potato cakes with slices of cured tuna loin (procured from whole yellowfin tuna that he sources locally). And because he digs Asian flavors (and also why not), they're finished with srircaha cream cheese and nori.

Marcus serves the latkes all year—to grandpas, tourists, chef friends, and hungry Miamians who make the short drive north to Surfside—and they’re a hallmark of his style. “I’ve lived here for 15 years now, and I’ve lived on beaches my entire adult life.” The rules of New York delis don’t apply this far South, where sriracha is an everyday condiment and krunchy starts with a K. 

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