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Favorite Chicago Deli


WHT
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I have found a few around the city that I like. Pastrami being one of the main draws for me. My personal favorite is Manny’s on Jefferson off of Roosevelt. Great selection of items, good specials and some of the best pastrami I have ever had. This is as close to NYC as you can get here!

Living hard will take its toll...
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2nd on Mannies. What a great place, and a Chicago institution. I remember eating there once and I was surrounded by: a gang of bikers in their leathers; a table of 4 Hispanic men; a family of African Americans, and a big table of people from some unknown Eastern European country.

For take-out delis, I love Kaufmans in Skokie and Romanian Sausage on N. Clark.

There's also a good deli on Clark (2500 N?) right across the street from my dentist. It sucks because I always want to eat there but my teeth hurt too much.

The best deli in the Heartland, however, is Zingerman's in Ann Arbor MI.

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WHT, this is gonna take some serious thought, not to mention custom score cards, colored pencils and a lot of sandwiches.

For me without having put a ton of thought in it, I'd have to say that I like Meyer's Deli (great deli meats, great German beer collection, great German chocolates) when I lived in Lincoln Square, and was fond of Tony's (fantastic Italian sausage, great beef [just don't ask for jus on the side], and excellent giardinara) when I lived in Edison Park. So, it's gonna take some work, narrowing it down.

edit: you already said Mannies. Duh!

Edited by Hopleaf (log)

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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Boar's Head Deli on Belmont and Sheffield is pretty decent.

Got some good salami, good proscuitto.

Noise is music. All else is food.

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In Chicago, Manny's is the place to beat. Another favorite of mine is the Five Boroughs Deli on Wells. Their pastrami is good -- not Mannie's good -- but pretty good. They feature Boar's Head meats, and their potato salad is fantastic.

Between Chicago and New York, one of my favorite delis is Winkelstien's in Ann Arbor, MI. Winkelstein's is a bit more than a deli (bakery, imported specialty items, etc.), but their sandwiches are some of the best in the Midwest.

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guajolote, i think you are thinking of frances deli on north clark. (clark/wrightwood)

enjoy,

klinger

Yes, that's it. Next time I have my teeth cleaned is revenge time. A chopped liver sandwich w/ raw onions before the appointment. Maybe a char dog from wiener's circle too.

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guajolote, i think you are thinking of frances deli on north clark. (clark/wrightwood)

enjoy,

klinger

Yes, that's it. Next time I have my teeth cleaned is revenge time. A chopped liver sandwich w/ raw onions before the appointment. Maybe a char dog from wiener's circle too.

that's quite the creative revenge. you should throw some other stinkers in there.

maybe chew on some garlic to settle your stomach after the sandwich.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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LiL' Guys on damen and armitage has a great sandwich as well.

All of their own smoked/ roasted meats(the turkey rocks) sliced to order, plenty of choices for bread, condiments etc and some specialty sandwiches as well.

One of my favorites at the moment. check it out!

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Perry's Deli in the Loop roasts its own turkey and roast beef on the premises. They also make some gargantuan sandwiches, although Perry doesn't allow cell phones in the restaurant. :shock: It's just one part of his schtick.

Check out da joint at http://www.perrysdeli.com.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Perry's Deli in the Loop...They also make some gargantuan sandwiches....

This is not an understatement. Head this warning well; you may want to skip breakfast...hell, skip lunch too. These are true Dagwoods. You have to ratchet up your mouth like in the cartoons to get a bite of one of these. The brisket sandwich was my fav when I worked downtown

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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Sophie'sPolish Deli (418 w. Northwest Hwy, Mount Prospect)

Kaufman's in Skokie

Tenuta's in Racine, WI.

BlackForest Lodge in Morton Grove

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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  • 1 month later...

Manny’s for sure:

http://www.mannysdeli.com/

Manny’s still looks like it is from the 40’s with trays that you grab and run along cafeteria style in front of your choices. The plate lunches are very good (fond of the lamb shank and smelts), but I usually head to the middle of the counter to grab a corned beef on rye. Don’t worry, it is perfectly acceptable to take your tray and bypass those waiting for their plate lunches if getting a sandwich.

I just had the oxtails over kasha, incredible. This is a special on Thursdays.

Kaufman’s is good, not great.

Kaufman’s Bagel and Deli

4905 Dempster, Skokie

(847) 677-9880

Everyday 7am-8pm

Tony’s in Edison Park for muffalettas for sure.

My new favorite corned beef and pastrami is from the following:

I decided to stop at the Romanian Kosher Sausage Company on North Clark as well. I've passed by numerous times, but this time was in the mood for some good corned beef to take home for lunch on Saturday.

First it was a friday afternoon, lots of Jews shopping before Shabbat, very busy, a rabbi was behind me in checkout w/his own purchases.

I asked for a lb of corned beef, as an old woman behind the counter was slicing my order I asked if it the corned beef was prepared here. "of course, everything here is ours!" good I said, just asking. "a man last week took fifty 1lb packages of our corned beef w/him...back to New York" I said that is a good sign.

She was not kidding, this stuff was incredible and I don't think that it was because I have not had corned beef in awhile. I'm looking forward to the turkey breast pastrami made from real turkey breast. I also purchased a couple veal chops for the grill.

Had the turkey pastrami and veal chops over the weekend.

Grilled the veal chops w/a little balsamic vinegar, garlic mashed redskin potatoes and a salad of green leaf/romaine w/wasabi dressing (from True World Market). YUM

I really like the turkey pastrami, wife thought too much seasoning.

bought some Romanian Pastrami last Friday. Had a sandwich of it this weekend. The Romanian Pastarmi does not have as much pepper as traditional pastrami but has a HUGE garlic kick, it was sooo good.

Romanian Kosher Sausage Co.

7200 N. Clark

Chicago, IL 60626

Phone: (773) 761-4141

Hours: Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Mon.-Wed. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thur. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Shabbat.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Great post, Sweet Willie, keep'em coming.

Welcome to eGullet and the Heartland community therin. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming social events: we're really not that scary when you get to know us. We do eat and drink a lot, though.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Romanian Kosher Sausage Co.

7200 N. Clark

Chicago, IL 60626

Phone: (773) 761-4141

Hours: Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Mon.-Wed. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thur. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Shabbat.

Next time you're there Willie, pick up some hot dogs. They make my favorite hot dogs. I may have to walk over today just to get some.

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Next time you're there Willie, pick up some hot dogs. They make my favorite hot dogs. I may have to walk over today just to get some.

I did see them, but the casing was cellophane (sp)????!!???

Do they make hot dogs w/natural casing?

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Next time you're there Willie, pick up some hot dogs. They make my favorite hot dogs. I may have to walk over today just to get some.

I did see them, but the casing was cellophane (sp)????!!???

Do they make hot dogs w/natural casing?

It's a KOSHER deli, no hog casings :laugh:. I thought the same thing until a Jewish friend explaned it to me

Vienna Beef actually makes their kosher dogs with plastic casing, I saw it on the PBS Hot Dog show.

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Vienna Beef actually makes their kosher dogs with plastic casing, I saw it on the PBS Hot Dog show.

...just splitting hairs, but I'm almost certain that Vienna hot dogs are 'kosher-style' but not actually kosher. My grandfather was a kosher butcher on the South Side many years ago and through some sort of familial osmosis, this tid-bit of near useless knowledge has come to rest in my brain.

Either way, they are my favorite brand of hot dog. It's what I grew up with. (sorry Gramps)

And I agree about Manny's being in a class by itself, although I am certainly mining this thread for new places to try. :biggrin:

=R=

Vienna Beef Info

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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...just splitting hairs, but I'm almost certain that Vienna hot dogs are 'kosher-style' but not actually kosher.

Not splitting hairs at all, that is one of the approaches I used when I used to sell a brand of kosher dog against Vienna.

While the fact that Vienna is not true kosher, but "Kosher-Style" does not make a difference to me, as the Vienna dog is a great dog.

Elsewhere in the country being aware of Kosher-Style vrs Kosher is very important as other Kosher-style brands are not the quality that Vienna is.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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  • 2 years later...

Chicago Magazine's Dish reports this week that a new Jewish deli, Eleven Street Diner, is slated to open in the south loop in mid March. It's being opened by Brad Rubin, who's put in time at some notable places along the way. Addditionally, Mr. Rubin ". . . has been conducting extensive research for his dream restaurant in both New York and L.A. for the past two years."

I've often lamented the sad state of Deli in Chicago and have even joked that Shapiro's Deli in Indianapolis is the best deli in Chicago. Although this is nowhere near my home, I'm still hopeful that Eleven Street Diner will change the tone in town. Other than Manny's, which isn't really a deli anyway, what great delis do we really have around here? Will this be our first or is there something about the market here which prevents it from happening?

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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The quick answer to your question is 'NO'.

I was brought up on Deli's in Boston and Long Island. I haven't tried every Deli in the Chicago-Milwaukee area but almost everyone. Good Deli is expensive. Most of what i see is frozen lox, thin sliced corn beef to hide the fact that it's tough and non descript pickles, cream cheeses and bagels, soups and the like.

Once I found Russ & Daughters out of New York, my problems were solved. Only problem is that the FedEx rates are getting very high for Next Day. I suppose as people moved west they forgot the particulars of real Deli, like fresh whipped cream cheese in a many flavors, sour and half sour pickles, smoked salmon as well as lox from around the world. Our last order included a side of 'belly' lox made the way it was 80 years ago. A trifle salty, a little goes a long way but so heavenly mild and fatty, almost indescribable.

I hope someone will bring good Deli but I would not bet on it. -Dick

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Once I found Russ & Daughters out of New York, my problems were solved.

Russ & Daughters is an incredible establishment, and I love it. But it isn't a deli. It's an "appy" as in appetizer store. There are very few of them left. Appys sold dairy products and smoked/cured/pickled fish; delis sell smoked/pickled/cured meats. Their primary overlap was in the salad department.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I've heard great things about Russ & Daughters over the years and friends who've ordered from Katz's have been pleased. I've had good results with Zabar's, etc. But, here's the thing: eating deli is not something which should have to be planned in advance -- especially in a huge city with a relatively large Jewish population -- like Chicago.

I live in area which is particularly well-populated by Jews (Chicago's northern suburbs) yet the deli here is rather mediocre. There are a few places which do some things well but none which succeed across the board. I live very close to Max & Benny's and Max's, yet I rarely bother with either of them anymore. Kuhn's International Deli (German/Euro-style) in Deerfield turns out better corned beef than either of them. I do enjoy Once Upon a Bagel and think it's pretty good but it's still not a top-tier deli. The food and the overall selection of items is just not compelling like it is at the great places. And warm corned beef at OUaB doesn't come out of a steamer, it's nuked. I also think Kaufman's in Skokie offers a lot more good than bad. But, it lacks in its own way too.

Am I pissed? Yeah, a little. But more accurately, I'm baffled. Don't people care? Do they not know what they're missing? Or can they not tell the difference between a great place and an average one? Whatever the case, there is a core group of dissatisfied deli lovers in this town who will be very interested to see what kind of fare will be turned out at Eleven Street Diner. Expectations will be high.

And even if they do everything right, it'll be a tough battle. Excellence has its price and that price may be higher than most folks (non-fanatics) want to pay. I think that's why delis fail to excel in Chicago -- because to be really good, they'd have to charge more than most people expect (or are willing) to pay at a deli. This is how the deli culture has evolved -- or failed to evolve -- in Chicago.

However, if the core audience is big enough and the location turns out to be right, ESD will make a go of it. Interestingly, ESD will be located fairly near Manny's, which turns out what is arguably the best corned beef in Chicago. Perhaps on that basis alone, they'll have a fighting chance since they'll be in the path of the pilgrims. And it's only a mile and a half south of the center of downtown too, which will certainly be beneficial. It's only a few blocks from my company's satellite office, so I hope to get over there and check it out very early on.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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