Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Nov 14, 2003 10:43 AM

David Berg meats??

  • a

I'm curious about this company. Is this an all together different beef-producing factory somewhere in Chicago? Is it small-scale?

I know Morry's, 55th st.,Hyde Park, gets panned in a big way on this board, but I'm actually a huge fan of the fatty pastrami sandwiches they serve. The pastrami definitely tastes different than the pastrami I get at Ashkenaz (which I think is Vienna). If my mouth is correct, it has a higher fat content... I've also seen the David Berg trucks pull up for deliveries. But then last night I noticed that the Vienna Beef factory at Damen/Fullerton has a small David Berg sign. Am I a pastrami fool?

Also, are Berg meats Kosher versus Vienna's non-kosher?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. to add further confusion- here is a link to their web site. Obviously and old company, that claims to be "Kosher-style, without the cost of a Kosher seal"

    no mention of Vienna Beef however


    9 Replies
    1. re: ab


      David Berg meats was purchased by Vienna. Some interesting gossip from a friend at Allen Bros. If you are a Vienna hot dog user, and want to switch to David Berg, you can't get the hot dogs from Vienna, but have to go through a jobber, which drives up the price of the Berg dog so you are motivated to continue to use Vienna.

      Interesting way of controlling the competition.

      Evil Ronnie

      1. re: Evil Ronnie
        Vital Information

        You know I was intrigued by the David Berg web site linked by ab. I had thought that Berg was owned by Vienna, but the web sites for Vienna and Berg would incidate otherwise. So I kick-started the ol' Lexis-Nexis, and did a brief search.

        In 1993, Vienna purchased David Berg outta bankruptcy. Vienna out-bid Kelly Corned Beef. At some point, and I have not spent enough time to figure out, at least 50% of David Berg was aquired by OSI of Aurora, a large, mutli-national, privately held food company (most famous I suppose as a supplier to McDonalds).


        1. re: Vital Information

          I'm guessing that the Aurora plant provides all the meat. They claim to still smoke their pastrami and sausages... doesn't Vienna use Liquid Smoke?

          Anyway, back to the food end of things- I'm a huge fan of their pastrami, and find it appeals to me more than the Vienna Beef pastrami I get at Ashkenaz.

          thanks kindly for the info you two


          1. re: ab


            Vienna makes pastrami in two distinct cures, Romanian and NY. The Romanian is a traditional pastrami cure, and the NY is spicier, with more pepper, coriander, and such.

            In addition to choice of cures from Vienna, you have a wide choice of cut of pastrami, to include everything from eye of round ( no fat, "healthier") to navel pastrami (Gino at Manny's confirmed my suspicion that they use Vienna NY cured navels. The navel is from the front plate and is even fattier than brisket.

            I think that the pastrami at Manny's is just about perfect. Rich and fatty. I haven't had pastrami at Ashkenaz. Haven't tasted any David Berg pastrami.

            Could it be that Ashkenaz sells the leaner, lighter cured pastrami from Vienna, and that is why you don't like it? To me, the Romanian cured pastrami from Vienna, especially the leaner stuff, tastes like your typical Dominicks/Jewel type stuff.

            Evil Ronnie

            1. re: Evil Ronnie

              good info

              I would not say I don't like the pastrami at Ashkenaz- it is good. But I prefer the fattier and full-flavored messy stuff I get at Morry's.

              A horrible confession- I haven't been to Manny's yet, so that has to be next up on my list.

              I will have to check it out and get back to you.

              I highly suggest a stop at a David Berg-supplied joint for some of their pastrami too (Morry's the only one I know of in the city, tho I'm certain there are more on the soutside and the burbs).

            2. re: ab

              Vienna Beef has always used hickory to smoke their products.

              1. re: ab

                I've been looking for David Berg salami. Anyone know where I can find it? (From Indiana near IL border).

                1. re: KARGOCUBS

                  If you don't get an adequate answer here, you might try contacting Vienna Beef, their parent company, to ask where they're sold near you. Note that you'll need to ask them about that specific product; their website displays places that sell their products, but from all their brands including Vienna Beef, not just the David Berg products. You can find their contact info at

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    Waiting for a reply from them. Thanks!

        2. Yes, I took a tour of the Vienna Beef factory, they make the David Berg hot dogs. Does anyone know a hot dog stand in Chicago (preferably North Side) where I can get one? They are great.

          1. David Berg is not kosher - If you are looking for good quality kosher dogs and deli meats go to Romainian Kosher Sausage in at Touhy and Clark