Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Great Lakes >
Oct 22, 2002 06:54 PM

A bit of New York in the Midwest

  • m

am looking for New York style deli nominations any where in the Midwest outside of my home turf of Minneapolis-StPaul. places in Indianapolis and Ann Arbor kind of ring a bell though i cant recall names or reports of quality. By deli, i mean places selling corned beef and pastrami and matzoh ball soup and with good kosher style pickles.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think the place you are thinking of in Ann Arbor is Zingerman's. I have never been there, but I play tennis with a friend who often wears a Zingerman's t-shirt to play tennis in. It makes me long for good pastrami. I once read a review of Zingerman's that said it was the best deli between the coasts.

    What is your favorite deli in the Twin Cities? The options seem pretty paltry. I think the pastrami and the pickles at Brother's seem legit, but the only mid-week, only weekday schedule doesn't work well for those of us not in the skyway. I think Crossroads Deli in Minnetonka/Hopkins has very good matzah ball soup, but I am not as big a fan of their pastrami. Have you been to Cecil's in St. Paul? How is that?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Josh Resnik

      I can't speak to Cecils' authenticity (whatever that means these days). I just know that I love the place. It is one of the few places where I rarely vary my order; 9 times out of 10 its the Russian Reuben with a side of coleslaw for me. My wife breaks her diet for the Monte Cohen sandwich - turkey on egg bread with a mystical, mayonnaise-y special sauce.


      1. re: kcmarshall

        Benji's in Shorewood (north of Milwaukee) is okay but if it's authentic NY-style you seek, you gotta check out Jake's on North Avenue in Milwaukee. It's considered a rough neighborhood (which I, being a native New Yorker, find adds to its charm).

        I ran into Sen. Herb Kohl there last year and Commissioner Bud Selig (like him or hate him) is another regular. But don't be mistaken, it has the old, worn look and feel of any place that hasn't changed much since the 1940s. Check it out.

        In the Chicago area, I'd start with Max and Benny's in Northbrook. A modern, cavernous place that serves excellent corned beef. You won't find a better place for the "hamisha" atmosphere that says Noo Yawk.

        In the city, Ashkenaz's at Elm just east of State and Chafin's east of the Water Tower are okay too.

        Bon Appetit and good essen!


      2. re: Josh Resnik

        cecil's is fantastic. it's in the highland area on cleveland near punch. great meats and cheeses. a wonderful sweet cole slaw and reubens and other sandwiches that are well above average. great lunch spot. i have not tried the matzo ball soup or their borschts.
        check it out

      3. The place in Indianapolis that you are referring to is Shapiro's Deli (see link). Make sure to visit the original location just south of downtown on Meridian Street.


        1. There's also Izzy's in Cincinnati. In my opinion, Izzy's has the best potato pancakes of any deli that I've eaten in. As with Shapiro's in Indy, I think that the downtown locations are the best.


          1. m
            Michael Hoffman

            There's Katzinger's Delicatessen in Columbus' German Village. There's also Block's Bagels with two locations on the east side of Columbus. And, there's the Bexly Kosher Market on Broad Street in Columbus for all the things needed for delicatessen-style eating.

            1. well i think i'll chime in on this one since i live in new york and have been to most of the places mentioned here.

              first of all, KATZINGER'S and ZINGERMAN'S are to real ny deli's like...oh, ESPNZONE is to sports bars. the owners are related or friends and opened them together as business ventures as i understand it. large, yuppie-ish and no real ny feel. the pastrami and corned beef are typical, not great. that said, they make excellent sandwiches. great pickles! when in ann arbor and columbus, definately worth seeking out.

              SHAPIRO'S i guess would be closest to KATZ'S out here in that it is cafeteria style. the meat isn't anywhere close to KATZ. not that it was bad at all (hey, KATZ'S is the best there is) but that's all i remember about it on my one visit to indy many moons ago.

              the BLOCKS bagels chain of columbus are somewhat similar to those of the H&H chain in ny, so take that for what it is.

              if you want your small neighborhood style deli, that is more similar to those typical of ny, i'd suggest the several up in and around cleveland, such as JACK'S, MAX'S, RUTHIE&MOE'S diner, etc. just ask around on the food website for tips if you are going to be in that area. however, i guess i don't have to say but i will that there is no substitute for the real deal out here, right?