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Detroit-- best corned beef or pastrami sandwich?

Just what is the best corned beef sandwich in metro Detroit? I've been to numerous delis in the metro area, mostly in Dearborn, to sample corned beef, but I haven't tasted any as good as the Star Deli in Southfield (24555 W 12 Mile Rd on the SW corner at Telegraph next to Starbucks). It's a hole in the wall--take out only.

I don't remember if I learned of the Star Deli first from a post by chowhound Cheri or from my neighbor when, at her son's Bar Mitzvah, I inquired as to what is the best Jewish Deli in the Detroit area, but I am thankful. Just as what makes a good burger is the beef, not the bun, cheddar, or grilled onions, so what makes a good corned beef sandwich is the corned beef, not the rye, swiss, or slaw. The corned beef at the Star is not the least bit chewy--it crumbles when you bite.

Oh yes, I've been to Zingermans, and their corned beef sandwich is good too. But I'm waiting to hit powerball before I return.

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  1. There is a little gem on 8 Mile Road, the north side, just west of Gratiot called House of Reuben. I lived in the area and have been going there since 1967. The menu hasn't changed, though the owner have. But the food is as good as I remember it from my youth. They still use 8A as the large reuben, and it is. The corned beef is lean, the pastrami tasty. Oh yeah, only about 11 stools, no tables, all counter dining.

    The place doesn't look like much, but as your momma told you, don't judge a book by its cover.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mty917

      If the place doesn't look like much but it's been in business for over 40 years, then you know the chow has to be good. I'll have to find it.

      1. re: dearborn barkis

        House of reuben IMMEDIATELY came to mind when I read your post...You Will not be disappointed ! Huge sandwich, with piled high corned beef at a price you won't need the powerball to afford. The place is owned by Armenians (fyi), try their grilled chicken, and the beef barley soup is awesome too ! Go hungry ! They have another location in a remodeled taco bell west of freedom hill on 16 mile (sterling heights ?) Two more reccomendations #1 eph mcNallys (http://ephmcnallys.com) eclectic sandwich shop in Corktown and a new location on Woodward Downtown. #2 Gratiot Central Market (There is a sandwich shop (hambones ?) located in the market that specializes in STACKED Ham sandwiches (I think they offer Ruebens Too) . Enjoy !

        1. re: bigcab

          House of Reuben... I went to location SW of 16 & Van Dyke - in the former Taco Bell.

          Reuben was amazing. Beef barley soup was good, but I went there for a reuben, and it was gooooood.

    2. Hey barkis. I, too, am familiar with the Star Deli, and while it's certainly no slouch, the corned beef at Stage & Co. in West Bloomfield (on Orchard Lake Road a bit south of Maple) is the best I've had. It's *not* inexpensive, either: my corned beef on Jewish rye with cole slaw and Russian dressing runs an eye-popping $11. Plus tax and tip. And yes, that is an outrageously high price. I fully admit this, and yes, it bugs me. Adding to that is the pretty lousy service the place has. I don't go there often.

      BUT! You knew I wouldn't leave you hanging out to dry, now didn't you? Anyway, the best idea is not to go to the actual original deli in West Bloomfield, but to go to one of the satellite locations that they have in a few of the local malls, like Somerset Collection for example. There's one in their food court area. I don't like to shop there, but hey: they do have Stage & Co. in their food court, and it's hard not to go. BEST OF ALL: the same sandwich that costs $11 at the West Bloomfield location only costs around $7 at the Somerset Collection, and it's just as good. It really is a cut above any other corned beef I've ever had. Star is good, but Stage is better for sure.

      Give it a try and tell me what you think. I'm betting you'll "see the light," so to speak. ;)

      1 Reply
      1. re: boagman

        I use to frequent the Stage Deli at Fairlane Town Center's food court in Dearborn. It was good. But unfortunately they closed. I guess at $7 a sandwich they were pricier than the competition-- A&W, Kerby's, Sbarro's, Taco Time, Bourbon Street Chicken, and a corn dog specialist whose name I can't recall. There was always a line, however. I don't know why they closed.

        Unfortunately I usually shop at K-Mart and Target--not Somerset Collection. But Somerset is great for a stroll when the weather is chilly, like today. I'll have to get go to the food court to get a corned beef sandwich.

      2. The Star is pretty damn good (I used to go there when I worked nearby, and miss it) and I am a big fan of Lou's Deli. It has lots of locations but the "flagship" is at 6 and Wyoming, near Marygrove College. NO ambiance and bulletproof glass, but great sandwiches.

        11 Replies
        1. re: AmyIM

          I like the Bread Basket, at Greenfield at Lincoln (10 1/2 Mile). Huge sandwiches, great crusty bread. I know they now have several outposts, but the original location is best. Also much cheaper than Stage.

          1. re: gooddog

            Ick. Much lousier than the Stage, too. And the Star. In fact, when I tried the BBD, I did try the original location, and it was some of the most tasteless corned beef I'd ever had in my entire life. I guess there's a *reason* that it's cheaper.

            Stage continues to get my money, though Star isn't bad, either.

            1. re: boagman

              I have to disagree 100% with the slam on Bread Basket. It is, in fact, some of the most flavorful corned beef to be found anywhere (the original location in Oak Park). I grew up in Southfield and have enjoyed many dozens of corned beef sandwiches at both BB and Star over the years. I've also worked in two deli's. There's absolutely no way that Star is superior to Bread Basket. In fact, the quality of food is pretty similar except that the sandwiches are a bit larger at Bread Basket. The only thing you have to do (at either place) is pay a bit more for extra lean. I've also had Zingerman's a few times, and what I've had there hasn't been on a higher plane than Bread Basket.

              With all of that said, this is my personal taste. I don't claim to be the ultimate authority on corned beef, just someone who loves it and has had more than my share of it over the years.

              DB, I hope you try as many of the suggestions as possible and let us know what some of your favorites end up being.

              1. re: Jeff from Michigan

                "I have to disagree 100% with the slam on Bread Basket. It is, in fact, some of the most flavorful corned beef to be found anywhere (the original location in Oak Park). I grew up in Southfield and have enjoyed many dozens of corned beef sandwiches at both BB and Star over the years. I've also worked in two deli's. There's absolutely no way that Star is superior to Bread Basket. In fact, the quality of food is pretty similar except that the sandwiches are a bit larger at Bread Basket."

                Well, we can just agree to disagree without being disagreeable, then. I'll put it this way, though: on another food-related website, I made the same claim to someone who *also* swore by the BBD. On my recommendation, he tried the BBD again, and wholeheartedly agreed with my assessment. The meat itself was basically flavorless, or at least the most flavorless corned beef I (or he) had ever had in his life. In a corned beef sandwich, the most important part to get right is the *meat*. Simply because they give you a *lot* of flavorless meat doesn't make it good. Then again, perhaps I was there on a particularly bad day at the place, and when the other person went, the same thing happened. The odds of that happening, though, are pretty astronomical.

                Glad you like it, though. I'll continue to patronize the Stage.

                1. re: boagman

                  Bread Basket Deli vs Lou's Deli---

                  Before me I have two half-eaten corned beef sandwiches--one from Bread Basket Deli and one from Lou's Deli (on Greenfield and 9-mile, sorry I didn't go to the flagship in Detroit, but this store is only 2 miles from BBD). Both are corned beef (cold, not heated) on Jewish rye, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and cole slaw. The classic Dinty Moore. Each cost $8 and change.

                  The rye bread on each is nearly identical, fresh with crispy crust. But the BBD sandwich is much more substantial in size, has *real* creamy cole slaw, substantial swiss cheese, and excellent tangy Russian dressing. The cole slaw on the Lou's deli sandwich looks like it's shredded lettuce--it's that dry. And the swiss cheese is so thin that I had to check that it was there. Lou's Russian dressing is miniscule--not enough to test its tang. But most importantly where Lou's sandwich stands out is the quality of its corned beef--it crumbles like Star Deli's. In contrast, BBD's corned beef is a bit chewy. Maybe they gave me yesterday's delivery. It's a toss up which of the two I would rather go back to.

                  1. re: dearborn barkis

                    Hey, I'm sorry Lou's didn't work out sandwich wise--I must say I usually have something with pastrami, not corned beef. They can be inconsistent at times.

                    However, after reading this thread I am working up a MAJOR deli craving! DB, I am new to the boards and always enjoy your posts for the friendly debate they spark and the new places I learn about!

                    1. re: AmyIM

                      Thanks AmyIM,
                      I'm always willing to try new places, especially if they're recommended by fellow chowhounds.

                      Most chowhounds come here as much for the camaraderie in a shared interest in chow as they do for getting information. And the liveliness of the discussion only increases its interest. We love debate. Without impassioned discussion, no one would visit this site. Because Boagman gratefully informed us about the amazing Scotty Simpson's Fish & Chips--I've been there half dozen times since his original post--I'm willing to forgive his dubious indifference to Bates Hamburgers or his strange preference for Stage Deli to Star Deli.

                      Thirty years ago I loved discussing Jewish history and Russian literature. Today I'm more interested in Jewish corned beef and Russian dressing. I don't know if this means I'm getting older or getting younger. But I find myself visiting Chowhound daily.

                      1. re: dearborn barkis

                        "Because Boagman gratefully informed us about the amazing Scotty Simpson's Fish & Chips--I've been there half dozen times since his original post--I'm willing to forgive his dubious indifference to Bates Hamburgers or his strange preference for Stage Deli to Star Deli."

                        I just ate lunch at Scotty's today. It was, as it always is, delicious.

                        Bates just hasn't rung my bell like, say, Green's does. I remember thinking that it was just so-so at Bates. Doesn't mean it was bad, nor do I recall being unhappy. Just...eh.

                        As for the Star/Stage debate, I do like them both...I hope everyone caught that. Of the two, I'd prefer the ingredients in Stage's sandwich, but fully acknowledge that the extra expense at the original location (in addition to the almost-always-shoddy service) may not be worth it. Believe me: I've had more than my fair share of Star Deli sandwiches. Personal preference, I guess.

                        Always good discussion with you, barkis. :)

                  2. re: boagman

                    I went to the Bread Basket today for lunch. First time. Had the pastrami on rye.

                    It was terrific. Meat had just the right amount of fat. Bread was crusty. Mustard had just the right amount of zing. Didn't order anything else so I could focus on the important stuff.

                    I pronounce it at least as good as Zingermans in A2, which is my reference for good pastrami in the Detroit Metro area. Much better deal than Zingermans.

                    I can't comment on the corned beef, because I didn't try it. However, my lunch companion today who goes to BBD regularly had the corned beef sandwich and pronounced it as good as usual.

                    1. re: boagman

                      Fair enough, Boagman.
                      Just so you know where I'm coming from, I have eaten at both BBD and Star recently. To me, the flavor and texture of the meat are virtually identical at the two. (Maybe I have been lucky and have visited both on good days.)
                      It's funny - I've learned over the years that food reviews can sometimes be dubious at best when it comes to judgement of food quality. Even among friends, relatives, "professional" critics and within the Chowhound community, I'm sure you'll agree that you sometimes sit there shaking your head wondering what the heck people are talking about when it comes to a particular place. (Perhaps you're doing just that at the thought of BBD.) I guess we have to agree that personal tastes differ greatly, and appreciate the community for what it is - a fantastic jumping-off point for a journey. I've found many hits and misses at Chowhound and the other food sites, but every time I'm turned on to a gem that I wouldn't have discovered on my own, it makes the whole thing worthwhile.
                      I don't know why I haven't tried Stage yet, especially since a guy I used to work with also had a second job there and recommended it, and since I've been to the Starbucks right next to it probably a dozen or so times. I think I might have walked into the Stage at some point and gotten scared away by the prices. But I'll give it another look the next time I'm in the area at lunch time.
                      Based on the recommendations here, both Ron's and Steve's also sound like must-try's. I guess I'll just have to sample them all...........

                      BTW, thanks also for the Scotty Simpson's recommendation. That place truly is the real deal when it comes to fish and chips.

              2. re: AmyIM

                6 and Wyoming? I'm there. Tomorrow. Thanks.

              3. Just a vote for Steve's at Telegraph and Maple here ... haven't tried the corned beef, but their pastrami can rival anybody's.

                No argument on Zingerman's stratospheric prices, but they do have an unusual related food that the other places don't have: Montreal Smoked Meat. It's cured like corned beef and smoked like pastrami, I believe. Very tasty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jim M

                  YES - I'm glad you mentioned Steve's Deli (Maple & Telegraph), it is wonderful for all kinds of things. Usually when I go there I get their fresh roast turkey dinner (available each and every day, they roast fresh turkeys every day), their stuffing/dressing is the best (think it is made from challah), their lemon chicken is also great. I am the original Cheri that mentioned Star Deli having the best corned beef sandwiches, and I still stick by that recommendation, although I have never tried one at Steve's because their other things are so good. But based on the quality of all of their food, I'll bet their corned beef is great too. As far as I am concerned, Zingerman's is over-rated and over-priced, although their corned beef is high-quality, I don't find it as tasty as Star's. Everyone must try Steve's Deli, I highly recommend it. Their brownies are excellent also!

                2. When in Ann Arbor, my husband and I have an ongoing lunch debate, which usually ends out in two sandwich stops. Zingermans for me, smoked turkey, tomato avocado, munster, Honeycup mustard on grilled challah at $12...and Angelo's (next to the med school) for him, grilled thick-sliced pastrami piled with sauteed onions and swiss at $6 giving him change left over for two loaves of raisin bread...which he grudgingly shares as french toast later. We both know he gets the better sandwich, but I'm addicted to the Honeycup mustard buzz.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: grmdmom

                    Ron's Bagel Deli Restaurant on 14 mile in Commerce Township(Corner of M5 & 14 mile) comes to mind. Excellent corned beef. Just picked some up today along with a loaf of freshly baked rye bread to make a sandwich at home. Delish!

                    1. re: Rheta

                      I had a great pastrami sandwich at Ron's a couple weeks ago. I believe the owner and/or his family were the original owners of the Bread Basket.

                  2. No love for Deli Unique in West Bloomfield Hills? It's been years since I was there, but their sandwiches were wonderful at the time (sinfully good rye bread)...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      We went to Deli Unique because we were trying to go to the Stage Deli and it was closed. The atmosphere (I was the youngest person over 18 by at least 20 years and I'm 30) may not be "cool", but that corned beef was great, all gooey with fat, melting in my mouth.

                      Deli Unique
                      39495 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

                    2. Star Deli , best place I know of in Detroit unless you drive down to Wigleys and cook it yourself and slice it and make your own sandwich , which you should really do sometime .

                      1. Yesterday, I ate at the Onion Roll Deli at 11 Mile and Woodward in Royal Oak. GREATTT corned beef, and plenty of it. I had it with mustard and swiss on Grilled rye. Heavenly.

                        6 Replies
                          1. re: dmallia

                            Thank you for the Onion Roll review. I have returned to Detroit after 15 years and in California there are no deli's at all. Onion is as good as I remember and the same owner. I haven't been to bread basket but I heard it is owned by Chaldeans. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I'm afraid to go there because I might get let down after all if not easter european jewish its just a subway. I used to Bread Basket for their Kreplach soup. The bread was thick, moist and crusty and cut from a loaf when you ordered your sandwich. Also check the facebook site for "save the deli". Really interesting site for deli and I am starting a thread for Detroit Deli's. Anyone know what happened to Katz's Deli on 9mile, I think close to the old stage location? Is the 9mile stage gone?

                            Bread Basket
                            17740 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48203

                            1. re: dave59

                              See my reply to your Katz's query on your post below, but the same can be said of the Stage on 9 Mile. It's long gone, but it was there longer than Katz's was, IIRC. What's happened is that much of the uppercrust Jewish community has moved up to the West Bloomfield/Bloomfield Hills area, and the delis have followed them, for the most part. Oak Park is now a pretty dodgey area, and many businesses have just plain packed up and left, including *all* of the little Jewish bakeries/restaurants that used to be there on 9 Mile at Coolidge.

                              The Star Bakery on Coolidge between 10 and 11 Mile is still there and their Jewish rye bread (they supply it to Star Deli, I know that for a fact) is still absolutely untouchable by anyone else. I stinking *love* their bread. Still, it's a far cry from 9 and Coolidge in terms of neighborhood, and I'd say that it really belongs more to the Berkley crowd than Oak Park. There is still a contingent of Orthodox Jews who live in Oak Park near the synagogue on 9 Mile there, but by far, most have moved further north on the map of metro Detroit.

                              Star Deli
                              2318 W Starr St, Peoria, IL 61605

                              1. re: boagman

                                star deli is the best every thing deli period...bread basket was good but nothing was/is as good as star still is...that includes the carnegie in nyc , which is certainly acceptable by any standard... zingermans is wonderful for many things...it is not a jewish style deli...it is an european deli...we buy a lot of stuff there, including chorizo and italian salami...it is not jewish style...however, at our last seder (we live in jackson) guests bought gefilte fish from zingermans and it was beyond wonderful...dee dee in jackson

                              2. re: dave59

                                katz's was wonderful...but i was there 40 to 50 years ago...dee dee

                                1. re: dee dee

                                  I don't suppose you remember The Bagel on Woodward Ave. near the Fox Theatre . . . ?

                            2. Bode's in Plymouth serves awesome corned beef. They corn their own meat and it's great. The place is very, very plain. It's on Main Street by the RR tracks. Ask anyone in Plymouth and they'll give you directions. No pastrami, just corned beef.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: SonyBob

                                Try it for breakfast. Corned beef hash is top-notch. Yes, it's plain--but the regulars' coffee cups hanging on the wall are a nice bit of Midwestern detail.

                              2. Samuel Hoffmans in Clawson for pastrami. Corned beef is so-so

                                1. Steve's Deli is what youre after. Real Jewish deli the corned beef is moist but not all fatty and chewy, the matzoh balls are light and fluffy and the broth has tons of flavor, the ruggalah is to die for...super clean and bright inside its located at Telegraph and Maple. Bon Appetite

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: loopidi

                                    Well, that makes three votes for Steve's (yours plus Jim M and cheri). I'll have to try it on my next drive north on Telegraph from Dearborn. It'll be hard driving past the Star Deli at Twelve Mile to get there, though. :)

                                  2. Former Detroiter here, now in New York, who grew up eating at the Stage (old location, in Oak Park), Lou's on 6 Mile, Lefkofsky's in the Broadway Market, and the Nosherie (now the Bread Basket). I'm a pastrami man. Tried Stage & Co. about five years ago for the first time in a while and was just appalled at the food and the service. Would NEVER go back there. The less said about it the better.

                                    The best pastrami sandwich in Detroit through the nineties and up till it closed in the past couple years (not sure when, exactly...in fact, I'm not entirely sure it's closed, but I think it is) was one that hasn't been mentioned: Mr. Fofo's, on Second about a mile north of the Fisher Building. An African-American-run establishment serving a sublime Jewish pastrami sandwich on Jewish rye with yellow mustard. The biggest, the tastiest I've had anywhere. Blew away all local competition as well as the offerings at Katz's, the Second Avenue Deli, and the Carnegie in New York. Fofo's also had excellent desserts: fresh-baked fruit cobblers, banana pudding, the tallest cakes you've ever seen.

                                    I have never tried the Star; I will vouch for Steve's, which is probably the only one I'd bother with these days. And I've been dying to try House of Reuben since a trustworthy friend told me about it not long ago.


                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: mrfinewine

                                      mrfinewine. Excellent post. I will certainly try Mr. Fofo's.

                                      Oh yes, i tried Steve's, finally. Three posters recommended it. Wonderful corned beef. Wonderful. But I lost all my lunch money for the entire week. It's pricey. I'm on a Dearborn budget, not a Bloomfield township budget.

                                      1. re: dearborn barkis

                                        Mr. FoFo's...does anyone recall if there was a location on Evergreen between 6 and 7 Mile Rds. in the 1980s? Used to ride by there on the bus to school and my simpleton friends and I used to laugh at the name...little did we know!

                                        Barkis, I ate at Mati's (Monroe, half a mile south of Michigan) for dinner today: corned beef on rye. I'm sure you've posted your opinion on the joint prior to now, but thought I'd ask anyway. Remind me/tell me what you think. I love their corned beef, I do, but the amounts have varied the past few times I've been.

                                        1. re: amandaqtpie

                                          amanaqtpie: ha, funny picturing you and your little school friends laffin' it up at the fofo moniker! the ignorance of youth.

                                          i used to laugh (cringe, actually) at a place i'd drive by on woodward all the time in the eighties: ASIAN CORNED BEEF. it was always bathed in a putrid green neon and sounded disgusting. now i regret not having tried it! long gone.

                                          1. re: amandaqtpie

                                            Hi amandaqtpie: I revisted Mati's on the way home from work today, ordering Ellen's Favorite: "Hot corned beef, coleslaw, swiss cheese, and russian dressing on rye......$6.60". And that's before the AAA discount. Excellent sandwich, flavorful rye, tender corned beef, although not crumbly tender like Star or Steve's. And Kraft (!?!?) Russian dressing--(yes, I asked). But for my money it's a better bargain than what they serve north of 8-Mile. Other sandwich shops in Dearborn, La Penguina and Noah's, don't do corned beef as well as Mati's.

                                            And the cream-cheese brownies are amazing.

                                            1. re: dearborn barkis

                                              So is this in West Dearborn? Address or general location?

                                              1. re: berkleybabe

                                                It's on Monroe, the northwest corner of Monroe and Tenny. About two blocks south of Michigan.

                                              2. re: dearborn barkis

                                                I really liked Mati's. We stopped on the way home from the inlaws and glad we did. Really solid sandwiches and a cool little place.


                                            2. re: dearborn barkis

                                              dearborn barkis: WAIT! as i said in the post, i THINK it's closed. poke around on the internet for a phone number and try it before you go.

                                              i think mr. fofo used to bake desserts for the white house or something. they were GOOD.

                                              1. re: mrfinewine

                                                I drove by Mr. Fofo's earlier today. I did not have time to go in, but it looked like it was open. Definitely worth a call.

                                            3. re: mrfinewine

                                              BTW, there was an article somewhere about Mr. FoFo's the other day. Didn't make a note of it, and now I can't find the link. But the thrust was that it's now being run by a nonprofit that trains young people for life in the workplace. They may well have good food and a laudable program, but it doesn't sound as though the original Mr. FoFo, whoever he may have been, is there any longer.

                                            4. I am a former Detroiter now living in Arizona. I can't find a decent corned beef sandwich, or rye bread, here to save my life. My DH, DS and I ate at a deli the other night and I had a corned beef sandwich. It was just good, not the o m g good that I grew up with at Bread Basket and Stage (and does anyone remember Katz Deli, down the street from the original Stage in Oak Park?) I was trying to describe to my DH how fabulous the rye bread is back there, double-baked, w/ that thick, crackly, crunchy crust. Here, the rye bread is all soft and soggy, w/ caraway seeds. So sad. So I'll continue to live vicariously through all of you till I can get back there.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: mdepsmom

                                                I remember Katz! I used to go there with my grandma as a little kid and get the kreplach soup and dill pickles (among other things, but that's what stands out).

                                                I hear you on the deli desert out west- I lived out west almost 15 years. I've been back a little while now and indulging in Stage Deli at the mall and Zingerman's whenever possible, but I'm going to have to take a special trip and try the Bread Basket. My mom said that we went there years ago so I guess I need to refresh my memory.

                                                1. re: kellycolorado

                                                  Katz's Deli in Oak Park.
                                                  The place was a legend. My new bride and I used to stop off there and eat Corned Beef sandwiches w/ a side of delicious french fries after Grad School Evening classes down at Wayne State. The Corned Beef was flavorfull, hot and delicious! Was owned at the time by the Studenberg Family, I used to go to Oak Park H.S. with their son. He became a Lawyer and dumped his OPHS girlfriend (I think her name was Leah...) and decided to not go into the family business. In the late 1980's they sold the place to some Arabs and it went downhill very fast. I went in one day and was very disappointed, the quality had gone to hell. They closed up soon after and along with the "O Sole Mio" Italian Pizza joint is long gone, but fondly remembered from the halcyon days of Oak Park Deli's in the 1950's- 1980's. I still remember the excellent corned beef sandwiches and soups at Hy Horensteins Deli on Ten Mile and Coolidge, livened up somewhat by Hy's stories of the old Jewish gangsters in Detroit in the 1920's-1930's that he used to pal around with in his "misspent youth." His recollections of the old "Purple Gang" are hilarious --- "But they were good to their Mother!" The old "Hoa Kow" Chinese Restaurant, run by the Lee family closed up in the 1980's too. Was reopened in West Bloomfield a few years ago but didn't last very long... Had the best baked Whitefish (Chinese style) I have ever had.

                                                  Park Deli
                                                  17117 W 9 Mile Rd, Southfield, MI 48075

                                                  402 N Broadway St, Lebanon, OH 45036

                                                  Corned Beef Cafe
                                                  9296 Broadview Rd, Broadview Heights, OH 44147

                                                1. re: oaklandfoody

                                                  Tried going to Eph McNallys yesterday while I was downtown for the Auto Show, they've closed down for good. Never got to give it a try.

                                                  1. re: jddetroit

                                                    They've reopened in the heart of downtown, on Woodward just north of Congress. Look for the big pickle.

                                                      1. re: Jim M

                                                        I wish I had known that. I got their address off their website, it never said anything about moving.

                                                        1. re: jddetroit

                                                          That place is the classic example of a restaurant that serves good food but can be a royal pain in the butt. They don't serve water. They close when they feel like it. They don't update their website. The service isn't particularly good. But whoever's buying the darn corned beef knows what he or she is doing, and the sandwiches, all cheap, are good for a couple of meals each.

                                                          1. re: Jim M

                                                            you are right about the water. their sandwiches are priced from $7 to $10 and include a drink. personally, i would rather they knock a buck off the price and let me just have water.

                                                            1. re: xman887

                                                              BTW, they have given in on this and now serve water. Also recommended: Mudgie's, in Corktown in the old Eph's space.

                                                              1. re: Jim M

                                                                I will second Mudgie's in a heart beat....

                                                  2. Al Famous Deli on Woodward about two blocks south of 14 Mile in Royal Oak is definitely in the running. Al Winkler has been in the deli business for at least twenty-five years and he knows it well. Both the corned beef and the pastrami are top notch.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jcbroder

                                                      jcbroder, Al's Famous Deli on Woodward is part of the Bread Basket chain, and it is fabulous. Will be taking my brother and brother in law there during the Dream Cruise week....we'll gorge on a classic corned beef and watch the classic cars zoom by on Woodward...then if possible eat a wonderful Bob's Custard ice cream, right next door to Al's.

                                                    2. Also not yet mentioned--to my amazement--is the Vineyard on Northwestern between 13 and 14 mile. Better than Star, IMO and only a tiny bit short of Zingerman's quality. Prices are 75% of the latter's for about the same sized sandwich.
                                                      For reubens, the city's hidden gem is Hy Grade Deli, 3640 Michigan Ave. (just a few blocks west of Tiger Stadium. A bit of a sketchy neighborhood but I've never had a problem there. Don't bother looking at the menu: come for the reuben. Order the reuben. Return a different day for another reuben. Drink plenty of red wine in between to have a prayer of handling the cholesterol.

                                                      1. I have to say one of my favorites is Plaza Deli on Norhtwestern. They actually know what kreplach is! Does anyone know when Katz's on 9 mile closed? Anyone remember Brother's at Northland?

                                                        Plaza Deli
                                                        29145 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: dave59

                                                          Wow...Katz's! I didn't know that anyone remembered that place in Oak Park but my family and myself! That place has been closed for, bare minimum, 25 years. We used to get our sandwiches from there, and they were darned good, too!

                                                          I haven't been to the Plaza Deli on NW Hwy. I'll have to check it out one of these days. From what my folks are telling me, the Star Deli on 12 Mile just raised their prices *again* to the point that the corned beef with slaw, Russian dressing, and a new dill is darned near $9. It's getting ridiculous now, since they're not the best in the area. They're a decent place, but that price is just too high now.

                                                          Plaza does have new dills, correct?

                                                          Plaza Deli
                                                          29145 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034

                                                          Star Deli
                                                          2318 W Starr St, Peoria, IL 61605

                                                          1. re: boagman

                                                            Plaza is part of the Matt Prentice restaurant group, like Deli Unique, in case you didn't know.

                                                            1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                              Thanks. I ended up looking it up last night and found that out. Is there any discernable difference between Plaza Deli and Deli Unique? If not, then Stage is still my favorite. Not that Deli Unique is bad...no, far from it! But when it comes to comparing the corned beef sandwiches that I like from DU and Stage, Stage still wins.

                                                              Plaza Deli
                                                              29145 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034

                                                              Deli Unique
                                                              39495 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

                                                              1. re: boagman

                                                                I'm actually looking at both menus as I type this. There are minor differences. For instance, Deli Unique has a turkey burger, while Plaza does not. Also, Plaza offers sandwiches with amish chicken breast. Deli Unique does not seem to. At least, not on my menus. I think Plaza might be a little cheaper.

                                                                I practically grew up behind the Stage (our house was on the street in the subdivision directly behind that strip. Our dogs loved going outside and sniffing the air anytime the scent of brisket was in the air.

                                                                Deli Unique
                                                                39495 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

                                                          2. re: dave59

                                                            Great suggestion! I tried Plaza Deli a couple of days ago, and both my parents and I agree: very, very good. Good enough to supplant Star Deli for our normal corned beef on rye with Russian dressing sandwich. It's a more-than-solid #2 in my book, cheaper than most, and considering that the Stage's sandwich is a full $4 more than Plaza's, and the Star is $1 more, we've got a new destination for corned beef sandwiches.

                                                            Thanks for dropping the idea!

                                                            1. re: boagman

                                                              Just went to Plaza Deli today and had a Reuben that was great for the price and good at any price. Indefinable added plus: you can go to the Star Bakery and pick up a pastry for dessert without leaving the building.

                                                              1. re: Jim M

                                                                Great minds think alike! In point of fact, *I* was there today as well, picking up a Plaza Special (without Swiss, but with new dills), and took it to my brother and SIL's house to eat. Greatly, greatly enjoyed it. Amazing how well one of these things hits the spot.

                                                            2. re: dave59

                                                              yes, i remember brothers at northland but i only remember it a little...i remember growing up in oak park and i remember when northland opened...it was at first "if your parents drive us, my parents will pick us up"...are we at the same place and the same time?...dee dee

                                                            3. I've been to more than a few of the suggested places in this post. I've found them all to be good to great in the corned beef/pastrami area...
                                                              One place not mentioned that I've been going to for years is on Orchard Lake - just north of Commerce. It used to be called Embers - now remodeled and called Tony's Deli. Do yourself a favor and give this a try! Your choice of lean or regular corned beef - Jewish rye that is a meal in itslef. ALWAYS fresh and hand sliced thick. The breakfast choices including corned beef / pastrami omelettes are sinful. Matzo ball soup and mushroom barley are amazing. And unlike Zingermans, you don't have to have hit the lottery to eat there. I'd be interested in anyone elses opinion of this place - as it's overlooked in favor of the more well known places.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Double Espresso

                                                                I have been to Tony's...ONCE and only once. Mediocre at best.............. .Service is average. Ton's of better place for Deli.

                                                              2. I'm surprised to have not seen talk of Front Page Deli, near One Stop Kosher Food Market on Greenfield. I thought it was quite good. Pudge's on Rochester Rd. also serves a decent CB sandwich using Sy's meat.

                                                                Front Page Deli
                                                                24810 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park, MI 48237

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: vtombrown

                                                                  Excellent Corned Beef - Delicious Pastrami,
                                                                  The Reuben and the "Dinty Moore" is the real thing and is to Die for!!!
                                                                  and I know 'cause I am a local in the area for over 50 years and have also eaten at the Carnegie and Stage in NYC!!

                                                                  The secret here is that the soups are amazing!!! Try the Cabbage soup and the Borscht!! It's the real thing because the owners are of Russian extraction and they take extra care to "get it right!"
                                                                  On Maple Rd. just west of Haggerty and before M-5... you will not be disappointed in either the food or service. If you have fond memories of Katz's Deli, Hy Horensteins, and Irving's Deli in Detroit and Oak Park, this will bring back very pleasant memories!!!

                                                                  Corned Beef Cafe
                                                                  9296 Broadview Rd, Broadview Heights, OH 44147

                                                                  Siegel's Deli
                                                                  3426 E West Maple Rd, Commerce Township, MI 48390

                                                                2. Going to give props to Uncle Harry's in St Clair Shores. Was there yesterday and et a "Half & Half." Great Corned beef on one side of a rye sandwich, great Pastrami on the other side. And they have Dr. Brown's sodas too.

                                                                  Uncle Harry's Deli Restaurant
                                                                  21809 Greater Mack Ave, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48080

                                                                  St Clair Restaurant
                                                                  1438 Saint Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114

                                                                  Uncle Harry's Restaurant
                                                                  18768 West Rd, Woodhaven, MI 48183

                                                                  1. Hey, you guys forgot Steve's Deli! It's at 15 & Telegraph, tucked in the far south end of the strip center. Best there is without flying to Manhattan.

                                                                    Steve's Deli
                                                                    6646 Telegraph Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Skater2591

                                                                      If you had actually read the thread, there was no lack of love for Steve's - it was mentioned 6 or 7 times.

                                                                      1. re: gooddog

                                                                        Not to mention many people will tell you that Detroit outshines NYC when it comes to Corned beef sandwiches. NYC needs to learn how to do Rye like us.

                                                                        1. re: JanPrimus

                                                                          Haven't had the pleasure of eating in Manhattan in way too many years, so I'll take your word for it. Maybe it's the atmosphere and attitude that influenced my memories!

                                                                          1. re: JanPrimus


                                                                            We do rye just fine here, thank you, with (yecch) and without seeds. Our local bread is special because of our water (which is revered by bakers, pizzeria owners, and bottlers of seltzer). I spent the first 20 years of my life in Detroit and while I've had some excellent rye, I can't say it was ever better than what we have here.

                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                              Well, from what I've been told, and what I've read, the thinking is contrary to what you're saying. Like you say, it seems that there's something in the water over here, but almost to the person, it seems like there's a tidal shift in belief about the bread that Detroit area bakeries put out and that which New York puts out.

                                                                              I wish I could say that I could accurately compare the two, but I've only got an opinion about the Detroit stuff. If I've ever experienced New York stuff, the last time would be around 1990, which is a *long* time ago, and it's a pretty big "if".

                                                                              I dare say that Zingerman's rye bread is probably the best I've ever had in my entire life. Totally willing to have it bested, though.

                                                                              1. re: boagman

                                                                                In addition to putting out the same good rye we've had for years, NYC is experiencing something of a "bread renaissance" at this point. Lots of folks have gone to Europe to learn new techniques, brought them back, and have opened bakeries (none of this deliciousness, mind you, comes cheap). There's extremely good, and often unusual, bread to be had here. We used to buy rye on the west side or downtown when I lived in Detroit; I don't know where people get it now; my parents have always lived on the east side and I seriously doubt there has ever been good rye there (excellent Italian baked goods, though). And I have nothing against the rye I had when I lived in Detroit--it was excellent (as long as it was seed-free). We often bought it at the aforementioned The Bagel which did all its own baking (the owners were NYC emigrés). It could very likely be as good as what I can get here. I just doubt that it's better.

                                                                      2. I stopped by Ellen's Bakery & Cafe in Keego yesterday and tried their reuben - not a classic
                                                                        reuben. It was on an onion roll. It was a very good onion roll, but unexpected and an unwelcome
                                                                        edit of the ingredients.