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Aug 28, 2007 09:07 PM

[MSP] - Deli sandwich


I'm looking for a classic delicatessen-style sandwich in the Twin Cities. Not a sub, or a torta or a bahn mi, (which are all good, too) but a regular deli sandwich with quality filling and bread. Good soup and/or salad sides would be a bonus.

Both of the places I used to go to (in my college years) are now closed - one was a Jewish deli out on 394 and the other was the Dinkydale Deli in Minneapolis...


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  1. My money is on The Brothers Deli in downtown Minneapolis. They have all the "classic" deli sandwiches (corned beef, pastrami, turkey, egg salad, lox, etc) and some really good sides. I'm crazy for their potato salad. The drawback is that they are a skyway restaurant and only open on weekdays, so if you don't work somewhere other than downtown it's almost impossible to go there. Someone please correct me if they do indeed have evening/weekend hours, but the last time I checked it was no.

    The runner-up deli, in my mind, is D. Brian's. They have locations outside the locus of downtown Mpls. Large selection of sandwiches, good breads, and they offer more soups than Brothers, and it's delicious soup.

    I know it's a chain, but I'd be curious to see if anyone else thinks Au Bon Pain is worth mentioning in this thread.

    Brothers Deli
    50 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402

    1 Reply
    1. re: StPauliGirl

      I second the recommendation of The Brothers Deli in the Dorsey & Whitney building. A wide variety of cold and hot sandwiches, great pickles and potato salad. If you eat in there is a small, side-dish bar that you can pick items from (e.g., pickled beets, etc.).

      The place brings back distant memories of when they had few a full-service locations back in the late 70's. My first blintz was at the Ridgedale location just around the corner from Dayton's.

    2. I was recently in search of the same thing so am excited to hear what people suggest.

      What I found is that The Wedge co-op has a nice selection..

      1 Reply
      1. re: reannd

        I have to admit, I work downtown and I don't mind D Brian's every once in awhile. If you're in St Paul on Como/Snelling, there is Nelson's Cheese and Deli and I have been happy with their selection and the quality of the meats and cheese. I don't know how "classic" this deli-style place is but there is a place off 35/Stinson Blvd. behind Taco Bell and next Patina called Urban Harvest. They have really good quality breads, excellent soup and while they boast sandwiches like turkey/cranberry/goat cheese, they also carry your standard pastrami, egg salad, tuna salad, etc. It's a nice place to eat lunch, it's relatively expensive and you feel warm and fuzzy eating there.

      2. Anyone ever try Acme Deli in St. Paul?? It’s on St. Clair just east of Snelling. I keep meaning to check it out, but I’ve never been there.

        Uncle Ira

        12 Replies
        1. re: Uncle Ira

          At my place of employment, we use Acme Deli and there has never been a complaint yet. Usually, people comment on how good their "box lunches" are!

          1. re: Uncle Ira

            I would highly recommend acme deli. I don't go that often - (not a huge sandwich person) but the few times I've been there its been excellent.

            They close rather early - 3 I think. If they were open later I'd probably go a few more times. And they are closed on weekends.

            1. re: St Paul Susie

              I stopped in to Acme today for the first time, inspired by this thread. It was hoppin' at around 12:15 -- there are a couple of little tables, but it's a small space, and it's mostly takeout business, so people sitting at the tables have to be willing to shift around to accommodate folks who want to reach into the soda coolers behind them.

              I had a roast beef sandwich with Swiss cheese, lettuce, cucumbers & horseradish on an onion roll. It was pretty good -- not enormous (I usually count on deli sandwiches to last me for two meals, and this one was too dainty for that), and the onion roll was very mild, but the roast beef was nice and rare and the horseradish had some punch. The sandwich and a can of soda cost about $5.75. There are also a couple of soups each day, some cookies/bars, and chips available. I'd call Acme a good neighborhood spot (all the more so because of the ice-cream counter across the street, which I didn't hit today but will on the next trip).

            2. re: Uncle Ira

              ACME would be my first recommendation to the initial poster.

              Golden's Deli downtown St. Paul is also high on my list in the "deli sandwich" category.

              1. re: diesel

                I've only been to the ACME deli once, but it was really good. When you're there, stop by the drug store next door with the soda fountain, and get an ice cream cone or cup of coffee for five cents.

                1. re: jenniegirl

                  jenniegirl, isn't the soda fountain you're referring to actually across the street (not next door) from ACME Deli, there on the corner of Snelling and St. Clair?


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    You are right-it's been a really long time since I've gone there! It is on the corner of Snelling and St. Clair-St. Paul pharmacy maybe? I always get happy because sometimes they have chocolate peanut butter ice cream (not peanut butter cup-but the rich chocolate kind with ribbons of peanut butter) It's hard to come by-They only have two flavors usually, but sometimes they have it. The other place that has it is that little ice cream place in Har Mar.
                    Anyway, the ice cream there is really cheap-it used to be under a dollar. If you order a triple scoop to go (still really cheap) they will pack it into a big syrofoam cup-which for me replaces Ben and Jerry's! I think they also have something called phosphates (not sure what it is) and I've gotten some good vanilla cokes. It's a great place to people watch. I should walk down there today....

                    1. re: jenniegirl

                      Oh good--it's the same place I'm thinking of. Yes, I think it's called St. Paul Pharmacy or something similar.

                      But, I'm trying to imagine an ice cream shop in Har Mar. It's been a few months since I've been to Har Mar. Is the ice cream shop new?


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        St Paul Corner Drug is the name you were looking for - its got that more old timey feel when compared to Pharmacy.

                        1. re: tex.s.toast

                          OK I know we're getting off topic, but I had to chuckle when I read your post tex.s, because I grew up in that part of St. Paul and that little place at the corner of Snelling and St. Clair (kittycorner from the St. Clair Broiler) was called "Sundberg Pharmacy" for ages - until new owners bought and renamed it and just five or so years ago!

                          A note of caution: Don't go there in search of "good" ice cream. I'm pretty sure it's Kemps brand. But it is super cheap, and a fun, old-fashioned experience to sit at the counter.

                          For those who love phosphates, Snuffy's Malt Shops (4 metro locations) also have them - in cherry, chocolate, or lime.


                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I think it's been there forever. I think it's called Sundays or something like that. It's inside the mall, just a little counter. Go out of Barnes and Noble, turn right and you should see it. I think it might be by the guy cutting keys...

                        3. re: jenniegirl

                          Ooooo.... Phosphates! ! ! Kind of an old-fashioned term, I don’t see them on menus anymore. It’s basically just charged water and syrup, (chocolate phosphate, lime phosphate, vanilla phosphate, etc....) Sort of like an ice cream soda minus the ice cream.

                          I have very strong, very happy memories of going out to eat with my parents and being told that I couldn’t have my chocolate phosphate till I had cleaned my plate.

                          Boy, would I eat fast....

                          Uncle Ira

                2. Try Crossroads Deli. It's very good, and makes me miss the Lincoln Del alot.

                  Crossroads Delicatessen
                  2795 Hedberg Dr, Hopkins, MN 55305

                  1. There's a Jewish grocery store right at the V where W. Lake St. turns into Excelsior and Hwy 7(?), I think it's call Fishman's? They have good deli sandwiches. Right next door is a restaurant that I think people have mentioned have good desserts, but I can't remember the name of that, either! Maybe someone can help?

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: drew13000

                      Fishman's is a Kosher Deli (unlike any of the other delis that have been or will be mentioned here)....which means no cheese on your sandwich, no butter on your grilled reuben.

                      1. re: g rote

                        That's not necessarily a bad thing. There are ways of making sandwiches that are plenty yummy and still Kosher. Your post kinda sounds like Kosher food is not as good.

                        1. re: pgokey

                          Actually, I read g rote's post and understood it for what it said, and immediately paired it with Cecil's Deli in St. Paul (on Cleveland, just down from Randolph and Cleveland). Kosher cooking is a way of life for a lot of people, and it's not a negative....Actually, g rote's post is a positive sign in that it shows some people cruising this list, with dietary restrictions, that there ARE places they can visit and eat well outside of the home!!

                          I think Fishman's sounds like a good place to visit!! Where's it located?

                          1. re: tart1

                            tart 1, are you saying, as I think you are, that Cecil's is a good place for Kosher? I hope so, and I reference a lunch there a couple of weeks ago.

                            Table next to us (yes, we are shameless voyeurs): "I'll have a sandwich with the Kosher bologna(sic: baloney) sausage and the provolone cheese." Sez waiter ( the guy who's always there; if you go, you know who I mean) " really want the baloney AND the cheese?" Sez patron, "If it's Kosher baloney." Waiter sighs, asks again (with the CHEESE?), and takes order and delivers.

                            My point is: Cecil's actually seems to care about Kosher (at least enough to ask), or at least that's what it seems to me.. Is that what you meant with your refererence? Or is Cecil's a place that place loose with the rules? I'd like to know, as I have a number of friends who keep Kosher...and I love Cecil's.

                            1. re: cayjohan

                              I'm definitely NOT an expert on kosher. I'm a lapsed Lutheran!! I read a lot and am curious about cultures and religions and food, and a lot more!!

                              Read for a review.

                              1. re: cayjohan

                                Cecil's is not a Kosher restaurant. Based on their website, they never claim to be. Kosher restaurants will never serve/handle dairy if they are a meat restaurant and vice versa.

                                1. re: katebauer

                                  Kate, do you know if there are there any strIctly Kosher restaurants in MSP?

                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                    Fishman's and Little Tel Aviv are the only ones I know of and can find with a quick Google search. Fishman's does sell dairy in their market area but based on their menu it seems like they never cook with it for their deli/bakery area. I don't keep Kosher though so others might be able to contribute much more than I can.

                                    1. re: katebauer

                                      That is correct - Fishman's and LIttle Tel Aviv are the only kosher restaurans in MSP - Byerly's in St Louis Park also has a strictly kosher deli -

                                      Kate you are correct - restaurants will either be dairy or meat because they will need to maintain seperate kitchens - so for fishman's their food prep/cooking area will be either meat or pareve(dairy free) - I believe fishman's bakery is dairy free -

                              2. re: tart1

                                I keep kosher and have eaten at Fishman's many times - the food is ver good and the sandwiches are plenty filling - easpecially the Fresser sandwiches (their overstuffed sandwiches) -

                                Fishman's Delicatessen and Bakery
                                4100 Minnetonka Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

                                1. re: weinstein5

                                  Fishman's sound great! Checked out the website and it's making me hingry at...what?! midnight-thirty?! Yikes!

                                  Thanks for the recommendation.

                            2. re: g rote

                              I'm positive that their turkey sandwich had cheese on it--provolone, I think. Turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomato, on a really delicious challah roll.

                              1. re: drew13000

                                Who's 'their' in that sentence? Fishman's? If so, could it have been a soy-based cheese? I looked at their menu and even the cheesecakes don't have dairy in them.