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Apr 9, 2008 07:15 AM

Good deli in MSP/St. Paul?

Does anybody know of some good deli's in the twin cities area? That's something I think the cities are sorely lacking. Where do I go to get a GOOD sandwich for lunch? I've been to Kramarczuk's, which I guess is supposed to be quite good, but I didn't find it special at all. I live in Woodbury and there used to be a place called Keith's there that I absolutely loved. Unfortunately I think I might have been the only customer because it didn't last very long. Anyway, when I'm out and about sometimes I really crave a good deli sandwich and get sick of going to Panera Bread or Pot Belly for sandwiches. Any suggestions?

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  1. You'll probably get a lot of random recommendations for everything from upscale (Bewiched) to Bahn Mi to Jewish deli (Pastrami Jack's). Since deli seems to mean different things to different people, perhaps you could provide more detail on what your, er, dream sandwich would look like.

    1. I guess I'd mainly be looking for something along the lines of a Jewish deli. Nothing fancy...just simple sandwiches, made to order, with quality ingredients. Kinda vague I know, but I guess I don't know how else to explain it.

      5 Replies
      1. re: whoopdido

        Cecil's is a good kosher-style deli on the St. Paul side. Crossroads in Minnetonka makes good deli sandwiches, but the environment is more like a restaurant than a deli.

        651 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116

        Crossroads Delicatessen
        2795 Hedberg Dr, Hopkins, MN 55305

        1. re: cheeseguysgirl

          Thanks for the Cecil's recommendation. Minnetonka is a bit of a haul for me, especially for lunch, but Cecil's is pretty much in my back yard. I'll definitely check it out--that seems to be just what I'm looking for.

          1. re: whoopdido

            Besides those recommendations, I would suggest Pastrami Jack's, also in Minnetonka. Best corned beef in the area. It might be out of your way for lunch, but you can buy a half-pound or whatever and a loaf of rye and brown-bag your own.

        2. re: whoopdido

          Oh, if Cecil's is in your hood, then ACME Deli would be close by too. Not Jewish, but otherwise fits the "simple sandwiches, made to order, with quality ingredients" criteria.

          Acme Deli
          1552 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

          1. re: diesel

            Love acme deli - you custom order to get exactly what you want. Much better than a panera sandwich.

        3. This is probably out of the way, but I get fantastic sandwiches at Grateful Bread in downtown River Falls, WI.

          4 Replies
          1. re: shoo bee doo

            In the same direction, I've had one of the best Reubens at Kaladi's in the industrial park in Hudson. Kaladi's also has the best breakfast burrito I've ever had.

            1. re: shoo bee doo

              I should probably try that one too. I live and work in Woodbury so I'm actually closer to Hudson than St. Paul.

              1. re: shoo bee doo

                Here are the links.

                Kaladi's Gourmet Escape
                3250 Heiser St, Hudson, WI

                Grateful Bread
                124 S Main St, River Falls, WI

              2. re: shoo bee doo

                I love the name Greatful Bread! I wonder if they serve Cherry Garcia Ice Cream?

              3. Brothers (in the downtown Minneapolis skyway just off of city center) and Fishman's (In Saint louis Park) are my favorite for Jewish deli sandwiches. I like Brother's better but Fishman's is kosher if that matters to you.

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

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

                6 Replies
                1. re: willad

                  I was just coming in to post about Brother's. It's delish.

                  My partner raves about the sandwiches at Nelson's cheese just off Snelling on Como. Can't vouch for them myself as I have never been there.

                  1. re: KristinT013

                    Oh, I always forget about Nelson's! Their sandwiches are pretty good--big, made-to-order, fresh ingredients. It's been about 6-8 months since I've been there, but I assume they are still as good. They seem like the kind of place that hasn't changed in forever (I mean that in a good way), so, I can't imagine they've changed in the past 6 months, either. Here's a post from about a year ago about them:

                    I don't know if this matters to this discussion or to whoopdido at all, but I guess I have to say that maybe I don't know the difference between a Jewish deli and a "just a sandwich shop" in terms of being able to be responsive to the OP's request. I think of Nelson's as more of a sandwich shop. I think of Cossetta's on West 7th in St. Paul, Buon Giorno in Lilydale, Ingebretson's in Mpls on Lake, and Cecil's in St. Paul on Fairview as delis, though Cossetta's and Buon Giorno are Italian delis; and Ingebretsen's is Scandinavian. I've never had a sandwich from either Ingebretsen's or Cecil's, though, and I can't even say whether they actually make sandwiches at Ingebretsen's or just sell the specialty meats, so, maybe it's more of a meat market than a deli.

                    To clarify something said above, Cecil's sort of has two sides, a sit-down restaurant side and a deli side.

                    Other places that I think of as " just sandwich" places the same way I think of Nelson's as "just a sandwich shop" (although, these all do more than just sandwiches) are Trotter's Cafe on Cleveland in St. Paul; Swede Hollow Cafe, and Cupcake on University in Minneapolis (they make their own bread!)

                    Of everything I've mentioned, Buon Giorno is my favorite. But, it's Italian, not Jewish. And, as Jordan implies above, if you're going to open it up broad enough to include Italian delis, then goodness you have to mention Vietnamese places (Saigon!) or Mexican places (Mannys or Pineda) or Middle Eastern/Mediterranean (Abu Nader, Holy Land), Russian (Kiev Foods), or perhaps even Surdyk's (though Surdyk's might be too fancy for the OP--the same way Cafe Latte and Patrick's probably are) and so on... --I think of all of these places that serve simple sandwiches to-order, nothing fancy, from fresh (or in some cased, high-quality cured or smoked...) ingredients, and so on...but not Jewish or even Jewish'ish. Cecil's and Fishman's certainly strive to be Jewish delis and Brother's calls itself New York Style. Goodness, once you open it up like that, it's hard to stop as the options are dizzying! Sorry for the long, and mostly not-discussing Jewish style delis-- post.


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Just a little FYI-if you have not had a rueben at Cecil's you have not lived. I don't even like rye bread, corned beef, swiss cheese or sauerkraut(see I can't even spell it!) but somehow they put something in it that makes it the food of the gods! If you ask for a half sandwich, it will really be a whole one-just using the bread that it near the front of the loaf. My favorite thing to do is to go to lunch with someone that makes me laugh, and share a rueben, some matzoh ball soup(it's not that great, but I like the idea of it!) and share some blintzes. Oh my, I need to get out there this weekend! It is packed around ten on the weekend, but if you wait until one or so, I've never had to wait.

                  2. re: willad

                    I will also put my vote for Fishman's - I really enjoy their grilled sandwiches -

                    1. re: weinstein5

                      Thought I'd give an update here since I started this thread. I've been to Cecil's a couple different times and absolutely loved it. When I asked my question Cecil's was the type of place I had in mind.

                      Today, I was in Minneapolis and went to Brothers. Well, I liked Brothers even better than Cecil's. Maybe I was just hungry but it was the best deli sandwich I've ever had. It really wasn't even anything special. Just a turkey sandwich, with coleslaw and some kind of dressing on egg bread, but it was fantastic.

                      I just wish I didn't live out in the sticks (Woodbury) or else I'd go to both Cecil's and Brothers a lot more often. Does anybody know somebody that might want to put a New York style/Jewish deli in Woodbury? Ha ha.

                      1. re: whoopdido

                        So glad I could help out with the Cecil's rec. I really do like that place. I worked in downtown for about a year and a half, and could not get enough of Brothers-- especially their potato salad on their deli bar-- it tasted like a loaded baked potato--- I drool just thinking about it! Thanks for bringing me that memory!