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Aug 2, 2008 09:18 AM

Classic Reubens in Houston?

Howdy y'all. I just moved to Houston and am wondering if it's possible to get a classic Reuben Sandwich in Houston. I mean the kind most-likely invented and sold at the coffee shop of the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, where I first encountered it some 40 years ago.

It's not the piled-high-with-corned-beef version found at Katz's. It's a thin, grilled sandwich, with more the texture of a grilled cheese sandwich. You slice your rye, smear on some Thousand Island, stack it with a flat layer of sauerkraut, several slices of corned beef, Swiss cheese, and then you GRILL THE ENTIRE SANDWICH. The cheese melts, sealing the sandwich together.

The result is a fairly thin, crunchy, and yes slightly greasy sandwich packed full of flavor.

Does anyone in Houston offer one like that?

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  1. I have had on at Doyle's of Oak Forest on 34th st. that fits your description. Somewhere on this board another member also had one and posted about it. I don't really like Katz's, so I have never had one there, but I would check out Kahn's Deli in the Rice Village. Very good jewish type deli, but just a small place. I love their corned beef on rye!

    10 Replies
    1. re: danhole

      The reuben at Kahn's is the sky high variety, even the small,(not on menu but they'll make it), is enormous. Try the Mason Jar on the Katy Freeway between Campbell and Bingle, south side. It's served on marbled rye, but I ask for it on pumpernikel. Check out the french onion soup. Unless you like to smoke or inhale/smell it, don't sit in front of the elevated bar, as it is not in the Houston city limits and smoking is allowed at the bar.

      1. re: James Cristinian

        Forgot to mention that Mason Jar's generally fits the description and indeed is a little greasy. I order extra sauerkraut.

        1. re: James Cristinian

          The Mason Jar is not in the city limits? So what city is it in? Just curious. I haven't eaten there in years.

          I haven't had the reuben at Kahn's but I do love that corned beef!

          1. re: danhole

            Curious? Try speeding down the feeder road. I believe you'll pay your ticket at Hedwig Village City Hall. The reuben at Kahn's is enough to to feed three people.

            1. re: James Cristinian

              Thanks to everyone! I figured there must be someone here in this great metropolis that serves almost anything. It's just a matter of finding it, eh?

              1. re: ChrissieH

                There is also a deli called Carter and Cooley in the Heights on W. 19th near Yale, my cousin says it is excellent. As for Kahn's, I like the corned beef, but a friend, who fancies himself an expert on all things corned beef, says it is average. Give it a try, but remember it is a enormous.

                1. re: James Cristinian

                  The last decent reuben I had was earlier this spring at New York Bagel Shop & Deli, 9724 Hillcroft, just south of Braeswood. It was hot, crispy, and not too thick. The dining room is traditional (as in hasn't been updated since the late 70s) and feels very authentic to this expat Yankee. This is a bit of a drive from my home, however, and I will be checking out Carter & Cooley's and Doyle's reubens too, as they are in my 'hood.

                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    Kahn's sounds good and I'm sure I'll be giving it a try, but not for the Reubens. I'm not interested in the mile-high variety. I'm still looking for the original, authentic, thin and crispy grilled sandwich.

                    Did try Mason Jar and that ain't it, either. Theirs is melted open-faced on toasted bread, not grilled after assembly. Think 'grilled cheese sandwich,' not toasted bread.

                    It wasn't bad. I ate it all. And it was WAY ahead of the Fountain View Cafe's Reuben in that at least it was edible.

                    But as of right now, the only authentic thin crispy grilled Reuben Sandwich I can find in Houston is in my own kitchen.

                    I'll keep looking!

                    1. re: ChrissieH

                      I don't know what part of town you live in, but if you are in the "near" northwest side, meaning not far outside the Loop, you should try Doyle's.

                      1. re: danhole

                        I'm in Tanglewood, and actually, had such a hankerin' for a 'real' Reuben that after reading the suggestions on the board, got on the phone and called both Doyle's and Mason Jar to find out where they are, and if either are open on Sunday.

                        Doyle's isn't, but I'm sure going to try it next - probably sometime this coming week.

        2. I think the ruben at Spec's in Midtown is good. It's not the "piled high" type, but it's not thin either. Since I also love the grilled cheese at Specs, it made me think they would likely grill the ruben in the same way, upon request, which might give you what you want in a customized way.

          5 Replies
          1. re: montroseguys23

            That's a great suggestion. I never would have thought of that. So now I've got two likely suspects - Doyle's & Specs. Hope springs eternal.

            1. re: ChrissieH

              I live around the corner from Doyle's, so if you go let me know and I'll try to meet you there.

              1. re: danhole

                I will. Thanks for the offer! Which reminds me - are there ever CH Houston get-togethers?

                1. re: ChrissieH

                  Why yes there are! I just got back from lunch with a person I met on this board. We are every active.. It is discouraged to set up stuff on this CH board, but here is a link to how and where you can find us:


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            1. thin and grilled is how i like my reuben as well and i get my jollies off at onion creek cafe in the heights. their "country ass reuben" is thin and grilled, with one minor variation; they use honey mustard instead of thousand island. the resulting sandwich is delicious.

              the patio is a great place on a nice evening, which we have started having lately. this sandwich and a bucket of high life make for a fine meal.