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Sep 15, 2010 01:31 PM

Rant on Reuben Sandwiches [moved from Boston board]

the deli piece in the globe made me see red for a moment, and I don't mean in a good way. To test a jewish deli on a reuben is like testing a fine chinese restaurant on its lasagna. Reubens are the devil's own invention, having nothing to do with any standard jewish deli and imported from heaven knows where into non-kosher jewish delis where they remain a blot on good sense and balance. who adds bad swiss cheese to good corned beef? Adds more fat to a fine fatty meat? yech......As to the article itself, if you don't make your own chopped liver, try the Butcheries or Michael's Deli. As to chicken soup and matzoh balls, the only one I eat other than my own is New England Soup Factory. Why someone who knows nothing about food or delis gets to write about them will remain beyond my understanding. No Reubens!! No Rachels!

Michael's Deli
256 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

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  1. The only fault I find in your comment is that you pay any attention whatsoever to anything written in the Boston Glob (misspelling intentional).

    1. Since there are no good deli's, let's at least enjoy a reuben.

      1. "who adds bad swiss cheese to good corned beef?"

        Stand at any counter that serves top notch pastrami and watch how many people ask for cheese on their pastrami sandwich.

        Is this all that different from folks who like cheese (usually Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese) on a good cut of beef? Personally I enjoy a Rachel over a Rubin. To each their own I say.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Gordough

          forgive me, but jewish delis were all, once upon a time, kosher. no cheese on the meat. none. ever. so, yes, crossover has happened: delis (but never kosher ones) looked to lure people with "fusion" deli. Fine. if you like it, eat it and may you find a good one. But it is insulting to write an article on "jewish" delis and test their excellence on a "reuben." what a joke.

          1. re: teezeetoo

            I get why you're upset, but clearly, that ship has sailed: not all Jewish delis are kosher. Not all people who eat at Jewish delis keep kosher, even if they're Jewish. So, nu?

            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

              nothing wrong with general gau's chicken, chow mein, or egg foo young. would you test for the best chinese restaurants by making these your standards for review? I'm not at all a purist: have no idea what is authentic in most cuisines. I just can't help feeling that the lovely Adelman's at Adelman's deli on 13th avenue in Brooklyn, and my father, would be deeply offended at using a Reuben as a measure of their skill or taste. neither of them would have touched one with a long wooden spoon.

              1. re: teezeetoo

                You are not in Brooklyn any more. In many areas of the U.S., one cannot even get a reuben.

                1. re: Veggo

                  Veg, my boss here in Grants, said the reuben at the 1St Street Cafe was the best he'd ever eaten. He's a native New Mexican. I'm gonna wait until I'm really hard up(or blitzed) before trying one.

                2. re: teezeetoo

                  I'll have some sympathy for you the first time someone pulls a gun on you and forces you to eat a Reuben against your will. Otherwise, live and let eat.

                3. re: Jenny Ondioline

                  you know, that is a great expression. i appreciate your bringing it to my attention again. and i'm gonna use it too!

            2. Ha! Love to see impassioned Chowhounds getting all incensed!

              It would be simpler to just say that Boston remains a giant sucking black hole for high-quality traditional Jewish deli, but you can't get 800 words out of that.


              3 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Real deli is dying. The only hope is a still young artisan deli movement. I'm somewhat surprised that even in the kashrut world there is little artisan deli.

                1. re: lergnom

                  Worth noting that one of the young artisan delis, Kenny & Zuke's in Portland, serves a killer Reuben that I am compelled to order every time I visit. But another one, Caplansky's in my hometown of Toronto, refuses to, with the same passionate argument of the OP.

                  1. re: childofthestorm

                    I don't think the OP has ever had a reuben. His rant is the dilution of kosher.

              2. Russian Dressing? Need I say more?

                2 Replies
                1. re: baldbert

                  You said a mouthful. And a most upleasant one. I loathe the stuff.

                  1. re: baldbert

                    let me see: bad swiss cheese, russian dressing, and fatty meat on generally poor quality rye bread, with some canned sauerkraut: sounds like an ersatz "jewish-style" big mac to me. great corned beef, good mustard, good rye bread, good pickle on the side: sounds like a deli sandwich.