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Rye Delicatessen - Minneapolis

Very promising.

Corned beef sandwich on rye -- sliced in front of you to order (hooray!!). Brilliant rye bread. Good mustard. Corned beef was almost there...surprisingly it was lacking in salty, briny flavor. Not sure exactly how that happens...I'm hoping it was just an anomaly. Still, an outstanding sandwich and easily best-in-class in MSP.

Bialy -- first of all, bravo for returning the bialy to the Twin Cities. All the elements were there, but it was almost 4 p.m. and it had suffered just a bit from age. I CAN'T WAIT to get one earlier in the day. I can't wait for a warm, chewy, oniony bialy.

The kind counter man gave me a taste of the smoked meat. Delicious. It isn't posted on the menu board above the counter, but they sell the meats by the pound. I see a massive, massive meat-bread-bialy-lox-spreads chowdown happening in my house in the near future.

Excited to try more.

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  1. I'd missed this news! Thank you. I am going just as soon as possible--maybe even tonight. They're open 7 am till 2 am, 7 days a week.

    It's actually a little pitiful, how excited I am.

    1. I went there for their trial opening last weekend and thought most of what we had was quite good (we didn't get a completely free choice of food, but it was free so obviously that was fine). We liked the patty melt and the blintzes, and we got a sample of the corned beef that we liked very much, too. I didn't find it lacking in salt but maybe they aren't totally consistent yet. We didn't love the omelette ("double yolk egg omelette" sounds good but I think there's a tradeoff in the texture) but this is a place I'd probably go to for sandwiches anyway.

      We also got a bag of bagels and cream cheese to go and I thought they were really good. I don't think I'm any kind of bagel connoisseur but I enjoyed them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LiaM

        Went there last night, had a fantastic sandwich. The meat was soft full flavored and not too salty. Some of us try to avoid salt for health reasons and it is available on every table I have ever sat at. The sandwich was not large but if was flavorful, hardly a bargain with no chips or fries included for the eleven or twelve bucks it cost. Tried the chicken pot pie also, had to return it, as there was absolutely no flavor at all. The vegetables were not cooked at all, onion and carrot still had a crisp texture as if raw. I may go back but this place has some work to do and is surly no bargain.

      2. Went this morning at 10:30 with two other women, one whose family is LA Jewish, the other first generation Turkish-American. And me, the Pennslvanian Italian-Welsh. Which is to say: we arrived with a range of expectations.

        We started off with toasted bialys, sharing one with plain cream cheese, one with lox cream cheese, one with chopped liver. The bialys themselves were just as they should be. Fresh, chewy but tender, oniony, and lightly toasted. The chopped liver was a disappointment. It tasted like good quality liver but where was the onion? The chopped egg? Verdict on the bialys: excellent. Verdict on the chopped liver; dry, needs more schmaltz, pump up the flavor.

        From there we diverged. I had their Benedict: smoked meat (similar to a pastrami) on a toasted bialy, with poached egg. It was too light on the hollandaise, and the meat kind of skimpy and just a little over-crisp. But what really bummed me out were the eggs, cooked past the point they should have been. I find it hard to forgive over-poached poached eggs. That said, the overall flavor was fine, not great. I did, however, notice the same dish an hour or so later on a neighboring table that looked like it was done just right, and with a more lethal dose of hollandaise. So I'll give this one another go another time, Benedict fan that I am.

        One friend had the egg and lox scramble, which she deemed tasty, but a little too greasy.

        The other friend had the lox sandwich: bagel, lox, red onion, cream cheese and, I think, cucumber. She said the lox was excellent. It certainly looked good.

        Then we split the kishka. Two of us loved it and the third thought it was tasty but should have been lighter. I disagree; I like the denseness. It was moist, no casing, quite a lot of carrot and onion, not cylinders but squares. Gravy was nice, not greasy as it can be.

        And finally...we split an order of potato latkes (just called potato pancakes on the menu). Two of them, good sized. The person in our group who had never had latkes before thought they were great. I and my other friend had reservations. They were the version in which the potatoes are not grated finely, so they look like they're formed from spikey potato pickup sticks. Which is fine by me, but these were over-fried. I like my latkes to be crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. These were crisp nearly all the way through. And lacking in onion, again. Served with applesauce (I didn't taste that, but my friends though it was almost like an apple compote) and sour cream. Good, quality, but not a home run for me.

        Service was excellent, and fast. Easy parking in the side lot, comfortable seating, and we all very much liked the interior redo. All in all, I'm definitely planning a return visit, next time for a sandwich and the noodle kugel. A great addition to Lowry Hill, and I'm wishing them enormous success.

        1 Reply
        1. re: clepro

          Great review, Clepro. I hope to get there soon to try it out.

        2. Break fast was beyond excellent...a great scramble of lox and caramelized onions...side of some mini version of a babka with cararmel sauce. We split a potato pancake and then took some black and white cookies and FANTASTIC rugelach to go...we will definitely come back,

          1. Went to Rye today for lunch and it was awful. I don't know who else to describe it. Here's what we got.....

            Corned Beef sandwich. This is not an exaggeration....you literally could not bite through ANY part of the corned beef. I'm talking about the meat and the fat. It was light pink in color and was virtually tasteless. NO seasoning on the meat. Seriously, I don't think a single drop of brine was used. How do you not notice this as you are carving the meat?

            So, after waiting 15 minutes for anyone to come by the table (you would think someone would be making the rounds to see how folks were doing, right?), we finally flagged down a waitress. We explained and showed her the sandwich. She was very accommodating and asked if we wanted something else. We ordered the beef brisket sandwich. So....

            Beef Brisket sandwich. Cooked beyond well done. Super dry and a bit chewy. Had to load up on the homemade mustard (excellent, by the way!) to give it some flavor.

            Smoked Meat sandwich. Compared to the corned beef and brisket, it was amazing. On its own, we considered it to be edible. It was teetering on tasteless as well. Where is the flavor at this place?? Again, had to load it up with their homemade mustard to get any kind of taste going.

            "Sea Salt" fries. Fries are pretty good. Did not see any evidence of sea salt though. Best part of the whole meal was the homemade ketchup.

            Folks, the rye bread was just average.

            I'm pretty shocked to read some reviews of this place and putting the food in the same universe as Bewitched and Crossroads. I want a great, local deli as much as the next guy.....but this aint it. Sure, we could have gotten a bad cut of meat......but we tried three different sandwiches and they were all poor. We are pretty easy to please and this experience was just bad. Too many great spots in Minneapolis to give it another shot.

            8 Replies
            1. re: scooter260

              Crud. Even by their own admission on their Facebook page, it sounds like this first week has been overwhelming and they are making adjustments. I hope they can iron this stuff out quickly. I'm wondering what's going on with the corned beef. Someone upthread mentioned they are OK with less salt, but corned beef is corned beef. It is a salty, briny food. Corned beef without that is like BBQ without smoke. It becomes a different food.

              Hearing these issues kills me because, selfishly, I NEED these foods here in the Twin Cities and they don't exist. I love Be'wiched but it isn't Jewish-style deli. Crossroads, Mort's, that place I want to bulldoze in St. Paul...they are not good.

              Hopefully they are reading this or getting good, constructive feedback.

              1. re: MSPD

                "that place I want to bulldoze in St. Paul"



                1. re: MSPD

                  I know you've been MSPD - How do the sandwiches compare to Jake's in MKE?

                  1. re: Foureyes137

                    Nowhere near as good as Jake's, but I'm not sure that's fair given Jake's decades of operation vs. less than a week for Rye.

                    Yes TDQ. That place.

                    1. re: MSPD

                      I love the Reubens and potato salad at Cecil's.

                      1. re: SarahInMinneapolis

                        It's true--one person's demolition project is another's favorite potato salad. I appreciate Cecil's for what it is, even though I don't mistake it for a NY deli. I do hope we get an awesome Montreal-style deli here, soon (and maybe even a Montreal-style bagelry), but I'm still glad to have Cecil's around. I go there when I want chicken soup and don't feel like cooking. Ans once a year with a group of (unadventurous eaters) friends who would otherwise try to drag me to Taco Bell. Even though this might not be the most chow'ish spot on earth, for me is serves as the bridge between the chowish and...Taco Bell.


                  2. re: MSPD

                    but isn't Cecil's the worlds only GLAT TREIF deli??????? you gotta at least give them that

                    1. re: mdwardmalp

                      I have a general idea of what glat treif means, but I agree 100% with MSPD on Cecil's. Their sandwiches are average at best. When I first moved to the MSP area, I lived in Highland, and went there often. Finally, I came to the realization that their sandwiches were not worth me pulling into their lot. I know folks that think very highly of Cecil's, but I personally think their sandwiches are no better than supermarket quality meats, condiments, and cheese, but at 3 times the price.

                2. We went tonight and while I really wanted to love it and have Minneapolis finally have a good deli, all of the flaws mentioned here came shining through. After ordering (and teetering back to our table holding 3 full drinks) we waited about 20 minutes for our food (which is strange considering not many (any?) dishes on the menu actually require cooking). I had ordered a ton of food for our 2 adults and 1 kid because there were so many "standards" I felt I needed to try to evaluate the place. We got "The Reason for Rye" sandwich, a Rachel, the kid's petite hot turkey sandwich, noodle kugel, a cup of matzoh ball soup, and cole slaw. The bill was around $55 which isn't terrible for a dinner for 3 although I was surprised by the $5 cup of soup and the small size and lack of sides with the sandwiches for $11.

                  Being a New Yorker whose Jewish grandmother made the best matzoh ball soup ever, I know I have high standards, but this soup was was really disappointing. The broth was very light on flavor and required several shakes of salt. The matzoh ball was light and fluffy but had an oddly very smooth texture and no flavor. The kugel was probably the second most disappointing thing - very, very dry - so much so that I didn't care that the portion was incredibly small.

                  Moving onto the sandwiches, my husband enjoyed "The Reason for Rye" but I felt it needed a little more flavor. I think the chopped liver went a long way to save that sandwich. I was disappointed that that was the only sandwich that came with a pickle. I had even looked for pickles on the menu when ordered but missed them because, as I now see, they're listed under Noshes and not Sides where I was looking for them. The Rachel was good, I'd have it again, and actually the hot turkey was my favorite, mostly because the gravy was extremely good.

                  We agreed we'd head there again, maybe over crossing the river to go to Cecils, but it's not somewhere we'd seek out until we knew that they had worked out the service kinks (and hopefully make more flavorful broth and serve pickles with every sandwich!).

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: katebauer

                    Hugely disappointed to hear about the dry kugel.

                    Waiting now to hear from someone who has tried the whitefish.

                    1. re: clepro

                      I bought a piece of whitefish to take out. It's in my refrigerator, but I took a quick taste. It was overly salty. A disappointment. I was also disappointed with the smoked meat. It was tender enough, but it could have used a little more brining as someone else mentioned.

                      The bialy was good the next day toasted with butter and cheese.

                      I'm going to give the place another chance because I just got a few items to take out. Their breakfasts look really good. Maybe they are just working out the kinks. The person who waited on me seemed to have some problems also. That was probably just his first day.

                      I really want this place to work.

                    2. re: katebauer

                      Katebauer, I second you on the bland soup note! I really wanted to like Rye, because it's an eatery in a much-needed location. The space is cheery enough, and the menu seems to have a lot of variety. But the food and the service just don't add up. It took at least 20 minutes for our soup to arrive, something that I assume they just had to ladle out without any additional prep. And when it finally did come, my $4 cup of chicken soup with kasha had no chicken in it! I assumed that I had just gotten a serving from the bottom of the pot, but my friend ordered the same, and also came up chicken-less. We inquired with our server, and apparently they don't do chicken in their chicken soup?! So basically you're paying for under-salted broth with an overly thick carrot disk. The mediocre quality, the meager portions, and the expense aren't really worth it. Perhaps they will make more improvements as they get a few more months under their belt?

                    3. No one wants this place to succeed more than I do. But there are problems. Reuben is good (but not outstanding). Burger is average. Chopped liver is bland, and needs more chopped eggs and onions to be served with it (and much better if you ask for bagel chips instead of the bland rye bread). The worst thing was the Brussels sprouts. They were billed as broiled. But they were served mushy and boiled. Pale green ghosts of themselves. When we returned them, the bartender argued they were broiled. With a straight face. Strange vibe with one of the owners standing right by who didn't seem to care about a food return. Have to hope they will iron out the kinks.

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: SarahInMinneapolis

                        I don't think this place has any idea of what it wants to be.

                        Is it a jewish deli? If so, it needs to add some serious flavor across the entire menu based on reviews above. And if it wants to be a jewish deli, why not call the smoked meat "pastrami"? People around here don't know what smoked meat is supposed to look or taste like. And you simply cannot miss with the matzoh ball soup....that dish needs to impress if you want to bring the deli crowds.

                        Is it an all-family restaurant? If so, that would explain the cheeseburger and patty melts on the menu. I found these menu additions a bit strange given the deli focus that the restaurant name implies.

                        Is it a bar? In my opinion, the bar is a bit odd. It greets you as soon as you walk in, and then there is a line for sandwich service just to your left. Who is the audience? Open until 2am? I'm curious who would be at this place and how big the crowds will be past 8pm.

                        I hope this place can iron out the kinks!

                        1. re: scooter260

                          From what I've read, Rye is supposed to be modeled after the delis in Montreal. Since I've never been to Montreal I can't judge how well they have succeeded but I have been there twice and enjoyed the food. I liked both the corned beef, potato pancakes and the matzoh brei. I am looking forward to going back and trying some more things.

                          1. re: Doghouse Reilly

                            Well, read no further than Andrew Zimmern's review in MSP magazine. He shreds Rye with the key critique discussed here.....this place has zero flavor.

                              1. re: BigE

                                I respect Zimmern's opinion about as much as I respect a dog's when it comes to food. This is the man who eats dirty animal anus, penis, testicles and placenta on the regular for christ sakes.He is nothing more than a poor mans or should I say fat mans Anthony Bourdain. He has not one original bone in his body and the only time he is touting a restaurant or chef is when he and his family are eating at the establishment for free.

                                1. re: Fudist

                                  Don't you think though that the consistency of negative reviews, or in this case inconsistency of reviews of several food items, says something about the quality of the restaurant? It is really not that hard to make chicken broth that actually has flavor - they should be getting that right.

                                  1. re: Fudist

                                    Fudist, please do site a few examples.

                                    1. re: Fudist

                                      Completely agree. The man is truly a legend in his own mind. Worse, as noted by Fudist, one never knows whether his reviews are tainted by a free full belly.

                                      1. re: MadelineinMpls

                                        Madeline, I will ask the same request of you that I posed to Fudist.....what is the example(s)? I only read his articles and watch his show.....what do you know that you can share? Would love to be enlightened with some details.

                                      2. re: Fudist

                                        Wow, fudist. I can tell you are completely level headed about this.

                                        I think AZ's opinion deserves some merit, especially since it is in line with the vast majority of reviews in this very thread. I don't see what his Bizarre food reputation has to do with his ability to judge if someone properly seasons things or if they are serving rotten (!) food.

                                        At the end of the day, everyone should try it for themselves if they really want to know, but I will not be going there until it seems that the quality (and consistency) has turned for the better.

                                        1. re: Fudist

                                          Wow, you ripped Andrew as badly as he ripped Rye.

                                          I read Andrew's review, and it seems to mirror everything that has been said in this thread. Does that mean everyone in this thread sucks too?

                                        2. re: BigE

                                          After reading Zimmern's "critique" - I had to go and see for myself. Sadly, he was right on. They were out of knish(!). The person who took my order seemed surprised when her register indicated they were sold out - so she went into the kitchen to ask if they'd made more. They had not.

                                          The potato pancake was the over-crispy wonder described above. It was almost like thick cut potato sticks on the outside, with a flavorless mushy center.

                                          The real reason I went was to have a bialy - something that has been sorely missing in the area. The dough had a decent texture, but was (as the theme seems to be) really lacking flavor.

                                2. Stopped in last night for a sandwhich. I do love Delis and have eaten at the best all over the coiuntry. Had an amazing meal at Chompies last week in Phoenix. The pastrami was thinly sliced and just melted in my mouth. Perfectly seasoned. The Matzo balls in the soup were amazing.

                                  Flash forward to last night. What I would call one of the worst deli meals I have ever had. I ordered their specialty sandwhich with pastrami and a schmear of chopped liver. First, the bread was very dry. It tasted like cardboard. But what was really bad was the pastrami. They cut it thick. They served it somewhat cold. It was tough and chewy. The thick I don't have a problem with. Way back when I really liked Louis Habbit when they cut it thick because it was so tender and juicy. This was the consitency of shoe leather. There was a little appealing smokey flavor ("smoked meat") but it did not resemble pastrami's flavor profile to me. Something is wrong with their execution. I will not be back. The chopped liver wasn't bad.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Latinpig

                                    To be fair, "smoked meat" in the style of Montreal delis, which is what Rye is serving, and pastrami are not one in the same.

                                    BUT....that sucks. Neither should be chewy, tough, and lacking in flavor. This drum beat of awful reports is killing me. Like so many others, I want this place to get it. Torture....sheer torture, I say. Make it stop.

                                      1. re: MSPD

                                        I wish this place was good too. But it wasn't. I hope they figuire it out soon.

                                      2. re: Latinpig

                                        I too had the worst experience of my eating life there. I ordered a smoked meat sandwich. The bread was dry and cold. I brought it back to the counter and exchanged it for a corned beef sandwich. The result was the same. Terrible. I also had a latke and a knish. The latke was OK but a bit too black on the edges but the knish had a terrible old potato refrigerator smell flavor.

                                        The worst thing about the place was the seemingly uncaring attitude of the staff. It's one thing to have the words come out of your mouth, it's another to actually care. In a situation like this where the customer physically brings a plate back to the counter and demostrates that the food is bad you would think you'd get the manager involved right? Nope. Never happened both times.

                                        1. re: kuan

                                          You would think someone would care. Why spend all that money renovating the space and then not care about the food? It's bizarre. I thought I'd give it another shot last week and stopped in for a bite around 2:30 pm. Was informed --cheerfully but not regrettfully -- that the kitchen was closed until 5:30 Probably just as well. The refrigerator case looked like a train wreck.

                                      3. I had neither a great nor a horrible experience at Rye. But I found myself making excuses for them ("they've only been open a short time," etc).
                                        The service was friendly, but I was puzzled when they wouldn't put four people sitting together under the same order number. The worker said something about the kitchen being upset if she did that. Since when? Sure, we were paying separate, but I've worked with food service computers and there's always a way to note that the food should come out at the same time.
                                        Anyway, our food came out fairly quickly. My friends' veggie burgers looked hand-formed, and they said they were good, so no complaints there.
                                        I had the Deli Debris, which is like deli nachos (bagel chips, cheese, smoked meat bits, hot and sweet peppers). Good flavor, but again, I had to make an excuse for them when confronted with less-than-generous toppings ("I guess I don't really NEED a ton of cheese on my food").
                                        Then there was the pickle plate. First of all, I don't care what "style" of deli you're going for, you shouldn't charge 3 bucks for a handful of pickles. Second of all, these were terrible! I've never met a pickle I didn't like, until now. There was no flavor, and the cukes were discolored as if they'd been frozen. The skin of one even mushed away when I touched it. Pickles AREN'T supposed to do that.
                                        The final straw was my boyfriend's "steamed seasoned vegetables," which was sliced carrots sprinkled with a touch of parsley, nothing else. Close to $4 for 15 cents' worth of carrots?
                                        This experience was about 3 weeks ago. The next day I wrote an email politely pointing out some of my disappointments, and asking them questions about the restaurant. I haven't received an answer.
                                        I, like many other people on this page and elsewhere, REALLY wanted to like this place. I might come back for a bagel sandwich, but that's definitely a "might."

                                        1. We held off visiting, due to mixed reviews and being busy. Has anyone visited recently? Noticed improvements?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Reetsyburger

                                            I have eaten there several times and really enjoy it. I say, go and judge for yourself.

                                            1. re: gryffindor249

                                              gryffindor, tell us what you had and liked

                                          2. it may be time for folks who had bad experiences to revisit rye. apparently the place was so slammed at the get-go with unexpected business that they could not keep up, partic with the housemade meats. but they have shaken out their system, apparently. respectable!

                                            1. I haven't been there yet but saw that Rick Nelson just had a favorable review:


                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: karykat

                                                2 1/2 stars = "favorable" review?

                                                1. re: scooter260

                                                  Based on what he actually says about the food.

                                                  Do you disagree?

                                              2. My boyfriend and I went there about a month ago, and it was pretty bad. We both got the smoked meat sandwich, his on rye, mine on challah. I could not eat it. The meat looked lovely, and I imagined that it would be tender, salty, and a bit smokey. But it was almost completely bland and very difficult to bite through. It also seemed to be 50% fat. Even my boyfriend, who loves meat and usually eats all the fatty parts, had a tough time finishing his sandwhich because of the fat content. I was glad I only got a half sandwich, but the chicken matzoh soup was bland as well. Not worth the money, at all.

                                                1. Consider me a glutton for punishment. Hungry and didn't want to venture far. Back to Rye for the knife and fork Reuben. That ton of Swiss cheese on top was hiding really bad meat. Full of fat, most of it un-chewable.

                                                  The question remains...why does anyone spend so much money revamping a space and not care about the food?

                                                  Such weird karma in the place, too. Nobody seems to give a rip. The owners of this joint get what they deserve.

                                                  This is my neighborhood. I wanted this place to work. But I've eaten maybe a dozen meals there. It's a default joint. I don't want a default joint.

                                                  Hate to be harsh, but stick a fork in it and kill it. Maybe someone else will rent / buy the space who knows how to make it work.

                                                  Me? I'm done.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                      Agreed. Such a sad denoument to a thread that starts out ecstatic ( "hooray!!...brilliant...outstanding...easily best in class"), drifts into the putrid (discussion of Zimmern's reports of mishandled, rotting, flavorless, unseasoned food), chugs back uphill with links to Nelson's appealing review (gorgeous...feisty...punchy...flavorful...handled with care...marvelous...divine...first-rate...most awesome...) and sinks with a thud to rock bottom, "stick a fork in it and kill it."

                                                      Tough, chewy, fatty meat. :(.

                                                      What the heck? Plus, not a whisper of a mention of Cott's Black Cherry Soda.


                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        My offspring ate there right at the beginning and also reported the tough, fatty, chewy thing.

                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                          Such a bummer. I wonder if they can recover or if this is just how it's going to be? How long does it take to work out the kinks? The most distressing part is the lack of caring/service. Shouldn't the owner be omnipresent at this early stage, letting us know that they are working on improvements? Really a disappointment. I'd so love a Montreal style deli. :(.


                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            I don't think they really want to. The "excuse" I've heard is that since it's a Jewish Deli it's always being compared to 2nd avenue.

                                                            I was executive sous chef at the Oakridge CC in the early 2000's. I'm not Jewish and it wasn't _that_ hard. Believe me the scrutiny there was 100x worse.

                                                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                          Agreed, especially since my name is attached to the "ecstatic" post and is quite possible ruining any positive reputation I may have had. =)

                                                          I haven't had a chance to get back there....I still have hope.

                                                    2. I think their poutine with smoked meat is marvelous. If you go during happy hour, it's half price.

                                                      1. Went to Rye today for lunch. I started with the Meshugge Mary, their version of a Bloody Mary. Very good mix - not bland, not overly spiced, evenly balanced - , with a great skewer assortment. Fiancee had the Last Tango, which I believe was muddled strawberries and balsamic, with gin, topped with a egg white/St. Germain liquor foam. Beautiful look, great taste.

                                                        For food, she had the Montreal smoked meat, I had the Reuben. Her Montreal smoked sandwich was excellent. You could taste the difference in texture and flavor between the point and flat (I couldn't tell you which was which, only that there was a pronounced difference in the two portions of the brisket). One wasn't better than the other, just different, and both excellent. The meat was juicy, excellent smoke, and tender yet with some very good tooth to it.

                                                        My Reuben was also excellent. Thick rye bread, tasty corned beef, and good slaw, dressing and cheese. The cheese could have had a bit more bite, it was a little bland. The rye bread was excellent. The corned beef was great - well balanced, slightly briny without being too salty, very good taste. I actually preferred the sandwich de-constructed: I pulled it apart and ate pieces of rye, then a forkful of slaw/dressing/cheese, and then pile of corned beef. The flavors were much cleaner that way, but to be honest, I've always found that with all Reubens I've had, I prefer them in their individual ingredients than all put together.

                                                        I had a rye beer that was a great compliment to the Reuben, and fiancee finished with a piece of their carrot cake - a bit denser than how I make it, but very moist and flavorful, and a very good frosting.

                                                        Overall, it was an excellent meal at Rye. We sat at the bar, service was great. It was our first time there. I'm not sure if the quality is now different than when it first opened, or if different posters have had different experiences. We'll be back.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: foreverhungry

                                                          Thank you for the thoughtful review. I have been put off from this place by all of the bad reviews, here and elsewhere. One question: Do they really put slaw rather than sauerkraut on their reubens? That sounds better to me.

                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                            sandy, thanks for picking up my error. It was indeed sauerkraut on the Reuben, not slaw. Slaw was served on the side.

                                                            The sauerkraut was on the mild side, whereas that cole slaw seemed like it was just cider vinegar and a pinch of sweet for the dressing, and had a lot of bite and tang, but balanced. Confused them as I was eating them both at the same time.

                                                            Definitely worth a try if you've been holding off.

                                                            I didn't mention that I asked the bartender for a taste of the brisket, and he gave me a slice. Excellent flavor and tenderness. But what really made it was the little 1/8 - 1/4 inch cap of fat: it was succulent, beefy, and had a mouthfeel I can't describe. I'm normally not someone big into fat, but this little sliver was transcendental.

                                                            1. re: foreverhungry

                                                              Did you get a pickle with your meal? I'm still trying to find a place in Mpls/St. Paul that makes a good half/full sour pickle (i.e. no vinegar).

                                                              1. re: jeff55432

                                                                I did get a pickle with the meal, a spear. I'm not a pickle aficionado, but yes, I believe it is a brined/fermented pickle, not a vinegar pickle. I think it's a half sour...?

                                                                1. re: jeff55432

                                                                  When Mort's Deli first opened they would bring a really nice plate of various pickles to the table, gratis, I am sure all the types you are talking about. I am not sure if they are still doing that.

                                                                  We've been a few times (not recently) and always liked it. And they just added beer/wine so can compete with Rye (which has full liquor). Rye is pretty good too.

                                                            1. re: Jordan

                                                              Oh, whoops! I finally got there about a month ago. Sadly, I was pretty unimpressed, but maybe they had just run out of steam and enthusiasm. Everything in the fridge case looked tired and like it had been sitting too long. The smoked meat was too lean for my taste. The rye bread was good! Bummer.


                                                                1. re: Jordan

                                                                  I feel badly for the owner, but he just could not get it right. Here's to hoping that someone who appreciates the Weinstein buildout turns the place into a great neighborhood joint, like Auriga was, where you could eat well cheap or spendy.

                                                                  1. re: Jordan

                                                                    The mystery to me is how the Minneapolis branch of the chosen people manages to survive without a proper Jewish deli. Will anyone ever step in and fill the void?

                                                                    1. re: steamer

                                                                      No. The owners of Katz's and Carnegie Deli could team up open up a branch combining the best of their offerings in the Rye space tomorrow.

                                                                      By Monday, a certain sublet would kvetch about how it isn't as good as the ones in NYC and the East Coast. I mean, did it take Andrew three days to rip Rye wall to wall over at MSP Mag?

                                                                      It isn't worth the trouble or the risk because no matter what you do or how well you do it, high profile (of the chosen people as you call them) are going to be critical which drives away the masses that you need to stay in business. You're better off opening a restaurant dedicated to the South and serving local craft beers. Because you see Surly everywhere in New Orleans.

                                                                      1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                        I'm not asking for good as New York, or vegan friendly or sustainable or house made blueberry catsup, or Montreal style. The minimum is decent rye bread and corned beef sandwiches with yellow mustard, and a proper Reuben. Old dinosaur deli waitresses who smoke too much would be a plus, but not essential. Surely someone can at least do do that.

                                                                        1. re: steamer

                                                                          If you want a proper Reuben, Ward 6 does the best one in town.

                                                                          If you want the deli you describe, go ahead and take the plunge. Just be prepared for the kickback.

                                                                          1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                            My restaurant days are way behind me, have to leave opening a decent Jewish deli to somebody ambitious and hard working enough to do the job right. You have to admit no decent deli in the Mini-apple is a pretty glaring omission.

                                                                            1. re: steamer

                                                                              If somebody did, what would the folks in St. Louis Park and Highland Park have to complain about then?

                                                                              I stand by the original comment. No matter what anyone tries from a deli standpoint in this town, it will never be good enough. So why bother. Open up a place that serves a bunch of small plates, five or six entrees, and focuses on craft-cocktails and local beer. It's a much safer investment.

                                                                              1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                Crossroads seems to do quite well. Guess what I'm saying is when the subset gets large enough you ought to take notice. It's up to a restaurant to figure out what's large enough I guess.

                                                                        2. re: Db Cooper

                                                                          It was not a small subset of people who couldn't chew their meat at this place.

                                                                          1. re: kuan

                                                                            I personally didn't say it was, at least in regards to Rye.

                                                                            I'm saying that there are some, no matter what is done, that are going to complain about it.

                                                                            1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                              That is true in every business. My understanding of "not as good as" in the restaurant business is that it is at the very least good.

                                                                              I cannot believe this happened. Food is so simple. It is done properly or not, and there are no secrets. Use basic cooking techniques, adapt it to the flow of your restaurant, and then add your own personal touch.

                                                                              1. re: kuan

                                                                                Food is simple
                                                                                Reproducing it, perfectly or as close as you can get it, hundreds of times per day. Not so simple. Ask any chef.

                                                                                1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                  I was executive sous chef at the Oakridge CC. Getting it right is giving a damn.

                                                                                  1. re: kuan

                                                                                    So then why is it the half the restaurant reviews I read contain stories about consistency issues? If it's just giving a damn, that should never be a problem right?

                                                                                    You should have helped. You probably had more experience in smoked brisket and chicken soup than Rye did coming from Oak Ridge. \

                                                                                    Anyway, good luck. I"m signing off this thread now.

                                                                                    1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                      I must apologize DB. I did not mean to toss around credentials, and I do understand your point about a vocal minority. It's a pointless discussion now anyway.

                                                                            2. re: kuan

                                                                              I personally had an excellent experience at Rye.

                                                                      2. Maybe Becky's Cafeteria will come back.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                          becky's had better corned beef...