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Nov 17, 2011 09:30 AM

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 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.