Huron Square Deli

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Huron Square Deli Corned Beef Sandwich An unexpectedly long server and storage migration left me looking for lunch for my team on Saturday.

Google Maps said there was a Subway nearby and in the course of looking for it, we providentially found the Huron Square Deli at 1150 Huron Road in downtown Cleveland instead.

Providentially, because I didn't want a Subway, because the Huron Square Deli has of of those ubiquitous '"Hot" Corned Beef' signs in their window and because I'd added it to our Where we're going list a while back.

We gave them our "ham-and-cheese-without-the-cheese" order first, then got to bantering about their Corned Beef: Do they think they have the best? What kind do they serve, lean and crumbly or fat and juicy? Did we want provolone or american cheese?(!!) Did we want fries with that?

Turns out they do believe they have Cleveland's best Corned Beef. They claim to serve lean and juicy. And yes, we wanted fries with that.

And we gave them a really tough time about the "provolone or american cheese" question. I suppose one has to cater to client tastes, but the mere mention made me question their Corned Beef credentials.

Huron Square Deli lunch (with Fries!)Well, back at the break room, we opened our parcels and dug in. Very good. Just look at those fries!!

Somewhere in there is buried a deli pickle spear, quite perfect in every way. But look at those fries!

The Corned Beef was quite lean, not crumbly, but just the right amount of juicy. The bread was grilled to perfection and didn't leave your fingers too greasy. The cheese was an excellent choice, but might have been just as good if it had been swiss. I encountered one large portion of chewy gristle/fat but it didn't really spoil the sandwich. (Look at those fries!)

It's perhaps a bit telling that the fries overwhelmed the sandwich. In addition to being plentiful, they were also perfect. Perhaps it was because we caught them at 10-minutes-to-closing and they needed to offload so many fries. Or perhaps they always serve them so deliciously and plentifully.

OK. Enough said. They were good.

And the Corned Beef? Overall, it was very good. A good, every-day sort of Corned Beef sandwich. A daily staple sort of Corned Beef sandwich. Not a Best Corned Beef but a Very Good Corned Beef.

Now I can add it to our Where we've been list.

I look forward to visiting again when I'm in that part of town.

In Search Of The Best Corned Beef

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David Cunix is a Managing Partner at Bogart, Cunix & Browning and a passionate Corned Beef connoisseur. This guest post covers a truly unique Corned Beef experience.

This post may also be viewed in Again? Really? If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

This little adventure began at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. We were at a black tie wedding. Sally, my girlfriend, was wearing a floor length gown. We were there for the groom, her youngest nephew.

This was an Orthodox (traditional) wedding. Most of the guests were present hours before the official ceremony. The groom was busy signing the Ketubah (wedding contract) while the bride was surrounded by friends and relatives in an adjacent room. The guests wandered back and forth between the rooms, celebrating, socializing and, of course, eating.

There were three large bars plus the ever-present wait staff offered glasses of Champagne and white wine. Others were carrying trays of finger food. There were two 12 foot tables of sushi, attractively arranged and all completely Kosher. And in each room near the sushi tables were carving stations.

Please remember that this is all a precursor to the wedding and a fabulous dinner. But you can work up quite an appetite at an Orthodox Jewish wedding, what with all of the music and spontaneous dancing. We grabbed some plates.

I selected a few pieces of sashimi and then met Sally at the carving station. The chef deftly carved a whole turkey and offered slices from the breast. There was also steak and something else. Even in the dimly lit room the color was the unmistakable dark pink of CORNED BEEF. But the shape was wrong. It was almost rectangular. Two slices found their way to my plate.

It was corned beef, but it wasn't brisket. It was, however, warm, incredibly moist, and tender. The flavor was bright with more than the usual hint of pickling. This corned beef needed nothing. Rye bread, mustard, and horseradish were all superfluous. Taste. Texture. Color. My tux and upbringing were the only things keeping me from pulling up a chair right next to that carving station.

Back in town I discussed the corned beef with Boris Mikhi of Boris Kosher Meats. He guessed that it might have been a rib roast. That would be one expensive sandwich. The cut looked an awful lot like a chuck roast that Boris sells as a fish tail roast. He offered to cut, trim, and corn one for me.

Corned Beef Sandwich - My House
Special Corned Beef
Broccoli Slaw

Corned Beef

  • 3 ½ pound corned beef fish tail (chuck) roast
  • Big pot
  • Lots of water
  • Garlic Powder

Cover the meat with cold water. Throw in a little garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about four hours. The meat is done when a fork can be easily inserted all the way through the thickest part.

Simple Broccoli Slaw

  • 12 ounce bag of broccoli slaw from the grocery store
  • 1 thick slice of red onion, chopped
  • Marzetti's Slaw Dressing
  • Garlic salt, black pepper, and celery seed

I removed the roast from the water and let it rest 10 minutes. I admired my handiwork as I carefully cut it against the grain. The color was perfect. The texture - excellent. It was delicious. Sally said that it was as good as the Plaza's, but I think she was feeding my ego while I was feeding her dinner.

Truth - This version is as good, if not better, than any corned beef I've had in Cleveland, but it didn't quite equal the Plaza's. The texture was close, but not the same. The flavor wasn't as intense. Both of these issues may be resolved in future attempts.

The best corned beef sandwich in Cleveland could be at YOUR HOUSE. Your butcher is waiting for you. And if you decide to visit Boris, tell him I sent you.

I was downtown Cleveland yesterday and needed some lunch so I stopped over to Ontario Street Deli and quickly ordered their traditional Corned Beef on rye with swiss and Stadium Mustard.

Carl was very happy to oblige, of course. I think making Corned Beef sandwiches is what keeps that guy alive sometimes!

Since I was running late for my next appointment, it taunted me from between those slabs of bread for the next ninety minutes while I raced back to the Heights to talk technology with a local startup.

Perhaps the measure of a great Corned Beef sandwich is how long it can wait without being eaten and still taste delicious?

I don't intend to wait that long again, so I may never find out.

Sy Ginsberg's Corned Beef BrisketThis is not my ideal delivery method for Corned Beef.

I much prefer it sliced nice and thin and piled mile high between a pair of deli rye slices.

And just a touch of mustard.

Oh and some dripping melted swiss.

But if we're just talking about Corned Beef transportation, this Detroit import from United Meat & Deli will probably be sufficient.

Imagine!! How many sandwiches can you make with nearly 100 pounds of Corned Beef briskett?!!

At least three or four. . . .

I found this empty keg as a prop at the Greater Cleveland Council's Glacier Ridge District Cub Scout Day Camp this summer.

And then for lunch I had to have turkey and cheddar on a pita. Oh, the inhumanity!

Another one for the list

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YumYum's Downtown TreatsI'm adding Yum Yum's Downtown Treats to the list after seeing their sandwich board on Euclid this past week.

They don't claim to serve the best Corned Beef in Cleveland, but their asking price of $6.99 for a sandwich combo appeals to this cost-sensitive sandwich eater.

I wonder how many ounces are on this one?

You can find them at 512 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland.
Jason Brill is a guest writer and sandwich eater for Best Corned Beef in Cleveland. He recently visited Jack's Deli and Restaurant in University Heights and tells us about his experience. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with corned beef.

I didn't spend my childhood in Cleveland, though I was born here. We did come back a few times a year, and as a young Jewish kid who lived in Southern Texas—a place devoid of corned beef—one of the joys of coming back was the regular visits to Corky & Lenny's. And I'm talking dingy, wood-paneled Corky & Lenny's at Cedar Center.

Another oft-visited deli was Jack's Deli and Restaurant at the corner of Green and Cedar in University Heights. Thumbnail image for Jack's Deli and RestaurantAs I moved back to Cleveland, and as Corky's made its move to Chagrin Blvd., Jack's quickly became my favorite deli haunt. To me, the corned beef is always juicier at Jack's. The soup is more comforting. The service is—well, it doesn't take much to top Corky's in that department, but Jack's has always been more welcoming.

So when the fine gentleman here at Best Corned Beef in Cleveland asked if I'd like to do a guest review for Jack's, I couldn't pass up on an excuse to feed my corned beef craving.

He'Brew - "the best Jewish beer I've ever had"After starving myself all day in preparation, my dining companion—the wonderful young lady responsible for the blog Hip & Healthy—and I headed to Jack's.

After a long day of work, the best way to unwind and prepare for corned-beefy goodness is a good brew—a He'Brew.

As my companion put it, "It's the best Jewish beer I've ever had." Think Great Lakes Brewing Company's Lake Erie Monster. A perfect companion for what's to come.

The Sandwich - Jack's DeliI cannot come to Jack's without getting the meal-in-a-bowl known as: The Whole Magilla. It's an extra-large bowl of chicken soup with a matzoh ball, rice, noodles, and a kreplach (a meat filled dumpling).

Next up: the pièce de résistance. The corned beef. I ordered the regular-sized corned beef on rye. I usually keep my sandwich totally plain. If I'm feeling a little saucy, I will throw on coleslaw and thousand island dressing. The corned beef at Jack's just tastes fresh. It's juicy, and it melts in your mouth.

My companion ordered the not-so-hungry-sized lean corned beef on rye. She put some spicy-brown mustard on it, and she was soon wearing a satisfied grin.

A side of fries and complimentary pickles round out this perfect gastronomic adventure.

More Sandwich - Jack's DeliOne other item of note is the corned beef and potato pancakes. It isn't on the menu, but you can usually order it if you act like you know what you're asking for. It's a sandwich-sized helping of corned beef betwixt two—wait for it—potato pancakes.

The prices are on par with Corky's for most menu items. The beers were shockingly-priced, but that's our fault for not even asking. We tend to order off the cuff and worry about silly little things like price later.

Our corned beef cravings quenched, we ventured out into another soggy spring night.

Jack's Deli and Restaurant is located at 14490 Cedar Rd. in University Heights, 44121. They are on the web at:

9499908-large.jpgVice President Joe Biden, Sen. Sherrod Brown paid a morning visit to Slyman's on Tuesday, April 19th, the day we posted about our recent visit there.

With this, their celebrity list grows even longer. They also count a visit from President George W. Bush in 2007 (and, of course, your esteemed writers and sandwich eaters).

Senator Brown didn't respond to our request for comment on his experience.

You can view some video as well.

(Photo by John Kuntz. Photo caption: "Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown look over a menu at Slyman's Restaurant in Cleveland on April 19, 2011." Link to original Plain Dealer article.)

The Cleveland History pages of the Plain Dealer posted an article recently pondering the question of which sandwich tastes like Northeast Ohio. Hmm...

They include a poll to track readers' answers and some form of Corned Beef is currently taking over 50% of the votes!

Frankly, I'm not surprised.

(You can take the poll here.)

Back to Slyman's

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Thumbnail image for Slyman's Corned Beef SandwichThere's no doubt that Slyman's Restaurant holds the region's imagination for Corned Beef. From being "the place the president visited" (President Bush dropped by in 2007) to serving the "biggest" Corned Beef, nothing about Slyman's is disappointing.

My colleague and I chose a Friday during Lent to avoid the massive crowds that on a normal day threaten to swamp this little "hole in the wall". The takeout line (call, don't email) was long but running quickly and yet there were a few tables to spare at 12:30 when we arrived.

If you're here for the Corned Beef (and who isn't!), a quick glance at the menu should be all that's needed. My friend chose his traditional Reuben (hold the Sauerkraut) and I got the Corned Beef.

The first thing we do is pull out our phones to take pictures (his and mine). I didn't have a ruler or measuring tape, but it was high, probably the tallest I've had yet.

We guessed about the weight, figuring about eight or nine ounces. Our waitress (she was friendly, attentive and yes, very busy) shattered our estimate by telling us that each one is eleven-point-five ounces.

Eleven-point-five ounces

No matter how you slice it, stack it or compress it, that's an awful lot of sandwich.

I'm not going to get into "size matters" arguments mostly because no matter how big you make your sandwich, someone else can always add another ounce. You may be trying to lift a slice of rye bread the size of a hubcap, but the place down the road will trot out one the size of a spare tire.

On a personal note, a Corned Beef sandwich needs to have at least a 2:1 Corned Beef-to-bread ratio in order to be truly enjoyable. Less than that and you'd be better off eating tuna fish. On the upper side, there's something about 16 ounces—an entire pound—that sounds like a good place to stop. As it is, one calorie calculator I visited put that 11.5 oz sandwich at 980 calories (sans pickle)!

Get on with it!

How was it? It was truly great. A real Cleveland classic. Without a doubt, a great Corned Beef sandwich. My friend would argue that it is Cleveland's Best Corned Beef. As for me, I'm a bit more empirical: ask me when I've tried them all.

Until then, when I'm tired of sampling sub-Best fare, I'll come back to Slyman's to reset my expectations.

Yes, it was that good.

Alexa (AKA Cleveland's a Plum) makes an Irish Mimosa with Corned Beef.


Recent Eats

  • Huron Square Deli lunch (with Fries!)
  • Huron Square Deli Corned Beef Sandwich
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  • The Sandwich - Jack's Deli
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  • Slyman's Corned Beef Sandwich
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