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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.

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!

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:

Tommy's on Coventry

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Tommy's Cigar - Corned Beef Sandwich (pita)

Tommy's on Coventry in Cleveland Heights is one of my family's favorites. We think their food is great, the prices reasonable, the variety astounding and the service well-done.

We recently had a birthday to celebrate and the birthday boy requested Tommy's. I was only too happy to oblige since I knew they had a Corned Beef sandwich (on a pita) that I was drooling to try out.

It's called the Cigar and is listed to have "four ounces of corned beef with onion, mushrooms, pickles, sesame sauce, mustard and cheese". Sounds like my kind of sandwich!

Tommy's Cigar - Corned Beef Sandwich (pita) - opened

Overall, it was a good Corned Beef sandwich. (I'm not a big fan of sesame sauce and next time I would order it without. Even taking that into consideration, it's an example of good Corned Beef.)

I'm starting to get the idea that in order to be truly great, a sandwich needs to have eight or ten ounces of Corned Beef. I'll certainly have to try that idea out in the coming months. Maybe I ask for a double Cigar next time?!

Until then, if you're wanting to try something satisfying, tasty and delicious with a different presentation, certainly consider Tommy's! They're even on Twitter!

And make certain you save room for one of a shake or malt. Moosetracks is awesome.

Eat on Broadway

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Those bright orange '"Hot" Corned Beef' signs are hard to miss, so I stopped by Eat on Broadway to see what they had to offer.

Eat on BroadwayIt's a cute little restaurant, right in the middle of Bedford's downtown area (at 692 Broadway Avenue). I found easy parking, walked right in and ordered their Corned Beef sandwich (what else?!!) to go.

Open about a year, they seem to be part of the revitalization that this part of Bedford is experiencing.

They were doing a brisk business when I arrived and yet there was plenty of time for the banter between those on both sides of the counter. There are seats for about eight and a variety of choices for you if you're not into Corned Beef (anathema, I know). If I can find my menu, I'll scan it and post it here.

EOB-sandwich (half)As far as the sandwich goes, I'm going to have to give Janine and Larry the benefit of the doubt and presume I had an unusual, bad cut of meat. It was not lean (gristle is more like it) and I was unable to finish a portion of it. On the other hand, I saw the Corned Beef come out of the container (6.5 ounces, I was told at the time) and perhaps it could have been caught at that point.

I'll just have to come back again and try another one! I'll let you know how that goes.

6/29/2010 - Update: Here's a scan of the Eat on Broadway Menu in PDF.

The Doghouse

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IMG_1364.jpgI've either lived in or had a business concern in Bedford since 1995 and all that time I've never had a chance to set foot into The Doghouse until yesterday.

I say "set foot" since it's kinda hard to get both in at the same time. The place is really small and parking is somewhat limited (I had to wait for one car to leave before I could slip in.) but if you're cruising the Bedford Automile and need a bite to eat, this place is worth a try.

I have no idea about the rest of his menu, but the guy (and gal) behind the corner both know a thing or two about Corned Beef.

The frontI learned that I was the sixth person to get a sandwich that day when they explained that I would get the end (and last of) the brisket. (The brisket started out serving sandwiches on Saturday.) They'd just have to cook some more for the next day. I had always assumed that little places like this bought theirs pre-cooked, but that's just not the case.

He explained that he buys his briskets from Shaker Valley Foods (worthy of a blog post all by itself) and then cooks it with all the right spices the day before slicing and serving it. (Shaker Valley Foods is the company behind the "finest corned beef" signs you see in various windows.)

Since mine was the "heel" and I'd get what was left, he knocked a dollar off the $5.95 price (plus $.25 for cheese). So for $6.20, you can expect a decent-sized sandwich, swiss cheese, a deli pickle (or two) and a small bag of chips. I'd like to see what a full-sized sandwich looks like before I get too excited about the cost/value side of things, but the corned beef was excellent.

The backThe slices I got were lean, crumbly and delicious.

My wife wanted to know more about the place when I told her about the trip. I think the thing she laughed about the most was when I told her about the menu sign. The place is so small and the whiteboard menu is so big and so close to you, that you kinda have to put your head on the wall and crane your neck up to see the top. Seriously, it's only probably three feet from your nose but it's a big (4' by 6'?) whiteboard!

The Doghouse can be found in Bedford, a few miles south of the AutoMile at 589 Broadway, north of downtown and south of Broadway/East Grace. You can call them at 440.786.2260 or just drive over and grab one!

I'll be heading back to see what the start of the brisket tastes like and see what a full sandwich looks like.

Hot Dogs and Much More

6/22/2010 - Update: I went back for lunch today and had the fresh brisket that was prepared last night. No real change in the quality—still the same lean, delicious Corned Beef—just a lot more of it! While I was there, I learned that this has been a restaurant only since 2002; prior to that, it was a barber shop.

6/29/2010 - Update: Here's a scan of The Doghouse menu in PDF.

Luna's in Macedonia

Luna's in Macedonia - front window

In one sense, a restaurant makes it easy for me when they serve a lousy Corned Beef sandwich. I taste so much high-quality Corned Beef that it's pretty easy to identify a loser. It doesn't make it any easier to call their version a loser, though.

Especially when they have a sign in their front window claiming "Best Corned Beef". That's an assertion that needed some investigation.

Luna's is a little diner and luncheonette at 33 West Aurora Road in Northfield, just west of Olde 8 Road (on Route 82). My wife is in this part of town on the occasional Wednesday and since I was going to be in the neighborhood, she suggested we connect up for lunch.

So we did.

She and the kids ordered off the menu (cheeseburger, fish fry, fish sandwich, pizza and club sandwich) and everyone was pleased. I, of course, couldn't let their claim go unverified and so ordered the Corned Beef sandwich.

Luna's in Macedonia - Corned Beef sandwichThe color was excellent, the cheese nicely melted, the bread just the right kind, etc. And as far as grilled sandwiches go, it was a good sandwich. But when you call it a Corned Beef sandwich, standards increase.

And as far as that goes, it was a lousy Corned Beef sandwich.

The Corned Beef was not quite rubbery, but close. Corned Beef should be easily severed when bitten and the rest of the sandwich shouldn't pull out of your bread when you pull away.

The taste was average but the texture and consistency were both below average. I shudder to think of it, but perhaps this had been sitting a while. Again, as far as grilled sandwiches go, it was acceptable. It just wasn't a Best Corned Beef sandwich, by any stretch of the imagination.

I hate to say it, but perhaps Luna's should consider taking down the sign. Or blocking out the "Best" part of it.

Bridget's Corned Beef

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Bridget's Corned Beef and Kegs

Bridget Callahan blogs about many interesting things and recently snapped a picture of left-over Corned Beef in some walk-in refrigerator on East 4th Street (presumably) where her boyfriend works. Given that we're in the aftermath of St. Patrick's Day, the scene makes sense.

I encourage you to read her post; she makes some astute observations about what East 4th Street (one of my favorite lunch and coffee locations) has become.

$140 worth of Slyman's

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Slyman's SandwichOur combined bill came to $140.70 and $109.25 of that was all beef, glorious beef!

We had Corned Beef sandwiches, Pastrami sandwiches, take-home boxes of Corned Beef, sides of various kinds and (of course) deli pickles. It was an all-out Corned Beef fest.

First, a bit of background.

The Corned Beef idea was gaining some traction at the office and there were several folks who wanted to make the pilgrimage to Slyman's to prove, once and for all, that they have the best Corned Beef in Cleveland. The original plan was for the group to trek out there, grab a table and sit down to sample and enjoy, but once the full invitation list was fully counted, we concluded that a group that large would be quite unwieldy and that we should do take-out instead.

Documenting the PastramiOh, did I mention that this was a Friday during Lent? Fridays during Lent may be a great time to visit a Corned Beef restaurant famous for its Corned Beef and also its long lines.

Then again, for some people, it may not be.

For us, it worked though, since the drivers were able to get there, pick everything up and drive on back in a very short amount of time.

16oz to take homeMy job was to get us some place to eat all this Corned Beef goodness. Some of the less-pretentious and more-functional conference rooms were booked so I called in a favor and got the Situation Room with its fancy table and chairs.

And truthfully, we needed it since a total of ten folks showed up for lunch.

I would love to say that I enjoyed my sandwich, took the full pound home and made that last for the next two days' lunches. The truth is that I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel of my very large Corned Beef sandwich, snatched a few slices from the pound that was headed home and then later watched as my wife and children devoured it for dinner a few hours later. (On rye, of course!)

Enjoying it thoroughlyAnd that, I'm beginning to understand, is how Corned Beef should be enjoyed.



Soon after slicing.

On Rye.

With friends.

Red Rooster Chicken & Deli Mart

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Thumbnail image for Red Rooster Chicken & Deli Mart

While returning east from India Garden today, I bumped into a place that claims to serve Cleveland's Finest "Hot" Corned Beef.

It was at the Red Rooster Chicken & Deli Mart, at 12901 Detroit Avenue (Detroit and Cohasset in Lakewood).

One sees these signs from time to time and I wonder if the printer is asking us to suspend our disbelief or maybe wants us to pretend that it's "hot". I think there are other ways to emphasis a sandwich's temperature.

Given that I was already quite full from India Garden and given my suspicion of any place with these signs, I decided to motor my way past and continue east.

Thumbnail image for Red Rooster Chicken & Deli Mart (BCB sign)

The question does remain unanswered though. Who prints these signs and what do they hope to gain by advertising Cleveland's Finest "Hot" Corned Beef?

Next time I see one I'll have to check out the fine print at the bottom. Looks like there's an address printed there.


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