The Unvegan

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Mixing Meats at The Stage Deli

Stack me some beef!

The Stage Deli of West Bloomfield seems a bit out of place. Sandwiches are named after Broadway shows and aside from the one picture of Eminem, everything reeks of New York. Nonetheless, The Stage Deli is a staple Jewish deli in West Bloomfield Township. Rather than limiting themselves to sandwiches named for classic shows and actors, The Stage has modernized itself by throwing in such shows as Mama Mia and even movies like Casino Royale.

Since pastrami and corned beef have always seemed to be the barometer for how good a deli is, my eyes shot to the sandwich called Lion King. Since I am often confused with the king of the lions, this was not surprising. The sandwich was a choice of pastrami or corned beef with swiss cheese. Instead of making that terribly difficult choice of meats, they offered to mix me up a batch of combined pastrami and corned beef. I also got a side of Russian dressing in case of emergency.

Shortly before my food arrived, I realized that I had made a grave mistake: I forgot to order without a pickle. At all other restaurants I would be upset because they did not warn me of the pickle on the menu, but at a deli, I could not be upset. Delis always serve pickles. This was terrible, because I knew that any moment my waitress would be walking out of the kitchen brandishing a plate of meat, cheese, bread and a pickle. How shameful I felt as an unvegan. As my plate arrived, not all of my worst nightmares came true. Yes, there was a pickle, but no, the pickle juice did not attack my sandwich.

As soon as I could, I passed this pickle onto a relative and took a look at my sandwich. Unlike the New York deli of a similar (same) name, this deli stacked my meat high, but to an edible level. I had to stretch my jaw all the way to take a bite, but didn’t have to remove any of the meat to do so. I knew I wouldn’t die of a protein overdose. The sandwich was pretty standard, but not in a bad way. The pastrami and corned beef both tasted good, but not great. Swiss cheese was a nice touch. The bread was especially good, but overall the sandwich just made me content and didn’t amaze me. The Stage Deli is a good stop for a good sandwich, but it’s not terribly special.