Creating Jewish deli meat is like a perfect combination of art and science. Some delis have found the ideal balance, while others are more content to satisfy the science part of it all and move on from there. I paid a visit to Chompie’s in Scottsdale to see how it would measure up against my admittedly high standards for Kosher-style delis.
It’s no secret that Pasadena isn’t quite flush with Jews. That might be related to the fact that the Hebrews were banned from living in the place until more recent times, but who can really know. What is know, though, is that without Jews there is a certain lack of amenities like good bagels and Jewish delis. Fortunately, the Pasadena Sandwich Company is there to at list fill part of the niche of the Jewish deli.
In a back alley of Pasadena known as One Colorado sits a place called a/k/a.What it stands for the world may never know, but it does bill itself as “An American Bistro.” Now I should mention that this back alley does not correlate to hole in the wall types of food. After all, this is Pasadena, so a/k/a definitely has one foot in the upscale level.
One might expect a place called Square Cafe to be decorated with all sorts of squares. Perhaps some rectangles or trapezoids to mix things up, but certainly quadrilaterals. Well one would be wrong because Square Cafe in Regent Square is pretty much fully interior-decorated with circles. Alas, when I overcame my confusion I was able to get down to the food.
After a long day of repenting and fasting, I needed a good Jewish meal to remind my body and mind what eating felt like. Since we were attending a comedy show later that night at The Laugh Factory, we decided to go to an ancient little deli next door called Greenblatt’s. And when I say ancient, I meant it’s been there since 1926. That means when my grandma was living in LA in the late ’40s, it was already old and she remembers its existence. To survive for 85 years anywhere, let a lone a big city where change is the only contant is quite impressive. I was eager to find out what kept Greenblatt’s ticking and to satiate my fully empty stomach.
All-too-often restaurants claim to have “the best” blah blah blah in the world, but sometimes there is a restaurant that makes no claim to have the best of anything and lets the customers tell the good news. Langer’s Deli is one of the latter. Located in the not-so-posh neighborhood of MacArthur Park, Langer’s has become known for their pastrami. Many who have tried it have claimed it is the best ever, so to do the unvegan world a favor, I had to try it out myself.
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.
Over at the Pico-Robertson area is Factor’s Deli, a Jewish-style deli with delivery! Sometimes I wonder why more restaurants don’t deliver, but luckily I don’t need to wonder about that for Factor’s.
For some reason, I wasn’t in the mood for pastrami, so it took some time to figure out what I wanted to order. Eventually, I found the multi-meaty sandwich to conquer my hunger. This was the combination sandwich entitled No. 1, featuring turkey, corned beef and swiss cheese to ensure that it is un-Kosher. It also had Russian dressing and was served on triple-layer rye bread. As a bonus, it also came with a choice of two sides, so I chose the unhealthiest of all, fries and homemade chips.
Of all the great delis in Metro Detroit, Deli Unique in West Bloomfield has always been the deli of choice for my family. This is due, in no small part, to their delicious corned beef. They have a pretty big menu, but it’s the corned beef that keeps us coming back.
As always, I made sure to get a corned beef sandwich with simply beef and rye bread. Rather than get regular corned beef, though, I like to get it lean at Deli Unique. I’m not sure what they do there that is different from everywhere else, but when you get lean corned beef at Deli Unique, there is no loss of taste or increase in dryness that usual results from a loss of fat. Because of this, I really have no need for condiments on this sandwich. I also have no need for vegetables, which would ruin the experience entirely.