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  • Post #31 - July 28th, 2006, 5:45 pm
    Post #31 - July 28th, 2006, 5:45 pm Post #31 - July 28th, 2006, 5:45 pm
    kuhdo wrote:Why is there no mention of Manny's outstanding kishke in this thread?

    We've been waiting for you to tell us about it.
    ;)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #32 - July 29th, 2006, 7:23 am
    Post #32 - July 29th, 2006, 7:23 am Post #32 - July 29th, 2006, 7:23 am
    Has anyone else seen this less-than-enthusiastic guest-reviewer write-up of Manny's at the Roadfood site: Manny's Trash Talk.

    Edited to add, following exchange with stevez, below: (Note: The review is NOT by the Sterns, although I believe that, confusingly enough, the pictures ARE by the Sterns, from their original review).

    More seriously, the negative review was written by a very disappointed, 40-year regular of Manny's, who thinks a lot of the problem came from showing up after the lunch rush (around 1:30 p.m.). Has anyone else run into this problem? One issue the reviewer had was that the pastrami had been allowed to cool, was reheated and sitting in a dish on the steamtable, which ruined it. I've never bumped into that problem at Manny's; any corroborating experiences here?


    (By the way, berryberry, you may have started a trend; check the last line of the linked Manny's review, above.
    Last edited by JimInLoganSquare on July 29th, 2006, 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    JiLS
  • Post #33 - July 29th, 2006, 2:23 pm
    Post #33 - July 29th, 2006, 2:23 pm Post #33 - July 29th, 2006, 2:23 pm
    I've never run into this...especially with corned beef or pastrami at Manny's. They go through such a huge volume of the stuff that it could never be anything but fresh and good. Maybe the person came as they were closing the doors and the steam table was already broken down. In any event, the pictures that that reviewer posted looked phenomenal IMO.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #34 - July 29th, 2006, 3:07 pm
    Post #34 - July 29th, 2006, 3:07 pm Post #34 - July 29th, 2006, 3:07 pm
    stevez wrote:I've never run into this...especially with corned beef or pastrami at Manny's. They go through such a huge volume of the stuff that it could never be anything but fresh and good. Maybe the person came as they were closing the doors and the steam table was already broken down. In any event, the pictures that that reviewer posted looked phenomenal IMO.


    That sounds about right; however, I think the pictures are from the original review by the Sterns.
    JiLS
  • Post #35 - July 30th, 2006, 8:49 am
    Post #35 - July 30th, 2006, 8:49 am Post #35 - July 30th, 2006, 8:49 am
    stevez wrote:I've never run into this...especially with corned beef or pastrami at Manny's. They go through such a huge volume of the stuff that it could never be anything but fresh and good. Maybe the person came as they were closing the doors and the steam table was already broken down. In any event, the pictures that that reviewer posted looked phenomenal IMO.


    Actually, I have. I think I am pretty much on record as saying I'm not a very big fan of the pastrami at Manny's, and one of the reasons, probably the only reason is that I find it often steamed and then steamed and then re-steamed again resulting in somewhat tough and fatty meat.

    Since pretty much everything else at Manny's is heavenly, I mean I even like the smelts and the frank and beans, I am willing to allow for one awful item.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #36 - July 30th, 2006, 8:58 am
    Post #36 - July 30th, 2006, 8:58 am Post #36 - July 30th, 2006, 8:58 am
    You're all insane. Manny's pastrami is one of the great things in the city and it's never seemed steamed to me.
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  • Post #37 - July 30th, 2006, 10:10 am
    Post #37 - July 30th, 2006, 10:10 am Post #37 - July 30th, 2006, 10:10 am
    I love manny's pastrami, but it sure does seem steamed sometimes. And I know what the reviewer is talking about when he mentions the rubber-band-like string of fat that seems to show up a lot there.

    The somewhat off texture (sometimes) and the big hunks of that stringy fat (more often) still aren't enough to stop me from ordering it every time I go.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #38 - July 31st, 2006, 7:48 am
    Post #38 - July 31st, 2006, 7:48 am Post #38 - July 31st, 2006, 7:48 am
    Stringy fat & steaminess notwithstanding, Manny's pastrami is one great taste. That being said, I do order their not-on-the-menu combo sandwich on a dipped Kaiser, with corned beef AND pastrami on each half.

    It's a great mix.
  • Post #39 - July 31st, 2006, 10:43 am
    Post #39 - July 31st, 2006, 10:43 am Post #39 - July 31st, 2006, 10:43 am
    We ate at Manny's for the first time this Saturday - it was great!

    I haven't had pastrami in about 10 years, and after having Manny's, it won't be nearly that long before I have it again (like maybe next weekend :twisted: ) It did not seem steamed at all, but was tender and juicy and had minimal strings of fat, with the perfect amount of pepper coating the edges. Husband had a rueben, which looked manageable but then the server split it open and added more corned beef....really too much. It was a good sandwich but the bottom piece of bread was a bit soggy from being made ahead of time. We agreed that Pastrami beat it all to hell.

    We each had a latke, and I liked how it tasted faintly of onion. We attempted to split a slice of carrot cake but only could manage a few bites, even though it was very good and cinamon-y with cream cheese frosting.

    These two massive sandwiches et. al. and two drinks was 32$ - a lot for lunch but since it was our only meal that day we're okay with it :D Next time, we'll share one pastrami sandwich (but with two latkes!).
  • Post #40 - July 31st, 2006, 12:51 pm
    Post #40 - July 31st, 2006, 12:51 pm Post #40 - July 31st, 2006, 12:51 pm
    Regarding the kishke...Manny is the kishke king. Their version is lighter and crumblier than most, completely avoiding the pasty and sometimes overly vegetal character of lesser versions...almost buttery. Comparing this to the typical deli kishke is sort of like comparing good cornbread stuffing to regular bread stuffing (best ananogy that comes to mind). The kishke from Roumanian on Clark st. is pretty similar but not quite as good. This is my favorite frozen option.

    Tho I dearly love Manny's I must confess I often find the Pastrami too salty and usually get either a corned beef pastrami combo or rare roast beef (on an onion roll) instead (always with kishke of course).

    You want a great Reuben? The best in the city is the corned beef pastrami combo reuben at Francis' deli on clark street. No competition. Perfectly grilled , ideal meat / bread ratio, not too lean. Really a great sandwich.
  • Post #41 - July 31st, 2006, 1:07 pm
    Post #41 - July 31st, 2006, 1:07 pm Post #41 - July 31st, 2006, 1:07 pm
    JimInLoganSquare wrote:Has anyone else seen this less-than-enthusiastic guest-reviewer write-up of Manny's at the Roadfood site: Manny's Trash Talk.

    Edited to add, following exchange with stevez, below: (Note: The review is NOT by the Sterns, although I believe that, confusingly enough, the pictures ARE by the Sterns, from their original review).


    That poster on Roadfood is new and has only posted once since December. His review should not be considered a representation of the many Chicago Roadfood members. The pictures are from the original Stern review.
    Last edited by chicagostyledog on July 31st, 2006, 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #42 - July 31st, 2006, 1:16 pm
    Post #42 - July 31st, 2006, 1:16 pm Post #42 - July 31st, 2006, 1:16 pm
    chicagostyledog wrote:The pictures are from the original Stern review.


    Thanks for the clarification; it's rather confusing.
    JiLS
  • Post #43 - July 31st, 2006, 1:32 pm
    Post #43 - July 31st, 2006, 1:32 pm Post #43 - July 31st, 2006, 1:32 pm
    CHicagostylehotdogs,

    Thanks for the reminder you need to get acquainted with a reviewer's style and history, then judge for yourself if they are reliable relative to your experience.

    hpbecker, 7/27/2006


    How do you identify on Roadfood.com how many posts someone has made or follow their posting history?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #44 - July 31st, 2006, 3:33 pm
    Post #44 - July 31st, 2006, 3:33 pm Post #44 - July 31st, 2006, 3:33 pm
    Cathy, by registering as a member of Roadfood one has the ability to access posts made by their members. Roadfood has approximately 40 active Chicago members. A few belong to this forum. There are three of us in the food service business. We're rarely involved in fine dining reviews and enjoy a good corned beef sandwich with a Green River at Manny's or a Dr. Brown's black cherry soda with our sandwich at Jake's or Benji's.

    CSD

    Born in Chicago (Roosevelt & Keeler)
    Escaped to Wisconsin
    Selling Vienna Beef hot dogs & Polish
    Business Instructor www.hotdogu.com
  • Post #45 - July 31st, 2006, 4:40 pm
    Post #45 - July 31st, 2006, 4:40 pm Post #45 - July 31st, 2006, 4:40 pm
    Here's the way I end my corned-beef-on-a-kaiser-with-a-latke-on-the-side lunch at Manny's:

    A slice of their beautiful caramel cake (with a cup of joe.) When I first saw it -- located at the left turn right after the beverages -- I thought it a bit odd that this very genteel (and gentile) southern specialty had made its way onto a Jewish steam table. But who cares? It's one marvelous piece of cake.
  • Post #46 - July 31st, 2006, 6:00 pm
    Post #46 - July 31st, 2006, 6:00 pm Post #46 - July 31st, 2006, 6:00 pm
    JimInLoganSquare wrote:Has anyone else seen this less-than-enthusiastic guest-reviewer write-up of Manny's at the Roadfood site: Manny's Trash Talk.

    Edited to add, following exchange with stevez, below: (Note: The review is NOT by the Sterns, although I believe that, confusingly enough, the pictures ARE by the Sterns, from their original review).

    More seriously, the negative review was written by a very disappointed, 40-year regular of Manny's, who thinks a lot of the problem came from showing up after the lunch rush (around 1:30 p.m.). Has anyone else run into this problem? One issue the reviewer had was that the pastrami had been allowed to cool, was reheated and sitting in a dish on the steamtable, which ruined it. I've never bumped into that problem at Manny's; any corroborating experiences here?


    (By the way, berryberry, you may have started a trend; check the last line of the linked Manny's review, above.

    I ran into this problem a few weeks ago, but in the middle and not at the end of the lunch run.

    Let me say that I love Manny's -- it's a one-of-a-kind Chicago institution offering some good to great versions of Jewish comfort food. When I go for lunch, the reuben is often my sandwich of choice. When Manny's is on (which in my estimation is almost all of the time), their reuben is as good as any I have had.

    But a few weeks ago I was there at lunch and came away somewhat annoyed. I asked the guy at the counter for a reuben. He picked up a plate holding a reuben that obviously had been pre-made quite a while ago and handed it to me over the counter. It appeared to be maybe 1/3 of the size of their typical reuben (perhaps thanks to an aggressive Panini press, I don't know). It looked old and flimsy, the corners of the corned beef looked dried out from sitting around and there was no way I was going to eat it.

    I told the guy "no thanks, I'll get something else" at which point he immediately told me that he'd make me a fresh one, obviously indicating that he knew all too well why I was turning down the reuben.

    The fresh one that he made me was about 3 times as big (i.e., the "normal" size of a Manny's reuben) and the corned beef was perfect. While I enjoyed the reuben immensely (and the potato pancake and sour cream and apple sauce), I was really ticked off that Manny's had tried to pass off this stale, thin reuben to me in the first place. There were a handful of the "old" reubens sitting on plates behind the counter and I'm sure they did not go to waste. After I rejected the "old" reuben, I didn't notice anyone throwing the rest of them out.

    Although I got what I wanted, I was annoyed that they even tried to pass off this reuben to a diner. If this had been my first time there, and I had been given that sandwich, I would likely have concluded that the food is crap and I doubt I would ever have returned.

    Was this the first time Manny's tried to pass off an old sandwich? Who knows -- it's the first time it ever happened to me. But in my opinion, Manny's should have been proactive and not served these sandwiches at all -- they looked that bad and anyone looking at them would have reached the same conclusion.
  • Post #47 - July 31st, 2006, 6:15 pm
    Post #47 - July 31st, 2006, 6:15 pm Post #47 - July 31st, 2006, 6:15 pm
    Well, that's how the reubens are generally prepared at Manny's. A miniature version of the sandwich is prepared with all of the ingredients, but without most of the corned beef. And then when a customer orders it it's stuffed with fresh corned beef, cut, and plated.

    I've never seen 'em serve it up without the fresh CB though. That's pretty weird. Was it Gino (the guy who carves the CB) or one of the others?

    It should be noted that I get treated pretty damned well at Manny's, for whatever reason. Gino gives me a wave and a hello when I grab my tray and seems to focus his jokes directly on me as I move down the line. The real perk, though, is that I get an even larger plate of pastrami (with a couple pieces of bread) than normal. It's obscene.

    That said, it's a ton of fun to feel, even for a moment, like a bigshot in a restaurant full of bigshots.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #48 - July 31st, 2006, 6:25 pm
    Post #48 - July 31st, 2006, 6:25 pm Post #48 - July 31st, 2006, 6:25 pm
    Agreed, but there's only so much that management can control. Case in point -- yesterday I was at Costco and saw produce that was in far worse shape than any I had ever seen there. I am completely certain that it is explained by the fact that it was hovering around 100 degrees and 90% humidity outside (indeed, at one point it was 96 degrees and raining; I was so reminded of summers in Florida). The open floor plan and open doors at Costco just can't take it, and the normally frigid walk-in vegetable cooler was at 65 degrees according to the thremometer inside. My son was very disappointed that the cold room was not cold. I was bummed to see the slimy lettuce and spinach. Anyway, to the point: the cherrystone clams, almost always perfect, were in a very sorry state. Nearly all were open and gasping, at best. I asked the counterman if I could tap them before deciding on the purchase. Only about every other one closed. I pointed out that it seemed at least half of the live clams were no longer of this world, while the others had one shell in the grave. I explicitly said, in front of several customers, that he really should toss them. He did not. Possibly a less well-informed member later bought them. No money-back policy could make up for the impact those clams might have had on someone's innards. Nonetheless, I think this is a serious abberation. I'm sure the management at Costco would be unhappy to know about it; same too with Manny's.
  • Post #49 - July 31st, 2006, 6:38 pm
    Post #49 - July 31st, 2006, 6:38 pm Post #49 - July 31st, 2006, 6:38 pm
    gleam wrote:Well, that's how the reubens are generally prepared at Manny's. A miniature version of the sandwich is prepared with all of the ingredients, but without most of the corned beef. And then when a customer orders it it's stuffed with fresh corned beef, cut, and plated.

    I've never seen 'em serve it up without the fresh CB though. That's pretty weird. Was it Gino (the guy who carves the CB) or one of the others?

    I don't know who served it -- I'm not a regular. But I've been there a countless number of times and I've never had them give me one that looked as sorry as the one I described. And even if they are making "miniature" versions in advance, all of the ingredients should still be fresh -- bread, kraut, cheese, dressing and especially, the corned beef.

    JeffB wrote:Agreed, but there's only so much that management can control. . . I'm sure the management at Costco would be unhappy to know about it; same too with Manny's.

    You're right . . . and I guess that's why I'll continue to go back. I've been going to Manny's for years and before this incident, they had never let me down in any way. And I hope they don't let me down again! :)
  • Post #50 - July 31st, 2006, 11:04 pm
    Post #50 - July 31st, 2006, 11:04 pm Post #50 - July 31st, 2006, 11:04 pm
    Thinking out loud at this point: I have Friday off and think it might be a nice occasion for my first visit to Manny's in a good five years, but frankly I'd much rather do so if I can get some LTHish company. Anyone available Friday, say perhaps 12:30ish? (It is, as I say, a day off. Please don't make me go at noon... :wink:)
  • Post #51 - August 1st, 2006, 4:54 am
    Post #51 - August 1st, 2006, 4:54 am Post #51 - August 1st, 2006, 4:54 am
    gleam wrote:I love manny's pastrami, but it sure does seem steamed sometimes. And I know what the reviewer is talking about when he mentions the rubber-band-like string of fat that seems to show up a lot there.

    Ed,

    The string of tough fat, which is most likely the band of fat/connective tissue between the point (deckle) and flat, should be trimmed off, and Manny's typically does. Not making excuses for Manny's, but I can see if they are going 100-miles a minute how it'd be possible to miss a bit in trimming, which they do on the spot.

    Far as steaming goes, as I'm guessing you know, the better delis, as in days past, use steam to cook the raw/cured pastrami/corned beef. It's also held/kept warm, in steam.

    Frankly, like really good BBQ, Pizza or most places where distinct individuality still shines I am willing, as are you, to kiss the occasional frog long as I most often end up with the princess.

    Jakes in Milwaukee under the cutting board steam holding area
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #52 - August 1st, 2006, 7:35 am
    Post #52 - August 1st, 2006, 7:35 am Post #52 - August 1st, 2006, 7:35 am
    Sure, but I meant that it sometimes seems like it's been sitting, pre-sliced, in the steam tray for a little too long. I sure know jakes doesn't have a tray of presliced pastrami sitting out somewhere :)

    And regarding the string of fat, probably about 80% of the pastrami sandwiches I've had there have had that fat in attendance somewhere in the sandwich, usually one piece 4" long or so.

    Is it possible they remove it from the CB but not the pastrami? I've certainly never seen it on the corned beef, but see it regularly on the pastrami.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #53 - August 1st, 2006, 7:38 am
    Post #53 - August 1st, 2006, 7:38 am Post #53 - August 1st, 2006, 7:38 am
    G Wiv wrote:Far as steaming goes, as I'm guessing you know, the better delis, as in days past, use steam to cook the raw/cured pastrami/corned beef. It's also held/kept warm, in steam.


    When I was at Langer's in LA, they took great pride in the fact that they steamed their pastrami, and that they did it for a very long period of time.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #54 - August 1st, 2006, 8:01 am
    Post #54 - August 1st, 2006, 8:01 am Post #54 - August 1st, 2006, 8:01 am
    Regarding the "string of fat" in Manny's pastrami.

    Manny's uses Vienna pastrami navels, NY cure.

    !st cut brisket is lean. Whole briskets have fat. Navels are even more flavorful, because they're fattier. Of course there's going to be a string of fat. If you ever look at these navels whole, and I have, as we use the same Vienna product (as well as several others) at the club, you can see that they look almost like bacon, they're so fatty.

    I go to Manny's hoping for strings of fat. A meal of a pastrami sandwich, kishke, and a huge potato latke ain't spa cuisine.

    It's like the one customer years ago that told me our duck was "too ducky". :lol:

    Solution? Order the corned beef and tell Gino to make it lean.

    :twisted:
  • Post #55 - August 1st, 2006, 8:04 am
    Post #55 - August 1st, 2006, 8:04 am Post #55 - August 1st, 2006, 8:04 am
    Traditionally indigestible items are served as garnishes. Perhaps the string of fat can be trimmed off and arranged artfully on the plate.
  • Post #56 - August 1st, 2006, 8:22 am
    Post #56 - August 1st, 2006, 8:22 am Post #56 - August 1st, 2006, 8:22 am
    Golly, fat is indigestible? I'm with Evil on this one. When pastrami, bacon, lardo and mortadella are knocked because of fat content, you've lost me.
  • Post #57 - August 1st, 2006, 8:37 am
    Post #57 - August 1st, 2006, 8:37 am Post #57 - August 1st, 2006, 8:37 am
    JeffB wrote:Golly, fat is indigestible? I'm with Evil on this one. When pastrami, bacon, lardo and mortadella are knocked because of fat content, you've lost me.

    Evil, Jeff,

    I was referring to the grayish band of striated fat/connective tissue which resides horizontally between the point and flat on a packer cut corned beef/pastrami. Fat is good, especially in pastrami and corned beef, the gray/gristle fat layer is not.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #58 - August 1st, 2006, 9:32 am
    Post #58 - August 1st, 2006, 9:32 am Post #58 - August 1st, 2006, 9:32 am
    Corned beef is made from whole briskets, but pastrami is usually deckle only. Fat is essential to good pastrami and is always present to some extent..however, I know the fibrous band referred to above only too well. This is not the fat between the flat and deckle, but rather a short well defined deposit (not unlike a rubber band) inside the substance of the pastrami itself. This can be very tough,and sometimes can make the pastrami inedible. For a while Kaufman's had a batch of Sy Greenberg pastramis that suffered from this really badly...to the point I stopped ordering pastrami entirely (no one would eat it). Then it just dissappeared.When I asked the deli guy about it he told me "they changed the cut", but couldn't be more specific. Ive seen a similar thing in 'london broil' sometimes.
  • Post #59 - August 1st, 2006, 10:19 am
    Post #59 - August 1st, 2006, 10:19 am Post #59 - August 1st, 2006, 10:19 am
    Not to hijack the thread any more than I already inadvertently have, but there are plenty of bits of inedible fat -- the first one that springs to mind is the strip along one long side of a NY strip.
  • Post #60 - August 1st, 2006, 10:59 am
    Post #60 - August 1st, 2006, 10:59 am Post #60 - August 1st, 2006, 10:59 am
    Bob S, kuhdo, and G Wiv,

    I guess this is where it boils down to an individual's personal preference.

    I happy to love chewy textured meats such as tripe, tendon, and fatty brisket in a bowl of Pho, or patitas from Cafe Central, or the beef feet in the menudo from Los Comales down on 63rd street, or the wonderful chilled Szechuan tendon and maw dishes at Lao Sze Chuan.

    Or that gristly strip on the top of a Smith and Wollensky dry aged and charred MR Kansas City strip. If anything, S&W trims their steaks too close for my tastes.

    Just my opinion,

    :twisted:

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