Dave in the City out West (DITCOW)

Dave in the City out West (DITCOW) header image 1

Blog: The Reuben Tour

December 10th, 2015

I can't over-do it with eating lately so I spaced out each Reuben trip over several months, but if you think your latest rock band is having a nice tour, I dare say the "Reuben Tour" is as good as any of those.   They don't play music but Reuben Sandiwches are delicious.

However!  I learned that the Reuben is very difficult to keep moist in the middle.  It didn't occur to me until I embarked on the tour.  I'll break down the three stops of the tour here in the LA area.  The picture above is of the Canter's Reuben.   Pretty good!  But the meat was a little dry and I think I know where that came from.  When you grill a reuben you're cooking the meat extra, and that can dry it out.   It wasn't dry dry, but the meat wasn't melt in your mouth goodness that I am used to from a Canter's corned beef sandwich.  If you go to Canter's and ask for a sample slice you'll see what I mean.  You put that corned beef on your tongue and it just melts right there on the spot, you don't even need to chew.  Sadly the process of the reuben didn't give the same texture.  It could also have been an off day, but the reuben tasted VERY good.. just a little drier than I expected.

That was the final stop on my tour.  Months earlier I went to the much hyped Brent's Deli in Northridge.   Not only was that the first stop, I gotta be honest -- it was the best stop.  Their best reuben is the pastrami reuben, which some call a "Rachel."  Officially that's what the name is, but everyone just uses "Pastrami Reuben."  I have the details of the experience, I believe, in a previous Daveblog, but the succulence of the meat... it was just phenomenal.  The rye bread had a little extra butter in it.  The cheese melted perfectly.  The sauerkraut was tremendous.  Everything hit home.   The only problem, which I didn't realize until later, is that there's no russian dressing inside the sandwich.   I didn't realize that until hours oafter because I was blown away by how good the rest of the sandwich was.  BUT if you want to be a purist, I was able to ask for the dressing on the side, also known as Thousand Island dressing.   I don't know HOW they make the pastrami that good with such thin slices, but it all just smacked me with greatness.

The second stop I made a month later was forgettable, but the service was great there anyway.   I will try their pastrami reuben later on but at the time I went to Lenny's Deli and got the traditional corned beef reuben.  It was too fatty, the taste was rather bland.  I asked for potato pancakes -- now these were fantastic!  I was asked by the lady there what I thought of it, and I tried to be as upbeat as I could but she could see right through me.  She said, "Didn't like it, huh?"

And honestly, I didn't, I explained the details above and she said to try the pastrami version next time.  That's good advice, I look forward to the rematch.

So altogether it was a great tour, spanning several months and ending at the mecca of West Coast corned beef, Canter's Deli on Fairfax.   I even would like to give that sandwich another try because I may well have picked an off hour for it, but I did enjoy it a lot... it was merely tough to shake the dryness of the meat.

Brent's is the huge winner here.  I will have occasional dreams about their sandwich.  It's just out of this world.   Th efries are the best compliment but it's available to eat with hash browns as a substitution.  They give you these enormous steak fries which are more like Jojo potatoes.  Quite good.

That's the latest.   I've been very busy going places, checking out holiday parties here and there.  It's been fun!  Have a good one, back with more stories next time, plus I share a confrontation with a corn dog.. don't miss it!