Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Corned Beef, Piled High

Now that I've got your attention ... :)

Tom and I went to The Bread Basket Deli recently, the one in Ann Arbor rather than any of the myriad ones in the Detroit 'burbs. It serves all the old familiar favorites: sandwiches big enough to feed families of 4, blintzes, matzah ball soup, knishes. They even offer foods that I wouldn't consider favorites (although I'm happy to know that there's respect for tradition), such as chopped liver and pickled tongue.

We were hearing the call of corned beef, loudly and insistently. We'd been meaning to eat at The Bread Basket for ages, so it was a perfect Saturday afternoon adventure. And we were warmly welcomed by the staff in this very informal and casual place which, I must add, just won AnnArbor.com's contest last week naming it "Best Place to Buy a Sandwich." Everyone, including me, thought the winner would be the famous Zingerman's Deli; but Jeremy is still ranting, months later, about a $15 Reuben he bought there that he claims was the worst he's ever eaten; and I had a sandwich from there last year that was fine, but nothing stellar ... certainly not worth the extortionist prices or the inflated reputation. But, as often happens, I digress ....

As we walked into the Deli, we were greeted with one of the items Michigan is most proud of: Better Made potato chips, perfect to be served with the gargantuan sandwich offerings. In the cooler, we also found another Michigan stalwart, Faygo sodas. We knew we were among kindred spirits!

The menu offered so, so many choices for sandwiches; but we'd come on a mission to devour some corned beef, and so our decision-making process was a bit easier. Rye bread is a given -- no other viable options, don't even bother debating it with me! But did we want cheese? Not really. Cole slaw? Okay, and that version (#17) comes with Russian dressing. Sometimes you just want corned beef with mustard, but that day a little extra would hit the spot. Throw in a bag of barbecue chips, and we had a complete meal!

So we sat down at one of the festive red tables, and very quickly our sandwich was brought out to us. We were planning to split it, because neither of us would have survived eating an entire one! And the sandwiches are served with one spear each of new (for Tom) and old (the only real kind, as far as I'm concerned) pickles, though both varieties are available to purchase whole if you're really feeling indulgent.

Tom doesn't normally eat anything this huge, rich and fatty; in fact, he ate about a month's worth of meat in that sitting! I, of course, am currently living in a vegetarian home, so I was thrilled beyond description to wallow in this carnivorous feast.

The corned beef is sliced so thin, and is so tender, that it practically melts. The cole slaw is perfectly seasoned to complement the meat, and is not soupy or creamy at all. In fact, with the exception of a few morsels of cabbage trickling out, the cole slaw is exactly the right consistency to actually help hold the sandwich together rather than the norm of having the filling slip every which way out of the bread. This, I must say, is an impressive feat!

And then -- as though you could possibly have room for anything more! -- there are the desserts, which are just as enormous as the sandwiches: old-fashioned Jewish comfort foods like cheesecake, as well as others such as banana pudding and sweet potato pie. Of course, you'd have to have even a heartier appetite than mine -- and I'm an excellent eater! -- to not only eat an entire sandwich, but to then polish off sweets afterwards ... oy! The folks at The Bread Basket give more generous servings than I do!

So the next time you want to throw any notions of diet and restraint away for awhile, be sure to head to The Bread Basket Deli. Indulge in a sandwich or in a sweet, or even both; and know that you'll be welcomed and well fed.

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Karen Mortensen said...

Looks good.

Candace said...

Is it wrong to want one of these for breakfast? It looks sooo good!! What is the difference between an "old" and "new" pickle?

Dan said...

reminds me of "Wolfie's" in Toronto. The ball of meat in the sandwich is so big that it comes with two pieces of bread on top and on the bottom -- allowing you to make two sandwiches. Just in case your mouth can't open wide enough.

Jenn said...

Oh, man, that sandwich looks so good! Look at all that meat... wow! Once again, I long to live close to you.. :)

April said...

Wow, you sure made that sandwich sound good. Now I want a corned beef sandwich... Unfortunately, we don't even have a restaurant around here that serves them! *sigh*

Yenta Mary said...

New pickles have only recently been brined, so they're bright green and taste more cucumber-y; old pickles are the traditional deli pickles, kinda wilted and an odd yellowish-green because they've been soaking up flavor for so long. The debate over old vs. new is eternal -- each of us has a preference, and fortunately Tom and I each want the pickle that the other has no interest in!

Cooking Gallery said...

Wow! This looks totally awesome! I want to have this for lunch ;)!!

Miriam said...

You know, when I used to eat meat Corned beef was my favorite :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Lark (SparkyLarky) said...

I would like to invite you to join in on a WEEKLY RECIPE LINK PARTY on my blog:


"Made it on Monday" you can link every WED.-SAT.

I hope to see some of your recipes soon. :)

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