About 15 years ago I rediscovered the charm of my birthplace, Chicago, IL. The city, populated by warm and welcoming Midwesterners, has stunning architecture, a beautiful lakefront skyline, a downtown area that is vibrant, and has a wealth of excellent restaurants. Delis, although not as abundant as in New York or Los Angeles, have a character of their own. During each of my 6 or 7 visits a year I have the opportunity to meet many new friends from all walks of life - business & professional, shopkeepers, students, educators, working people and homeless individuals. And on each visit I am often joined by friends, family and colleagues at Chicago's most popular deli's to enjoy my most favorite deli food - pastrami.
One of my more recent discoveries is Eleven City Diner, located at 1112 South Wabash Ave. This restaurant has the vibe of both a diner and a deli. On a recent visit I was greeted by Roz Rubin, the proud mother of the owner, Brad Rubin. I have had the opportunity to enjoy a number of their delicious menu offerings including pastrami.
Although it is hard to believe, I sometimes order a menu item other than pastrami. Here is an outstanding selection at the Bagel Restaurant and Deli located in the Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie, IL. This is "Polish Style Fish" - smoked whitefish stuffed with gefilte fish in a tasty broth smothered with carrots and onions. Outstanding!
One of my all time favorites in Chicago is Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen , located at 1141 S. Jefferson St. Their food is served cafeteria style and the menu includes a wide selection of deli items, including overstuffed sandwiches accompanied by a potato latke. Manny's is family owned, and diners are often greeted by the owner, Ken Raskin, and his son Dan. A trip to Chicago is incomplete without at least one visit to Manny's.