So you ask anyone about pastrami, and they will probably tell you to go to New York. They are wrong. I've had the pastrami in New York. Its good, but it does not even come close to the delicious pastrami being served up every day at Manny's Coffee Shop and Deli.
Manny's is a local Chicago mainstay that is a dream come true for our army of HG followers. Their claim is: "at Manny's you don't diet. You don't snack. You don't nosh. You come to this landmark lunchroom to pile your tray high and eat like there's no tomorrow." And we all know this is a statement I can fully support. Manny's is set up cafeteria style. You walk in, get in line, grab a tray and start choosin. The first few offerings tend to be hot foods, such as meatloaf, baked chicken, fish, etc. This HG reporter goes for the mashed potato and gravy side and continues on to the sandwich selection. Manny's is famous for their corned beef. Piled very high on a roll or rye, this sandwich is truly a gift. Below we see our President ordering up a corned beef sandwich a mere two weeks after his inauguration. That dude knows good food (see future post on Mac Arthurs restaurant in Chicago).
When you get to the sandwich station, you will be greeted by our pal Gino (standing across from Obama). Gino slices corned beef with an expertise that is truly admirable. According to my HG pal Ethan, if you pay attention you can hear some hilarious utterances from Gino (in a heavy Chicago accent) including "dont order like that guy" and "dont act like you dont know me." I tend to skip to corned beef and go directly to the pastrami. Perfectly cooked and seasoned the pastrami here is the best I have ever had. One issue I have with the NY pastrami Ive had is that it is thick cut. I prefer the thin sliced strips of pastrami piled high. This pile of pastrami is usually placed atop a stack of rare roast beef. You were not expecting that, were you? Yes. I have been known to be quite fond of the double meat sandwiches. And this combo is the best. You get the sweetness of the warm rare beef with saltiness of the pastrami. Next you must cover this sandwich in their mustard. And Im not talking about the "signature" Manny's spicy mustard that they try to sell you as you walk out the door. Im talking about the yellow mustard. I feel (and have received independent confirmation from numerous sources) this to be the most delicious mustard I have ever tasted. We once asked for some of this mustard to go, and the woman at the register handed me some packets of French's mustard. We all know this to be bullshit, and an obvious cover-up. If anyone's got a line on what is in this mustard please let us know. This is all placed on top of an onion roll, with a delectable potato pancake side. With the side of mashed potatoes and gravy, you are all set.
Now, a warning: Manny's is an all day commitment. Not that it is a long wait or anything like that, but once you have one of their sandwiches, your are pretty much done for the day. Which makes me wonder how Obama got back to work after his lunch there, because according to the "Obama Special" advertised, he followed up his sandwich with a piece of pie. This is a truly admirable performance, and I would bet our Commander-in-Chief would be proud of the fine work being done here at HG online.