Ordering from Izzy's, you almost forget you're at a locally owned and operated chain of restaurants in the Queen City. One bite of their signature corned beef or pastrami transports you to a New York City deli.
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The VandeRueben sandwich at the Belgian Village Inn in Moline, Illinois—a Quad-Cities institution since 1977—is made for giants. Each VandeRueben ($8.25; or $8.45 on raisin bread) is about the size of a dinner plate. Ham, corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese are layered on homemade bread that's been buttered, grilled, and slathered with the restaurant's special Thousand Island dressing.
Hi-Rise Bread Company is a Cambridge staple. Walk in and you'll see the open bakery with hands hard at work. Head over to the counter for a selection of beautiful breads and a big sandwich board (we've already told you about their Sin Sandwich). It's never been hard for me to decide what to order, though; I always get the Georgia Reuben ($10.75). This was the first sandwich I truly became obsessed with. It's stuffed with roasted turkey, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and Thousand Island dressing on toasted rye.
Louis Restaurant has been an early morning/very latenight staple for college students and Providence locals for decades. The menu is standard diner fare: eggs any way, hash browns, and fluffy pancakes, in addition to off-menu items like tofu scramble scribbled on sheets of paper posted on the wall. The gruff but warm-hearted waitstaff will make you pretty much anything you want, as long as the ingredients are in the kitchen. That's how a friend of mine ended up with this killer reuben.
Fricano's is an offbeat deli and neighborhood hangout in a strip mall near the University of Texas in Austin. It's a laidback place plastered with artwork and hand-written menus, run by a dedicated group of friends that have taken the business from hidden gem to one of the city's favorite sandwich spots since opening in 2006. Lately they've also developed a following for their crazy hot dogs, made with Boars Head all-beef franks and loaded with homemade toppings.
When your New Year's resolution is "eat more reubens," you better hope you live within napkin distance of Jake's, the best deli in Milwaukee and one of the best in the nation.
The last time I had a Reuben sandwich was in a college cafeteria and it gave me food poisoning. My stomach turned against me and ugly things happened. I couldn't eat solid food for days, subsisting basically on chicken soup...