I decided to check out the new Belden Deli that apparently opened last week at Clark & Belden, that I'd spotted and mentioned in
the Openings, Closings, Comings & Goings thread yesterday...
Apparently, this one is not connected to the one that opened in the Mallers building and in fact there is a legal dispute over the name.
Went back today... got there around 4pm to pick up a late lunch to go. Traditional Jewish-style deli counter, with baked goods like coffee cakes, smiley face & black/white cookies, etc. as well as bagel bins, plus the coolers with smoked fish, fish salads, deli meats, deli salads and the like. Looked legit. I asked about the bagels, and they come from North Shore Kosher Bakery, as did a lot of the baked goods. Meats were Vienna and Eisenbergs.
Got myself a corned beef sandwich on rye, a 1/2lb. of corned beef and a couple bagels for my wife to make a sandwich when she got back from the pool and have some extra to sample. When I arrived, there were two people in the dining room (one actual customer, and one employee eating) and three people behind the counter. Two were working the registers and one was manning the sandwich slicer station. It took over 10 min. to get my order, when I was the only customer in the place (other than one woman eating). Not sure how it could possibly take so long to slice a pound of corned beef, wrap half and place half between two slices of rye bread before wrapping it... especially since he forgot the mustard I'd asked for! Pretty much as simple a sandwich as they come -- meat, mustard, bread and he forgot one of them. Also didn't include a fork for the cole slaw that came with the sandwich. Fortunately, I was coming home, so I had access to a fork and mustard when I made this discovery, but they had no idea. I'd have been pissed if I got someplace else to eat and was missing those. The sandwich itself was pretty decent. Corned beef was pretty lean, but warm and still moist. I ate part of the second bagel, since I didn't think I'd ever (knowingly) had one from North Shore. Better than Einstein's but not as good as Kaufmann's, New York or Once Upon a Bagel... although maybe it had lost some of it crispiness because it was made nearly 12 hours earlier. I'll reserve final judgement until I get one earlier in the day when they're still super fresh.
I am really curious to see what this place is like late morning on a Saturday or Sunday, when the real deli rush is on. Hope they can figure out how to speed things along because I've been wishing for a deli in the area (other than the Bagel) pretty much as long as I've lived in Lincoln Park. This one's walking distance, but they also have free validated parking for the lot behind, which is handy for when the weather isn't as nice or when picking up larger orders.
2301 N. Clark St.
Chicago IL 60614