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Steingold's of Chicago - Jewish Deli

Steingold's of Chicago - Jewish Deli
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  • Post #121 - March 5th, 2021, 11:16 am
    Post #121 - March 5th, 2021, 11:16 am Post #121 - March 5th, 2021, 11:16 am
    jellob1976 wrote:Anyway, I really miss those places. Many of the new delis are priced for event dining (not neighborhood kibbitzing) with sandwiches kissing the $20 mark (maybe that's why the old places couldn't survive?).


    Like shortribs, skate, skirt steaks and more, the "inexpensive cuts" that produced cheap pastrami and corned beef aren't that inexpensive these days. For the few places that still source Kosher, take the price and double (or triple) it. I'd gladly pay $20 for an authentic NY pastrami sandwich - if I could find one.
  • Post #122 - March 5th, 2021, 12:18 pm
    Post #122 - March 5th, 2021, 12:18 pm Post #122 - March 5th, 2021, 12:18 pm
    watson wrote:
    When I was 4 I choked on a corned beef sandwich at Rickys and a stranger had to perform the heimlich on me (still finished the sandwich).

    This would be an A+ banner quote!

    Absolutely agree!!!

    Great post all around.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #123 - March 5th, 2021, 5:14 pm
    Post #123 - March 5th, 2021, 5:14 pm Post #123 - March 5th, 2021, 5:14 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:
    watson wrote:
    When I was 4 I choked on a corned beef sandwich at Rickys and a stranger had to perform the heimlich on me (still finished the sandwich).

    This would be an A+ banner quote!

    Absolutely agree!!!

    Great post all around.


    Thanks! Definitely one of those stories that my mom remembers better than me (and she probably tells it better, with no embellishments, I'm sure)... But I still have vague recollections of that day.
  • Post #124 - March 5th, 2021, 6:25 pm
    Post #124 - March 5th, 2021, 6:25 pm Post #124 - March 5th, 2021, 6:25 pm
    I think why "Jewish delis" in Chicago have things like bacon, and sandwiches that combine dairy with meat, etc., is that the non-kosher Jewish population is bigger than the kosher Jewish population. Not to mention that both are minuscule compared to the Gentile population. If there were enough unassimilated Jews to support a strictly kosher (or kosheresque) restaurant here, more strictly kosher (and kosheresque) restaurants would exist. (The only one I actually know of is Milt's Barbecue for the Perplexed, more power to them.) Personally I like that I can have my matzo ball soup and pastrami on rye, and my non-Jewish friends can have their grilled cheese and bacon on white, as we all sit down to break challah together.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #125 - March 5th, 2021, 7:04 pm
    Post #125 - March 5th, 2021, 7:04 pm Post #125 - March 5th, 2021, 7:04 pm
    My only potential issue with them serving bacon (or pork or other non-Kosher foods or combinations of foods) would be where it intersected with the use of the word "authentic" in describing the restaurant (and even that's a slippery slope). The "A word" has been bandied about however, it doesn't appear that Steingold's itself has been part of that bandying, so for me personally, this is a non-issue.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #126 - March 5th, 2021, 8:51 pm
    Post #126 - March 5th, 2021, 8:51 pm Post #126 - March 5th, 2021, 8:51 pm
    Aaron Steingold is the co-owner—his business partner (and wife) is Lebanese and not Jewish. He’s open about the fact that he isn’t observant or even religious, but loves deli food. I don’t think he’s remotely interested in kosher so once you get past that, splitting hairs about things like serving bacon or mixing milk & meat and all the other customs are no more appropriate here than if the restaurant’s cuisine was Thai food, as far as I’m concerned. I’m just happy that someone was willing to even try to make deli food popular again. It’s delicious.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #127 - March 5th, 2021, 9:00 pm
    Post #127 - March 5th, 2021, 9:00 pm Post #127 - March 5th, 2021, 9:00 pm
    marothisu wrote:
    lodasi wrote:As a similar thread, every now and then, there are rankings of "Jewish" delis and the reviewer uses the Reuben sandwich as their basis to judge.

    A sandwich with milkik and fleishig.

    It is not coincidental that these arbiters will also typically admit to a lack of Jewish heritage.


    Yes. This is also why I can't take places like Katz's in Manhattan seriously. They basically have succumbed at some point in time to non Jewish American tastes. Great for business but again, serving a sandwich with meat and cheese together (non paerve especially) isn't culturally a Jewish thing at all. Just like serving pork bacon isn't either. Again, to me it's like serving a burrito at an Italian restaurant. We might all agree it tastes good, but they lose points in the "authentic" department instantly.

    I really call those Jewish-ish. Like Sarge's in Manhattan. It's Jewish-ish where as 2nd Ave Deli is Jewish.



    Decades ago, when I lived in the East 30s, I took my parents from upstate New York to Sarge’s. My father asked the waiter what came with a corned beef sandwich, and the waiter sneered, “bread.”
  • Post #128 - March 8th, 2021, 1:56 pm
    Post #128 - March 8th, 2021, 1:56 pm Post #128 - March 8th, 2021, 1:56 pm
    ld111134 wrote:Decades ago, when I lived in the East 30s, I took my parents from upstate New York to Sarge’s. My father asked the waiter what came with a corned beef sandwich, and the waiter sneered, “bread.”

    Classic! That's why you pay the high prices.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #129 - May 27th, 2021, 6:06 am
    Post #129 - May 27th, 2021, 6:06 am Post #129 - May 27th, 2021, 6:06 am
    Lox. Bagel. Sunshine. Steingold's.

    click to enlarge
    Image

    Lox, count me a Fan!
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #130 - January 3rd, 2022, 11:00 am
    Post #130 - January 3rd, 2022, 11:00 am Post #130 - January 3rd, 2022, 11:00 am
    Stopped by Steingold's this morning for breakfast with a friend. My bad on not paying close attention to the fact that Steingold's is take out only. My friend and I sat in my car and dined parking space al fresco

    Aaron was, as always, more than personable, explaining that hopefully once omicron/covid are down & things are "reasonably back to normal", he plans on opening the space next door for dine in.

    The lox and bagel were simply terrific, and during/after eating I kept questioning myself why I waited so long to return. This month is a very good month to go as it seems a number of folks make a new year's resolution of no carbs.

    I just got back home after some other errands, I had ordered the special of the day to go. A burnt pastrami ends sandwich on challah with caramelized onion, latke and fried egg. I already ate 1/2 the sandwich, was planning on having the remainder at noon. A really good sandwich and I can only imagine how much better it would have been fresh.

    Steingold's is still hitting all cylinders IMO. Enjoy.
    Last edited by Sweet Willie on January 3rd, 2022, 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #131 - January 3rd, 2022, 4:32 pm
    Post #131 - January 3rd, 2022, 4:32 pm Post #131 - January 3rd, 2022, 4:32 pm
    riddlemay wrote:If there were enough unassimilated Jews to support a strictly kosher (or kosheresque) restaurant here, more strictly kosher (and kosheresque) restaurants would exist. (The only one I actually know of is Milt's Barbecue for the Perplexed, more power to them.)

    There are numerous kosher restaurants. See list here.
  • Post #132 - January 3rd, 2022, 10:46 pm
    Post #132 - January 3rd, 2022, 10:46 pm Post #132 - January 3rd, 2022, 10:46 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:If there were enough unassimilated Jews to support a strictly kosher (or kosheresque) restaurant here, more strictly kosher (and kosheresque) restaurants would exist. (The only one I actually know of is Milt's Barbecue for the Perplexed, more power to them.)

    There are numerous kosher restaurants. See list here.


    There are indeed kosher restaurants, but I saw none that were what we think of as traditional sit-down delis where you can nosh on corned beef sandwiches, matzoh ball soup or latkes.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #133 - January 4th, 2022, 8:15 am
    Post #133 - January 4th, 2022, 8:15 am Post #133 - January 4th, 2022, 8:15 am
    George R wrote:There are indeed kosher restaurants, but I saw none that were what we think of as traditional sit-down delis where you can nosh on corned beef sandwiches, matzoh ball soup or latkes.


    Chicago hasn't been able to sustain a kosher sit-down deli for a very long time, but even New York, LA and Miami have mostly non-certified delis. It's hard to sustain a place with kosher dietary restrictions when there are lots of paying customers who want a reuben or a shake with their corned beef. As for other kosher restaurants, there are blocks in Miami (and neighboring areas) where you'll see more kosher restaurants than in the entire Chicago area.
  • Post #134 - January 4th, 2022, 5:40 pm
    Post #134 - January 4th, 2022, 5:40 pm Post #134 - January 4th, 2022, 5:40 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    George R wrote:There are indeed kosher restaurants, but I saw none that were what we think of as traditional sit-down delis where you can nosh on corned beef sandwiches, matzoh ball soup or latkes.


    Chicago hasn't been able to sustain a kosher sit-down deli for a very long time, but even New York, LA and Miami have mostly non-certified delis.


    Speaking as someone that is sort of connected to the kosher world thanks to family and friends:
    Well, you can get challah or assorted rolls from North Shore or Tel Aviv Bakery and corned beef from Romanian Kosher, and have your very own kosher corned beef sandwich. They even have first cut ("extra lean") corned beef. So not entirely non-existent.

    I think the issue in the Chicago area, aside from the traditional kosher deli audience disappearing from the area demographically is cultural. That is, for casual meals, dairy is much more popular than meat in the kosher community.

    Kosher meat restaurants are either Middle Eastern (Taboun, Mizrahi), cater to more of a family crowd (Greater Chicago Food & beverage) or more special occasion or fancy dining (Evita's, Milt's BBQ, Shallots). The more noticeable exceptions are an Asian place and more casual Mexican (Tacos Gingi up in Skokie).

    However, when an Asian salmon salad is $24 at Evita's, even leaving the cheapest steak (12 oz. ribye) at $49 aside, that's going to have a niche audience.

    It's hard to sustain a place with kosher dietary restrictions when there are lots of paying customers who want a reuben or a shake with their corned beef.


    I've always wondered why those of us that grew up Conservative or Reform and kept "kosher style" weren't an audience for these places the way that there's one in Manhattan. It's not just price...I think it's also marketing and location. Also that our kosher doesn't generally have pre-paid Shabbat (Sabbath) meals nearly as much as some other cities.

    As for other kosher restaurants, there are blocks in Miami (and neighboring areas) where you'll see more kosher restaurants than in the entire Chicago area.


    Yup, Aventura or Boca Raton come to mind. I'd kill for an Israeli place like Jerusalem Grill here. Full flavored turkey shawarma, pargiyot (chicken thighs with a spice coating) and small salads (messa) as they serve in Israel, with your meal. The z'hug (hot sauce) has nothing to apologize for compared to what you'd find a Moshiko in Jerusalem :) . Our local kosher Middle Eastern is considerably milder flavored by comparison.

    One positive outcome from COVID is that a few of the kosher meat places - Milt's and Evita's, and Tacos Gingi - did occasional world cuisine takeout meals outside of their regular menu and on the Sabbath. But alas, not deli.
    Last edited by sdrucker on January 4th, 2022, 11:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
  • Post #135 - January 4th, 2022, 10:43 pm
    Post #135 - January 4th, 2022, 10:43 pm Post #135 - January 4th, 2022, 10:43 pm
    spinynorman99 and sdrucker:

    Your points are well-taken. I was just curious as to the practicality of a kosher deli. I agree the market is too small for a genuine kosher deli. I'm not up on the fine points of kosher, so if any of the following is in error please feel free to correct.

    As stated previously, Reuben sandwiches would be a no-no at a kosher deli. You could have lox on a bagel, but not with cream cheese. At least not on the same dishes, and dairy would require a separate kitchen area. Even then, I'm not sure it would be allowed.

    So a kosher deli owner would face the choice of added logistical complexity (if it could be done at all) or complaints from people who want their favorite sandwiches mixing meat and dairy.

    Local deli owners have made the necessary business decision, and I'll continue to support them.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #136 - January 4th, 2022, 11:15 pm
    Post #136 - January 4th, 2022, 11:15 pm Post #136 - January 4th, 2022, 11:15 pm
    George R wrote: You could have lox on a bagel, but not with cream cheese. At least not on the same dishes, and dairy would require a separate kitchen area. Even then, I'm not sure it would be allowed.


    I’m not a kosher expert but pretty sure fish is not considered meat and can be served with dairy.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #137 - January 4th, 2022, 11:32 pm
    Post #137 - January 4th, 2022, 11:32 pm Post #137 - January 4th, 2022, 11:32 pm
    George R wrote:spinynorman99 and sdrucker:
    As stated previously, Reuben sandwiches would be a no-no at a kosher deli. You could have lox on a bagel, but not with cream cheese. At least not on the same dishes, and dairy would require a separate kitchen area. Even then, I'm not sure it would be allowed.

    So a kosher deli owner would face the choice of added logistical complexity (if it could be done at all) or complaints from people who want their favorite sandwiches mixing meat and dairy.

    Local deli owners have made the necessary business decision, and I'll continue to support them.


    A kosher restaurant can only be one or two things: meat or dairy. Not only would you need separate kitchens, but separate seating. No mixing possible, even at by customer request as a special case; in fact a single restaurant that allowed it would not get a hecksher (certification). So in your hypothetical, that lox on a bagel would only get cream cheese at a dairy restaurant. You might find some restaurant that would have lox in a meat restaurant with a non-dairy substitute (almond milk or tofu) but that's likely too far off the beaten path for the kosher consumer to handle at a meat place.

    It's gone now, but until a few years back, there was a dairy restaurant adjacent to a meat restaurant in a shopping plaza in Skokie, with the same owner. That was "Slice of Life" (dairy) and "Hy Life" (meat). But they were separately certified, separate kitchens, and separate seating.
  • Post #138 - January 5th, 2022, 8:06 am
    Post #138 - January 5th, 2022, 8:06 am Post #138 - January 5th, 2022, 8:06 am
    I seem to recall there was a restaurant in Skokie (since closed) that had both kitchens, with a dividing line -- you could eat on the milk or meat side. There are also rules about how soon you can switch from eating one to the other, that I can never keep track of.

    Fish is definitely not considered meat by Kosher laws (they must have fins and scales to be eaten, though -- no catfish, no shrimp).
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #139 - January 5th, 2022, 9:18 am
    Post #139 - January 5th, 2022, 9:18 am Post #139 - January 5th, 2022, 9:18 am
    JoelF wrote:I seem to recall there was a restaurant in Skokie (since closed) that had both kitchens, with a dividing line -- you could eat on the milk or meat side. There are also rules about how soon you can switch from eating one to the other, that I can never keep track of.

    Fish is definitely not considered meat by Kosher laws (they must have fins and scales to be eaten, though -- no catfish, no shrimp).


    As mentioned above, Slice of Life/Hy Life on Dempster was one. Ken's Diner, on Dempster towards McCormick, also had a dairy sibling, Malibu Pizza.
  • Post #140 - January 5th, 2022, 9:57 pm
    Post #140 - January 5th, 2022, 9:57 pm Post #140 - January 5th, 2022, 9:57 pm
    sdrucker wrote:
    A kosher restaurant can only be one or two things: meat or dairy. Not only would you need separate kitchens, but separate seating. No mixing possible, even at by customer request as a special case; in fact a single restaurant that allowed it would not get a hecksher (certification). So in your hypothetical, that lox on a bagel would only get cream cheese at a dairy restaurant. You might find some restaurant that would have lox in a meat restaurant with a non-dairy substitute (almond milk or tofu) but that's likely too far off the beaten path for the kosher consumer to handle at a meat place.


    Thanks for the clarification.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.

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