Saturday, June 18, 2016

Episode XLIV: Coppell Deli (DFW)

Moving to a new city is stressful. Moving in general stinks. Whether it’s moving from a dorm room into storage, or moving a three bedroom house halfway across the country, nobody likes to move. You have to take the good with the bad though. One good thing about moving is that you have a new city to explore. I really look forward to scouring all of North Texas looking for the best Reuben. Coming off a great farewell Reuben in Highland Park, I was excited to try my new hometown deli here in Coppell.

The Coppell Deli has been around since 1944, but was really put on the map by the Dallas Cowboys during their Super Bowl-winning years. The seller’s agent of our soon-to-be home in Coppell even mentioned it as one of the selling points of moving to the neighborhood. I had high hopes going in, and Father’s Day weekend seemed like a great time to try it out.

Reuben Sandwich
“Corned beef w/Sauerkraut and Swiss cheese on Rye”

Appearance – (3.7/5.0)
This one did not make the best first impression. Once I realized those were actually Caraway seeds and not ants marching around the edge of the Rye bread, my attention was grabbed by the renegade 1000 Island dressing that escaped. I was wondering if this sandwich would have dressing when I ordered it because the 1000 Island was not listed on the menu. Maybe they were just trying to surprise me.

This whole sandwich has short-order cook written all over it. This makes sense once you see the menu and realize this places serves breakfast. My theory is that the 1000 Island is usually dispensed out of a plastic squeeze bottle with a single tip. For whatever reason, the 1000 Island got put into the squeeze bottle with a tri-tip. The tri-tip bottle should really be used with caution. They are relatively new and are really designed more for food trucks. I cannot be certain that this is how it happened, but I can only assume.

Quality of Ingredients – (3.6/5.0)
The quality was really not that great. They don’t advertise anything homemade or made-from-scratch. It seems to be a store bought Sysco operation. I wouldn’t say anything was poor quality but nothing really top-shelf either.

Price – (3.8/5.0)
The sandwich plus tots was $11.49. This is not super cheap, even when you consider the other items on the menu. For that same price you can get a bacon cheeseburger.  For less than that you can get a Patty Melt or even a Gyro! I realize Coppell has some high property taxes and they have to pay the bills, but this seemed steep for the product and compared to what else was on the menu.

Je Ne Sais Quoi – (4.2/5.0)
This place was saved by the JNSQ and it starts when you walk in the door.  The walk from the front door to the register passes through what looks like a walk-in fridge stocked with beer. It had a pretty good selection, too, anchored by Shiner, of course. It also had lots of TVs which made watching Euro2016 easier.  I was afraid a Texas Deli made famous by American football would not have soccer on TV. I was happy to be proven wrong. Texas has changed quite a bit in the 13 years since I left.  The Reuben itself did not spark much curiosity other than trying to spot the tri-tip dressing dispenser.  

Taste – (8.1/10.0)
The Reuben is all about how the ingredients come together and balance. This Reuben was almost impossible to score because I could literally not get my hands around it. I reached down into the basket and for the life of me could not find the bottom bread. The top bread was toasty and firm and I was momentarily relieved that I would not have another soggy Reuben to deal with. Unfortunately, I then realized that I had reached the bottom of the sandwich but the bread was so soggy I couldn’t differentiate it from the moist corned beef. I had to eat this Reuben with a fork! That is a first for this blog. I think the short-order cook had the Reuben on the flat top, squeezed some water around it and covered it with a hood to melt the cheese. It looks like he used the tri-tip too...

The taste was largely consistent with the ingredients. It was ok, nothing spectacular. I ate the whole thing so that must say something.

Overall – (23.4/30.0)
Would I order it again? No. I have to say I was disappointed that what is probably the closest restaurant to my new place does not have a decent Reuben. I do want to come back and try the breakfast and the Gyro for sure. 

This place also has a liquor license and TVs, so I can see myself escaping here to grab a drink and/or watch a game in the future. The menu has standard bar apps and the tots were great but I think it’s impossible to mess up tots. They have to be the most standard food out there. There seems to be only one maker of tots that supplies every restaurant and cafeteria in the world. From Napoleon Dynamite’s cafeteria to the Coppell Deli, they are all the same. 

The Ranger is coming for you North Texas.

1 comment:

  1. Back to Texas, eh? Checked in the early days. Always had a soft spot for guy who was willing to post a review about Arby's (which is pretty darn good for fast food). I didn't follow enough to know if you got to some of our favorites: Palookaville, Star Provsions and Melton's. Star is our favorite, the other two are good and close. What was the best you had in the ATL and did you get to Star Provisions? Best of luck in the move.