Saturday, October 8, 2016

Episode XLVII: Cindi's New York Delicatessen (DAL)

After a long summer, the weather finally broke in North Texas. Mary Alice and Danny were out of town and I had a beautiful fall morning to myself, so I went for a run. There is a great network of trails in town and I just felt like running. Before I knew it, I had been out for an hour and worked up quite an appetite.  Next on the docket for the day was to try a Reuben. There were a couple of places in town that popped up when I searched for delis in Dallas, and Cindi’s was at the top of the list. They have a few locations around Dallas and the menu seemed very legit. 
I walk into the deli and I take a seat at the bar…

New York Reuben

“Choice of Corned Beef, Pastrami, or Turkey Grilled on Rye with Sauerkraut, melted Swiss Cheese and Russian Dressing on the side”

Appearance – (4.4/5.0)
Wow. I don’t even know where to start. There is a lot of food here. I really appreciate that they cut the Reuben and put the cross section on display. You can clearly see the melted Swiss, lots of corned beef, and even more sauerkraut (more on this later). This, like other Old World Reubens, has the dressing on the side. They also threw in some slaw and more sweet potato fries than I could eat. I don’t fancy pickles but it rounds out the deli presentation.

Quality of Ingredients – (4.0/5.0)
Take another look at the sauerkraut. There is lots-o-sauerkraut on the Reuben and…. it was not the best. (even more to come later). The corned beef was very good. I don’t think you would have multiple Cindi’s around DFW if they didn’t, so something right on the meat.   I found myself picking it out of the sandwich and eating it solo. I like the rye bread, no-nonsense rye here. It tasted like rye and there were no unnecessary swirls or marbling.  The Russian dressing did not really knock my socks off. It is almost an afterthought on the plate.

Price – (4.2/5.0)
This whole plate was $10.95. I think that is pretty good. I ended up taking home almost all of the fries. We are in North Texas here, home to the $30k millionaire, so things can get expensive for no reason.   But we’re still in Texas. Things are big and cheap.  

Je Ne Sais Quoi – (4.5/5.0)
This was not quite like some of the Old World delis I have been to in Chicago and Cincinnati for this blog, but it has its own character. When I walked in, there was a counter with all kinds of bagels and treats around. You can order some bagels from the counter or you can sit down for traditional table service OR you can sit at the fully stocked bar! I went for the bar. 

They have pretty much anything you can imagine at the bar as far as liquor or beer. I kept it simple with a club soda. There was an old lady to my right and she did not seem too interested in small talk; she was pretty occupied with her game of Candy Crush. The guy to my left was a regular and asked for his usual breakfast. It was corned beef and hash with a side of pancakes, and he ate everything! The rest of the place was filled with old people and young families alike. Truth is, I took a seat at the bar because there was a long wait for any table.  It is a great little place and it is worth reading the story of Cindi’s.

Taste – (8.7/10.0)
Great looking plate, fun place, good meat, but the sauerkraut really killed this one. Have you ever bought a big jar of sauerkraut? There is lots of (acidic) liquid in there.  I can tell Cindi is putting lots of time and effort into the corned beef, and I appreciate that. If she wants to go store bought with the sauerkraut, that’s ok but she should probably go easy on it. They really piled it on. Maybe they could just put it in a dishtowel and squeeze some of the water out like you do with frozen spinach. Anyone knows that if you don’t squeeze all of the water out of the frozen spinach you are in trouble. 

I took matters into my own hands and flipped the sandwich upside-down.  The sauerkraut dripped through the bottom bread, so that was gone. The open faced Reuben with the Swiss cheese, corned beef, and generously applied Russian dressing was awesome. There is potential here for sure.

Overall – (25.8/30.0)
Would I order it again? No. I want to come back here but I want to get the corned beef hash the guy next to me had. I already know they have the whole corned beef thing down, so that makes it a relatively low risk choice. Cindi’s story is real-deal American dream and I’ll be back for sure.

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