Slyman's Deli
 Cleveland, Ohio           Date of Visit: 09/03/10    

We have been talking about going to Slymans for some time now and the stars had aligned. Pulling down the street alongside the building we noticed that parking signs mean nothing to Clevelanders when it comes to getting your fix. There are signs forbidding the practice up and down the street but they were hard to see when there are so many cars parked there. I thought this would be a real revenue stream for tickets and when we left there was a patrol car. Of course, it was parked next to the fire hydrant and the officer was inside writing a ticket for a Rueben instead of parking. We also tried to get there early as they have a reputation for long lines and selling out. Even though we got there before we had planned there was already a line for both take out and tables.


Chicken and Rice Soup

The place is packed…they use every inch of available space, they have to. We did get a table with a minimal wait and watched as every stripe of human waited in line and then left with bags and huge boxes both of which engendered tremendous smiles on the way to the door. Slymans is one of those places where it seems if you are waiting in line for a classic you achieve instant friend status as everyone in the line chats demonstrably regardless of race, dress, or choice of mustard vs. thousand island. It could be that everyone besides us were regulars, but it seems corned beef has accomplished what the world’s politicians only blather on about. Behold the power of food!!!

Our server was absolutely wacky in the most charming way. I suppose that is inevitable working nonstop hours for 29 years in the same joint. We split two sandwiches a warm corned beef with Swiss and a Rueben. Alongside we tried the chicken and rice soup, hash browns and the potato salad. The speed and efficiency at Slymans is astounding. It couldn’t have been more than five minutes before our entire order was on the table. Given the number of people walking out with large orders this is a well oiled machine.

The Rueben Eclipses the Coke

Crunchy Taters are Always Good

Just a Mountain of Corned Beef and Swiss

The soup was good but not entirely great, the broth lacking a touch of seasoning or chickeney depth. The hash browns were tasty with lots of crunchy brown edges that truly make a hash brown. The potato salad was quite a surprise, a colossal clump of unicolored starch with little in discernable flavor outside of potato and fat. Ususally I look for loads of veggie or aromatic flavor, some vinegar, bacon, any number of things, but Slymans is completely devoid of any of these. I am not certain what makes it so good but it is one of the richest, smoothest, simplest, bound salads I have had and it really works. Special! The sandwiches are gigantic, sharing is definitely a necessity. I found the corned beef a little dryer than most but the flavor is on the money. With a bit of kraut and swiss there is a reason Slymans is going strong every day. A great touch is the condiment bottles on the table. My brother refers to me as the “goop-master” meaning I like things sloppy. Rather than ordering your sandwich with sauces or horseradish you can add whatever you wish, meaning I got to try nine different combinations on one sandwich. All of which were fantastic. Super-psyched I got to try the Cleveland landmark. It certainly won’t be the last…right before we left the table next to us got a hot beef sandwich smothered in a thick brown gravy…oh yeah, we’ll be back.

The Goop Master is Pleased


Good Cheesecake



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