The corned beef sandwich is a very important part of a man’s diet. The practice of eating such delectable meats dates back to Ireland in the 12th century, where the salted beef was first referenced in the poem Aislinge Meic Con Glinne. The poem tells the tale of King Cathal mac Finguine and and his desire to purge himself of his obsession with food and the “demon of gluttony.”
During his battle with gluttony King Cathal mac Finguine had a vision of a land made entirely of food (from Wikipedia):
The fort we reached was beautiful,
With works of custards thick,
Beyond the loch.
New butter was the bridge in front,
The rubble dyke was wheaten white,
Bacon the palisade.
Stately, pleasantly it sat,
A compact house and strong.
Then I went in:
The door of it was dry meat,
The threshold was bare bread,
cheese-curds the sides.
Smooth pillars of old cheese,
And sappy bacon props
Fine beams of mellow cream,
White rafters – real curds,
Kept up the house.
Can’t say I haven’t been there myself, King.
Over the past 20 or so years I have been enjoying corned beef sandwiches at places all over the country. In my mind I liken the sandwich to the southern chicken sandwich (speaking strictly in design, not taste). What I mean is, a corned beef sandwich is a very simple thing consisting only of meat and bread (and sometimes mustard or cheese), but this simplicity makes it very difficult to execute in terms of making it complex enough to taste good with just those few ingredients. It also means that when a corned beef sandwich is done well, it is the most delicious thing on the planet. My favorite corned beef sandwiches are below. In the interest of the freedom-of-cured-meat-information, join in with a comment on where you enjoy your favorite corned beef sandwich.
My top five favorite places to dine on corned beef sandwich goodness:
1. Slyman’s in Cleveland, Ohio (My favorite. No one makes them bigger.)
2. Greenblatt’s Delicatessen in Los Angeles, Calif. (Soft, delicious and very very tasty. )
3. Katz’s Deli in New York, New York (Tasty but touristy. Also very expensive. Slightly overrated.)
4. Eisenberg’s in New York, New York (You either get it or you don’t.)
5. Ben’s Kosher in New York, New York (A staple of the NYC garment center.)