Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Izzy's Famous Corned Beef - Forest Park, OH

Opening its first location in downtown Cincinnati in 1901, Izzy’s remains a local delicatessen that’s still fresh and well loved today.  Most well known for their corned beef (their Reuben is legendary), other popular favorites are their homemade soups (including the delicious “Sweet-N-Sour Cabbage”) and potato pancakes.

My favorite location is the Forest Park store and I generally try to visit it no less than once per month.  While other, more familiar sandwich chains like Subway, Quiznos, etc. have certain positive qualities; Izzy’s is by far a better all around experience time and time again.  Seen above is the majority of the dining area, not shown is the two sections alongside windows where I always sit to enjoy the view, which can sometimes be bustling with regulars.  One neat thing about their set-up is you don’t get a bill, after you finish eating, simply walk up to the counter and tell an employee what you ate to get rung up on the register.  I also have to compliment the waitresses, as they’re very accommodating and well informed, there’s one that I frequently have that’s especially kind and remembers me from past visits which is a nice feeling.

Now onto the food, while I love all of their scrumptious deli sandwiches, after having their signature Izzy Burger once, I haven’t been able to order anything else.  Now wait… before you start questioning my eating a hamburger at such a nice delicatessen, allow me to explain.  This ain’t your everyday burger!  For starters it’s baked, not fried or grilled, the end product being the most tender, delectable, uniquely delicious burger I’ve ever had anywhere.  Plus, the ingredients are so fresh; I always opt for a Kaiser roll and Swiss cheese, as well as the usual fixings, red onions, tomato, and lettuce.  As much as I adore the sandwich, the meal’s not complete without a famous Izzy’s potato pancake.  Not only do they taste incredible (I use a little brown mustard for dipping purposes) but I also find them a lot of fun to eat.  Also, at every table are containers of the best pickles around, so you can help yourself to as many as your heart desires.

In closing, out of all the local restaurants I frequent, I’d have to say Izzy’s is among my absolute favorite lunch destinations.  I can’t quite articulate the simple joy of washing down an Izzy Burger with a Pepsi, reading a few pages from a book, and starring out the window as the world operates outside oblivious to my wonderment and I.

Overall Grade: A 

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