Sarasota is not a hotbed of “real” deli food. I think we all know that. But, being from Chicago, I love a good corned beef sandwich. I was out in search of one today.
Now, this is a very subjective area we’re getting into here. Lots of discussion, lots of disagreement. Let’s just start and end the argument by saying that everyone is right! There I said it. You have your fav and I have mine.
The topic is so hot that Toronto Journalist, David Sax has written an entire book on the subject. Save the Deli, is an L.A. Times bestseller.
Today’s corned beef search has led me to the Corkscrew Deli on Tamiami Trail in the Landings. Corned beef sandwich here I come.
The menu board at the restaurant says: Hot Pastrami or Corned Beef “piled high on NY rye”. That’s a big statement. So, that’s the expectation.
The yardstick against which all others are measured (at least in my humble, corned beef eating opinion), is Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen in Chicago. Located at Jefferson and Roosevelt in the west loop, Manny’s has been loading up corned beef sandwiches since 1942. You have to be good to stay in business that long in a hungry city like Chicago. Check out the photo below. That’s ONE sandwich. And, it’s only $10.95! A pretty good deal too.
But, enough dreaming. Let’s talk about the corned beef sandwich I can actually get here in Sarasota. The sandwich at the Corkscrew is made with Boar’s Head Corned Beef. I used to have a hard time getting past the name to enjoy the product. I’m over that now (thankfully). And, over time I have learned to appreciate Boar’s Head products. They have good tasting, good quality meats and cheeses. Plus, they’re right here in Sarasota and I like to shop locally.
Oh, yeah, the sandwich. Well, it’s not exactly “piled high”. Especially if you are comparing it to exhibit A (Manny’s monster corned beef). Is that fair? I think it is, especially since the carry out menu adds that it has “more meat”. More meat than what?
Even though it’s not a giant, hulking, meat monstrosity, it tastes great. It’s a first class corned beef sandwich even for those of us whose portion sizes are a little out of whack from years of eating true, big city deli food. One of the side benefits of the Corkscrew Deli sandwich was that I didn’t have to go home at 3pm and take a two hour nap or drink three gallons of water. That’s nice.
Also, if you notice in the top left image, the Corkscrew sandwich has a fantastic looking pickle. Not joking here. At first you may think “so what”, but, I can’t tell you the amount of pickles I have been served in this town that look like they were taken directly out of the trash and placed on my plate. This was a first class, cold, crunchy, awesome pickle!
The bottom line. If you’re dying for a GIANT NY/Chicago corned beef sandwich your S.O.L.. Can’t be had in Sarasota at any price. But, if you’re just trying to satisfy that urge for a delicious, salty, tender, comforting corned beef, the Corkscrew Deli comes through in fine fashion.
Here’s where you can get it:
The Corkscrew Deli
4982 S. Tamiami Tr.
Sarasota, FL 34231