Manny’s in Chicago. A Classic Deli

Maybe two weeks ago I wrote about helping a friend find a place to live. She’s out of state so my part in all this is going to the apartments and taking pictures. I also try to get whatever paperwork needs to be signed, look over the neighborhood, and get a feel for the landlord/roommate situation. Today was one of those days. It was actually snowing like hell, so I wasn’t jumping up and down for joy with the task UNTIL she told me the address of the place. Turns out it was in the UIC area, which is sort of South and West of downtown Chicago.

That area USED to have a different name but the ethnically flavored term, for which it was famous, is no longer in favor. So now people say the UIC area, and before that it was called Maxwell Street, and before that it wasw Jew Town.

ANNNNYYWAAYY. Manny’s is down there!

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That area has a couple of foods I like to eat. Or rather I should say, coming back to Chicago has been great consistently only in one arena-the food. I love a lot of the foods here in town, and a lot of the foods can only be gotten right here. Then there are some foods you can get in most big cities, but the trick is finding the place in that particular city that has it. For instance, I lived in New York for about 10 years, and I got very accustomed to just going to a deli in the morning and having a slammin bacon, egg and cheese on a roll made. Seems simple right? Do you have any idea how HARD it is to get that sandwich made in any place other than NYC? It’s a bitch! I can’t get that thing anywhere. I end up with all kinds of crazy variations with people behind the counter just LOST on how to make it. Hey, speaking of people of people behind the counter. Take a look at this guy, and then be on the lookout. He’s a real wise cracking kind of guy and the class clown at Manny’s!

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Another one of the deli foods you can get quite used to is your basic pastrami or corned beef on rye. That sandwich in the right place is a true piece of heaven. A good corned beef just sticks in your mind (and colon) forever and once you find a place that can do it right, you become a regular. Just like that. It’s that simple. Well, Manny’s has been around since 1942 so one has to assume they’ve picked up a few tricks. But in a real surprise move, my favorite food there is actually NOT the sandwich anymore. One day I went in and looked down through the steamy glass and saw a stew. A stew SO thick and rich looking I had to try it. And ladies and gentlemen once I tried it, it shot straight up to the top of the charts. I get the meal to go a lot.

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But once you get it home and open it, it’s truly a hearty meal!

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Dude! They just throw whole vegetables in there. They kinda cut ‘em up, but mostly you just get these giant chunks of food. You feel like you’re eating some kind of primitive meal from Medieval Times. But what am I wasting your time for? A picture is worth a thousand words right? You SEE that stew. And you know it’s good. Get your ass over there.

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