I was in the hospital district of Chicago and thought I’d try a place called Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen. I pulled up to the place and I saw no available parking but, luckily, there was a valet.
The place was super busy and the inside was set up like a high school cafeteria. At first, I was confused by the protocol and ordering process. Most of the people that were there looked to be daily regulars. I did not realize I needed to grab a tray and silverware first before walking up to the buffet-style counter. I had to squeeze by customers to grab them by the entrance. There should be some type of signage alerting customers of the protocol.
I started to work my way down the line with my tray. The line started with lettuce and condiments to make a salad and then moved on to ordering sandwiches. I ordered one of their sandwiches called the "Chazzer". It had pastrami, corned beef, Munster cheese, and coleslaw on rye bread.
I continued to move down the line and grabbed the side of coleslaw. I also ordered their famous potato pancakes and two cans of their specialty branded pop. Further down the line, there was a variety of pies and other random side dishes, like oxtail stew, that I decided not to try. The grand total of my sandwich, side of coleslaw, two potato pancakes, and two cans of pop was $33. I was definitely shocked by the price of everything, as it didn’t match with the overall inside look of the place.
The sandwich was extremely mediocre. The corned beef was very dry. The pastrami was good but very fatty. The coleslaw was very sparse and bland. The cheese was a very small slice that hardly added any taste to the sandwich. Their famous potato pancakes were hard as rocks and tasted very stale. The specialty pops were very tasty, but those were in a can.
Compared to other delis around the Chicagoland area, this place does not compare to overall quality and price. The sandwiches at Manny’s are not worth the high price for the poor quality of meats. The entire ordering process was very rushed and the staff was not pleasant. I asked for a container to go to put the remainder of my sandwich and a potato pancake in. The girl at the register gave me a sandwich wrapper in a brown bag. I thought I was going to receive a box, but I was told they don’t give those for the sandwiches.
The overall experience and food was not worth the hype. I am glad that I tried it, as it’s a famous place. I would not recommend this place as a dependable delicatessen. I give this place a rating of 5 out of 10.
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