Restaurants & Bars 3

A Bad, Bad Rueben

suekiyaki | Apr 19, 2003 02:32 PM

As a Korean who grew up in Brooklyn, I am saddled with the oddest cravings. It is normal for me to spend days cruising the bay area in search of a familiar Bin Dae Duck, good Kreplach or Kishke, or a nice Egg Cream. Typically, I find the usual displaced eastcoaster bellyaching over SF Deli as off-putting as anyone else should, but yesterday's disappointment at Moishe's Bellybutton was so crushing I dreamt about it and I continue to obsess over it through the morning.

There is a zen to certain foods, a reverence attached to your thoughts about them. Reubens belong in this universe. To me, the Reuben has a sacred but simple responsibility to deliver some fatty meat, gooey cheese, and a few warm mouthfulls of cholesterol pleasure. Moishe's Pippic violated these basic needs. The Moishe's Pippic Reuben consists of lean corned beef, sauerkraut, and unmelted swiss cheese on rye, all briefly microwaved. No grease, no dressing, no mess. I didn't need a napkin, and I did need to order more food or else leave unsatisfied. The meat portion was adequate, but there were no greasy fingerprints left on my cold bottle of Cel-Ray. Oh the horror of lean meats ... lean corned beef, lean brisket, lean pastrami ... so very wrong.

And so surprising, since Moishe's Pippic seems to know comfort food, and delivers in the universe of chicago-style hot dogs (try their "Soldier Field"--a hot dog and a polish sausage in the same bun slathered in "the works" including an authentic-feeling pickle relish of oddly radioactive green and a utilitarian bun that trully holds it together).

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