It's rare that I review a place before I have actually finished eating my meal. But today, I am going to make an exception because I have consumed about one half of the finest corned beef sandwich that I have ever eaten.
At the urging of Paul Bernhardt, I took the time to stop by AP Deli on North Avenue. I echo Paul's sentiments, the Corned Beef is "fabulous.
The North Avenue Branch of AP is a non-descript takeout only joint in a strip center in the 6300 Block of North Avenue. Like many places on the west side, its decor consists on ever so charming bullet proof glass and a soda machine. There is no dining room or nor are there tables at which you can eat.
The key here is the corned beef. It is jewish soul food at its finest It is obviously cooked in house with no trace of preservatives. It has this natural aromatic gelatin and fat content that, when warm, makes one rip open the package and start scarfing bits of it on the way back to the office. You can imagine that this was the type of thing that put enough meat on one's bones to weather the winter in an unheated tenement on Manhattan's lower east side at the turn of the century. It's seasoned unusually (for corned beef), I pick up a heavy garlic influence rather than that of the pickling spice in the simmering brew for this corned beef. The meat is sliced razor thin on an electric slicer and piled generously on the bread with your choice of condiments.
My choice today was corned beef on Kaiser with yellow mustard and a slice of swiss that melted ever so slightly from the heat of the corned beef during its trip back to my office. I also picked up a side of macaroni salad which I will pass on next time in favor of one of the huge slices of triple decker yellow cake separated by ever so thin layers of caramel frosting which caught my eye in the deli case as I waited for my sandwich.
The service is minimal. The staff is friendly. But, ohhh that corned beef. It earns A.P. Deli a "you gotta try it" from Will.
6311 North Avenue