A few weeks ago, I posted a request for Deli suggestions that had good chopped liver and were located either along my commute route or near Joliet.
On Saturday, the FatGuy clan checkout out Schmaltz deli in Naperville at the suggestion of the 'hounds who responded.
My first impression of Schmaltz's was that it was smaller than I expected. Most delis I have frequented are also something else (ie Deli and Meatmarket - Paulina's, Deli and restaurant - Bobaks, etc). Schmaltz's is a small stripmall storefront place that is exclusively a deli.
Also, their selection was not extensive. They had (maybe) 8-10 kinds of cheese and less meat variety than a standard supermarket. They did have a nice variety of knish, more dessert options than I expected and a good assortment of frozen and refridgerated soups. They also carried bagels and 5-6 types of bread. Although we didn't try any this trip, they also had quite a few fish options; smoked, pickled and creamed.
What we tried:
Chopped Chicken Liver: This is what we came for and Schmaltz's delivered Big Time. Hurray!!! No more trips to the North Side because my wife is jonesing for chopped liver! As good as any CCL either of us had ever eaten. My wife even said she liked it better than my homemade :(
Pastrami, Salami, Horseradish White Cheddar, Munster: I think all of these were Boarshead except, I think, the salami. They were very good, but you could find this quality of meat and cheese a lot of places.
Pickles: Schmaltz's had about 6 kinds of picles in the deli case (plus some jar pickles on the shelf). Our favorite was the Semi Sour pickle. My kids were unhappy that we didn't buy more. Some of the better pickles I have found outside the city.
Olives: The store has a small olive bar in the back by the fridges and freezers. We just got a scoop of the olive medley. Not top shelf (a la Greektown), but better than supermarket quality.
Coleslaw and Potato Salad: Schmaltz's carries two types of coleslaw - creamy and vinegar. We tried the creamy and also got an order of potato salad. The coleslaw tasted identical (IMHO) to the slaw sold at Jewel, which I can't stand. I am not a potato salad eater, but my wife asked me to try a bite because she thought it had a funny, overpowering taste. We agreed that the PS was overloaded with parsely. The salads were the only disappointment of the trip.
Marble Rye: Biggest (positive) suprise of the trip. I have no idea where they get their bread from, but the marble rye was excellent. A firm, chewy crust and moist center. The bread had just a hint of sweetness.
Bagels: We also picked up some bagels for Sunday morning breakfast. They were good and reminded me of the bagels I had on my last trip to NYC. The only negative we had was that some of the flavored bagels (the "everything" in particular) used egg bagels instead of plain. Not bad per se, but not what we were looking for. We will be back for the plain bagels, though.
The store also sells a variety of condiments (some of their own and some Boarshead), sodas (Dr Brown's along with a bottled egg cream) and crackers/chips.
Thanks for the suggestion, everyone. We enjoyed our trip and are still eating out plunder!