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Reuben-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

The Reuben at Chappy’s Deli located in Montgomery is the #90th dish that I have tasted on my quest to eat all 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die or the 11th dish on my countdown.

Chappy’s Deli is a newcomer to this list having been added in the 2017 brochure put out by The Alabama Department of Tourism.   Check out the new nice-looking beachy cover, you will want to get your catering order in A.S.A.P.

With just a few short weeks until St. Patrick’s Day, Alabamians and those visiting this beautiful state, can get a jump on where to get a really tasty Reuben.

A sandwich that some love it and others do not.

I love how the comedian Jim Gaffigan summarizes love of the Reuben:

Corned Beef: HATE

Sauerkraut: HATE

Swiss Cheese: HATE

Russian Dressing: Not a fan

Rye Bread: Like my eight choice

Reuben Sandwich: = Delightful.

[1]

Meg-True dat!

Random fact.  Did you know that the Reuben was invented in Omaha Nebraska?  Me either, until I was researching a Runza sandwich specific to Nebraska.   Although the origin of this sandwich has been debated, documentation has now taken place, Omaha owns this title.  There are many sources that cite the fact findings.  [4]

Let me preface this Reuben experience by saying that Alabama has some of the best food that I have eaten in my life. THE BEST!

I realize that I am the village skeptic; Nurses are professionally trained to do just that. So here goes.

Deli food and Alabama?  I’ve not come across a deli that blew my mind.

Why?

Aside from nursing, I also have a minor in Reubenology, this degree may not have come from an accredited institution of higher learning. However, I’ve eaten a lot of Reuben sandwiches on my travels, I do collect Irish Pubs, I’ve cooked up many for friends and family, and then there have been the St. Patrick’s Day parties that had me serving anything created with Reuben ingredients.

Before I get to the verdict, I need you to understand my angst. I grew up in an area that has old-school German meat markets, German bakeries, an amazing Jewish bakery, (now commercial) and a local sauerkraut producer, that has gone BIG.  Oh, and award winning swiss cheese.  Probably a tough act to follow.

One such city where I have lived, namely Madison Wisconsin, has killer delicatessens. I have my favorite but certainly, know that professing this alliance of who makes the “best” Reuben could be fighting words.  I leave that to the professionals.

One of this city’s newspapers has dedicated an entire write to this very subject. In one such article, I have found seventeen great Reuben sandwiches listed among the top picks.

Reading this article from the Isthmus entitled What is Madison’s, Best Reuben,? Brought me to a state of salivating on my computer, and longing for the food of my home state and my favorite city in Wisconsin. [2]

Andre Darlington wrote “…But the baddest Reuben of all is found at Stalzy’s Deli. The beef undergoes a cure that is measured in weeks, not days. The sauerkraut is made in-house. The bread is made in-house. The tender meat is piled high, and then the entirety is griddled to perfection. This beast is hard to get your mouth around.” …..Proprietor Neil Stalboerger visited Katz’s Deli in New York multiple times to perfect the recipes. His sandwich is a bit of Lower Manhattan history preserved as a Reuben, right here in Madison.” This place sells five types of Reubens and cocktails. [3]

So, with this background in mind, I have to admit that I was very skeptical about an Alabama chain of six, headquartered in Montgomery named Chappy’s Deli.

chappysex

Chappy’s Deli on Perry Hill Road is huge. 238 seats.

Having visited prior, I ignored my husband’s repeated insistence, that it was his pick for deli food.

Known to serve all three meals with fresh, high-quality ingredients at a nice value. Described as New York flavor with Southern Hospitality.

THE PLACE: 

I visited the Perry Hill location in Montgomery because it was the one listed in “The 100.” pamphlet. This restaurant is huge.  It can seat 238 patrons and outside dining is available.  There is a grab n go cooler that has pre-made sandwiched, salads and deserts.

chappygo

Chappy’s Deli Grab n Go

The interior is super clean and thought was put into the decor.  I loved the old Montgomery photos.  The staff was sincerely gracious and this Chappy’s manager should be proud!

Chappy’s version of The Reuben is called the Reuben Grill. N.Y. style corned beef with melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, own special dressing, mayo & spicy mustard and served on grilled dark rye. Single 7.75 • Double 9.25 • Triple 10.95  * To note, this photo shows the smallest size sandwich.  In retrospect and for the sake of the photo,  I wish that I had ordered the medium sized portion or larger

chappysreuben

Chappy’s Deli small portion Reuben sandwich

I have a thing for chicken salad sandwiches and potato salad-YUM.

chappyckn

Chicken salad with my side choice, potato salad at Chappy’s Deli

Oh, and this photo by an award winning photographer was a slice of key lime pie and the complimentary ice cream cone.

chappypie

Chappy’s Key lime pie and a half eaten complimentary ice cream cone!

THE VERDICT:

My husband was right. I absolutely loved my second visit to Chappy’s Deli and since there is also a location in my area, I will visit again.

MEGastars: 4 **** sandwich.

MEGatips:

  1. Use caution when in traffic near this deli.  I visit the nearby Fresh Market quite often and this is a tough spot to turn into. If arriving from I-85 South watch the signage and lanes closely.
  2. Chappy’s Deli website will give you the Alabama locations. Chappy’s Deli
  3. All Chappy’s Deli’s are closed on Sundays.
  4. There were no nutritional values available. If you are on a low sodium diet like me, the chicken is not salted per the staff. As someone who knows that we must take care of our diet to prevent disease in our society, the values are so helpful in making choices for our individual needs.
  5.   [4] I swear to you that there are entire blogs that follow only this sandwich.  One such page is called “Reuben Realm.” Reuben Realm

 

[1] Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan  *Note to self, buy this book.

[2] The Isthmus-The Reuben

[3] Stalzy’s Deli *Note to self, get back to that East Side #keepmadisonweird

______________________________________________________

This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, www.alabama.travel my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier.  I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place  was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/or truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
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