Saturday, August 13, 2011

#8. Shapiro's Corned Beef

After a long hiatus from the blog, I am finally back. For the past few weeks I was preparing for, enjoying, and recovering from a ten day service/adventure trip to Costa Rica. It was life changing and indescribably perfect,  a wonderful experience to have before going off to college. Now that I am finally caught up on sleep, I am ready to return to blogging.

Playa Rajada in Costa Rica

My first blogging adventure post-return was that of the culinary variety. After 25+ meals of rice and beans (which are fantastic, but I appreciate diversity), I was eager to try something distinctly un-Costa Rican. Shapiro's corned beef definitely delivered.

I met a high school friend and her father for lunch at the popular downtown Indy deli. It was a chance to catch up before going off to school, and Shapiro's cafeteria style service seemed oddly perfect for the farewell. Somehow it felt right to say goodbye to her with a lunch tray in hand.

Shapiro's dining room
While catching each other up on our respective summers, we stood in line and debated what to order. I decided on the classic corned beef sandwich with Swiss and spicy mustard, as well as a serving of macaroni and cheese. My friend ordered chicken salad and chicken noodle soup. Both of our sandwiches were gargantuan and her father graciously paid for our meals.

After selecting an empty table, we hunkered down with our fist-sized sandwiches. The corned beef sandwich was phenomenal: twenty, yes twenty, layers of thinly sliced corned beef, two thick slices of Swiss cheese, and a smattering of spicy brown mustard encased in two slices of fresh rye bread. The zestiness of the rye bread and mustard paired well with the salty corned beef and mild Swiss cheese. Despite the incredible flavor, I could hardly finish half of the sandwich and was glad to bring home leftovers. The macaroni and cheese was a well executed classic version--just what one would expect from a cafeteria style deli. Although nothing novel, I am a sucker for homestyle mac and cheese so I was satisfied with the choice.

While I had great success with my meal, my friend was not crazy about her chicken salad. While not bad, she described it as "chalky." Lesson: when eating at Shapiro's, stick with the corned beef. You can't go wrong.

No matter how full I may be, I can almost always find room for desserts. My friend and I made our way to the pastry case and I ordered a strawberry bar and two rugelachs--one cinnamon and the other chocolate.  While they were not as memorable as the entree, I enjoyed the sweet treats.

Dessert case
Keeping Kosher has always baffled me, as I struggle with even the decidedly less strenuous Lenten sacrifices of Catholicism. A visit to Shapiro's, however, always reminds me that Kosher food can be delicious, too.

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