The approach of St. Patrick’s Day means we’ll soon be seeing a lot of green “Kiss me, I’m Irish” shirts (regardless of heritage), green beer and corned beef and cabbage. Corned beef at St. Patrick’s Day has become an American tradition.
Once considered a luxury food in Ireland, corned beef became popular as an alternative to the very expensive bacon when Irish immigrants came to America. The affordability and mass amounts that were available became associated with Ireland, launching the idea of St. Patrick’s Day and corned beef together.
Corned beef is typically made from brisket and is soaked in a brine for many days (at least a week). The “corned” comes from an old term for salt. The salt in the brine helps preserve the meat and prevents it from developing harmful bacteria. It’s often served as a corned beef sandwich, which is just meat and bread. A Reuben sandwich adds Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut and cheese. Sometimes it’s served plain with a side of cabbage, or in a hash with potatoes for breakfast.
While many of you in the Cleveland area might have different feelings about which deli sells the best corned beef, here are our picks for the top three places to get corned beef in northeast ohio, in no particular order.
Located on St. Clair Avenue near downtown Cleveland, Slyman’s is known for its huge corned beef sandwiches. The restaurant’s reputation is big enough to attract celebrities and presidents.
Hot corned beef sandwich, giant hot corned beef, pastrami and Reuben sandwiches: All variations of the same meat, all served at Cleveland Corned Beef Company, and all delicious. This hot spot is located on Pearl Road. If you’re interested in trying its breakfast, you’ll have to go on Sunday.
Two words: “Jaw Breaker.” This is Danny’s Deli’s take on the piled-high corned beef sandwich. Danny’s also makes a Reuben version. Also located on St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland, try the Jaw Breaker if you dare. If you’re not quite that hungry, Danny’s has smaller versions of the sandwiches and a hot roast beef.
Whether you’re trying to get in touch with your Irish roots or just have a hankering for corned beef, give these places a try. While this is our take on the top three, you might find another hidden corned beef gem.
As you get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, remember that while corned beef is tasty, it’s not good to make it a part of your regular diet; try balancing it with cabbage or a side salad as healthy side dishes .Try our free guide for eating healthy.
Photo courtesy of: Cleveland Corned Beef Copany.