Thursday, September 6, 2007

Carson Street Deli, Pittsburgh

Carson Street Deli
Voted Best Deli in Pittsburgh

Living on the west coast (and north of Jerry's Famous Deli), it's hard to get good deli, and sometimes the Philly boy in me misses it. Of course, if you don't eat beef then you miss out on the best stuff (pastrami and corned beef), but you can still get ham on rye, a good pickle, good deli mustard, and so on.

So when we were visiting Pittsburgh, we made a detour to the South Side to visit Pittsburgh's Best Deli (by some vote). The Carson Street Deli is located at Carson and 16th in the middle of a nice Bohemian-upscale neighborhood that looks like it would be fun to explore on a day when most of it wasn't closed (as it was on Labor Day, when we went).

Still, like a good deli should be, Carson Street was open on the holiday, and so we trooped in. The "outdoor patio seating" advertised on CitySearch turned out to be a couple plastic tables; the inside space is half taken up by the deli counter, with four tall tables crammed between drink coolers in the other half. It has a great "deli" feel to it--a deli should be all counter--and a great menu to choose from. You can either build your own sandwich or order one of their specials. We got sandwiches like the "Schnickelheimer" (egg salad, ham, and cheese on a croissant) and the "Mark Cuban" (ham and chicken with Swiss melted over it). All the sandwiches came with a pickle spear (good).

The bite I had of the Schnickelheimer was quite tasty--the egg salad was standard, good ham and cheese. But a croissant just isn't a deli bread. Similarly, the "Mark Cuban," though a good sandwich, was on a soft white roll. I think next time I would get it again but ask them to make it on rye bread. We tried the Buffalo Chicken Ranch as well, and that was interesting because the Buffalo Chicken in it was a chicken salad, which I quite liked.

Overall, the sandwiches were good. We didn't get to try Primanti Brothers, which comes up #1 and #2 when you Google "sandwich pittsburgh," but that's first on the list for next trip. We'll see how they compare! Standing on its own, we would definitely go explore the Carson Street area again, and wouldn't mind having lunch at the deli, but I doubt we'd go out of our way to eat there. Unless the rye bread is just amazing, next time.

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