Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dying Delis? Not in the Sloop

The Sun-Times had an article today titled "The Disappearing Delis" which highlights a trend of Jewish delis that are closing up shop throughout Chicago and the nation. However, the Sloop seems to be bucking this trend as it's home to two delis (which are also featured in the article). Arguably the most popular Jewish Deli in the area is Manny's (1141 S. Jefferson) which also happens to be in our hood. A younger looking Mr. Obama used to frequent Manny's as you can see by this picture on the right with Mayor Daley.

The other and probably not as popular spot is Eleven City Diner (1112 S. Wabash), which is solid in our opinion, but definitely doesn't have the reputation or history of Manny's (and other delis for that matter).

According to the article, the theory causing the death of delis is the unwillingness of younger generations to carry on the family business (which the parent often encourage):
“The original [delis] were the business of immigrants, and there aren’t Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe anymore,” says Sax, 30, a Toronto native who noshed at 150 of the nation’s major and minor delis over the course of three years to research his book, in stores next week.

“A lot of them, the parents got into it ... so that they could give their kids a step up and get them to go to college and become professionals and lawyers and doctors and bankers. And that’s what happened to a lot of them, and then the delis closed down. Because it’s hard to pass that on to someone. And even when you do, when you sell it to someone else or pass it on to a manager, it’s never the same as someone from the family owning it. They might have a love for the food, but it’s not their name on the sign.”

Regardless of whether or not this is actually a proven theory, it seems reasonable to us. With that in mind cherish the deli!

Speaking of delis, let's not forget another favorite, Panozzo's (1303 S. Michigan), which is a great Italian deli in the neighborhood. All the delis bring unique character to the hood and we like that.

One more thing. If you go to Manny's try the Corned us!


Anonymous said...

Eleven City Diner and all it's faux Heebness can kiss my Gentile ass!

The owner is beyond rude and inappropriate.

The prices are way too high considering the middle-of-the-road menu.

Scrumpy said...

Yeah, I'm not the biggest Eleven City Diner fan either. Neat space, but my try at brunch hasn't inspired me to return.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Eleven City Diner could be a great place. The owner is a joke - I don't know what he is trying to prove but he is rude and completely obnoxious! The only time I eat there is when he isn't around - but then still it is a last resort cause the prices are outrageous for what you get! Really too bad cause we need good restaurants in the South Loop!

Anonymous said...

The owner @ 11 city is the most uptight caucasian douchebag ever. His "costumes" are incredibly douchebaggy. He's the typical north shore poser.

Lance Uppercut said...


I want to love Eleven City Diner but the guy that runs the place keeps me from doing so. The host/hostess/waitstaff always seem so pleasant despite being lorded over by a severe mental defective .

Prices could be more "working man" friendly and the menu could use some work . . . no meatloaf or pies?

Generally, when I see the "Head Honcho" flitting around, I keep walking and head over to Bongo Room or Yolk.

resident said...

I completely agree with everything being said about the 11 City Diner owner. I keep waiting to either the food or service to justify this pompus brick.