Deli fans like to believe that the best corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, are served in Manhattan’s delicatessen stores.
There are many credible delis in Montreal, even in Toronto. The question of who exactly started producing corned beef and pastrami has been settled. Eastern European Jewish immigrants brought the secrets of corned beef with them, and Romanian Jews were responsible for the introduction of pastrami.
In Manhattan delis today, menus are long and offer corned beef, pastrami sandwiches on rye bread, Reuben, and many specialties like chicken soup, with matzo balls, borsht, blintzes, kreplach just to name a few specialties.
While we do know exactly who brought corned beef to America, the origin of Reuben sandwich, consisting of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, toasted rye bread and Russian dressing, has never been established with absolute certainty.
Arnold Reuben Jr. the owner o Reuben’s in Manhattan claims that the restaurant’s head chef in the 1930’s created the sandwich for the owner as a surprise for his lunch. In those days, menus were short and one could eat though any of them within a week.
Eventually the sandwich became famous and today practically all delis and many coffee shops serve variations of it.
However there is no proof of the claim!
In Omaha, Nebraska, historians claim that Reuben Kulakofsky, the owner of the Blackstone Hotel was the first to serve a sandwich to late-night poker players circa 1925. The Depression era menu lists Reuben for $ .50 and that provides the proof that Reuben Kulakofsky invented Reuben.