by Holly Fann
Welcome to Lunch Bucket List, a recurring feature in which Gut Check checks out the many lunch specials available at restaurants around town. Know a lunch special we should check out? Drop us a line.
The Place: Kopperman's Delicatessen (386 North Euclid Avenue; 314-361-0100 or www.koppermans.com), a kosher-style deli, is a long-standing institution in an area where restaurants tend to come and go with fads and food trends. Oversized antique circus posters have decorated the walls for ages, and the outdoor seating area is a piece of real estate gold.
The Deal: Kopperman's Kombos, a choice of one of twenty specialty deli sandwiches and potato salad or coleslaw and pickle for $9.95.
With kitschy names such as the "Radishing Beauty" and "Ike and Tina Tuna," the selection of sandwiches is almost overwhelming, but each seems to have been assembled with great thought and a nod toward classic New York-style deli favorites.
Gut Check decided to take on A Brisket, A Basket, a towering pile of smoked brisket, beef tongue, turkey breast and corned beef layered with Muenster and cheddar cheeses and topped with lettuce, tomato and onion on Jewish rye. The sandwich weighs a good two pounds, but upon first bite, it's easy to see why Kopperman's has been around for more than 100 years. Each of the four meats was flavorful and tender. The Jewish rye was downy in the center with a chewy crust, and the veggies added some freshness and crunch. The side of country-style potato salad was creamy and tangy. Even the fat little deli pickle was exceptional.
The Verdict: There seems to be no way to go wrong with any one of the Kopperman's Kombo selections. The amount of food was certainly generous for under $10. Add the sidewalk cafe atmosphere of lunching in the Central West End on a warm afternoon, and you've got yourself one of the best deals in the city.