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Chicago to Milwaukee, Twixt 3 Corned Beef Sandwiches


A road trip along the the southwest shore of Lake Michigan offers a wild taste-buds adventure (assuming you can get out of Chicago with any appetite remaining ... but that's another story). This trip starts with a great corned beef sandwich at the edge of the Chicago Loop and ends with two corned beef sandwich destinations in Milwaukee, with a potpourri of local treats along the way.

Manny's Coffee Shop
Walker Brothers Pancake House
Kewpee Lunch
Larsen Bakery
Polonez
Three Brothers
Solly's Grille
Leon's
McBob's
Jake's
Manny's Coffee Shop - Chicago , IL
A big, cafeteria-style eatery frequented by cops and wise guys, politicians and business people, and cured-meat lovers from the distant suburbs, Manny’s has a vast menu, but the star of the show is corned beef. Great mountains of the pink, spicy, moist meat are overstuffed into rye bread sandwiches and accompanied, preferably, by crisp potato pancakes.
Walker Brothers Pancake House - Wilmette , IL
Of all the Original Pancake Houses around the country, Walker Brothers is the best. Must eats: the German pancake and apple pancake, both of which are made with egg-rich batter that causes them to puff high above the skillet in which they are baked. The apple pancake, a veritable mesa of breakfast, is a bubbling feast of fruit and cinnamon and tender batter .
Kewpee Lunch - Racine , WI
Sit at counter or dinette tables at Kewpee Lunch and order either a hamburger or a double (or a bowl of good Midwest-style chili). The hamburgers start as a 1/6-pound or 1/3-pound sphere of fresh ground beef that is hand-fashioned into a patty, then flattened on the grill and cooked until crusty brown, finally sandwiched in a toasted bun with condiments of choice.
Larsen Bakery - Racine , WI
Racine, Wisconsin is the home of kringle, a butter-rich, tender-crusted Danish pastry filled with nuts or fruits, formed into giant ring and topped with a sugar glaze or icing. Larsen’s has all different flavors on ints shelves and there usually are samples on the counter to taste.
Polonez - St. Francis , WI
In a city full of superb Eastern European restaurants, Polonez has earned a reputation as one of the best. Everything is no less than magnificent, from homey chicken noodle soup to start the meal to elegant crepes. Decor is all about Polish culture. The waitstaff couldn't be more caring and kind.
Three Brothers - Milwaukee , WI
Roast lamb is a Three Brothers signature dish that is basted four hours in its own juices with tomato, pepper, onion, and garlic, and served just barely on the bone. Poke it with fork tines, and bite-size hunks of meat separate from the haunch and fall into the juice on the plate. The menu describes it as A must for the lamb lover; but we suspect that even non-lamb lovers might find its refined taste irresistible.
Solly's Grille - Milwaukee , WI
Here is the great butter burger of Milwaukee, served on a bun literally dripping with butter. Milk shakes are Dairy State-rich and made in flavors that include chocolate, hot fudge, strawberry, pineapple, vanilla, and the superb fresh banana malt.
Leon's - Milwaukee , WI
Here is an old-fashioned drive-in that is a neon-edged fun ride for anybody with a sweet tooth and an appreciation for the profound goodness of custard. As Leon's makes it, there is virtually no similarity to the wan soft-serve available in national chains outside of America's dairyland.
McBob's - Milwaukee , WI
McBob's is crowded and noisy and the aroma of beer fills the air. There is another smell, too: hot corned beef. While McBob's has its fish fry every Friday (and Wednesday, too), corned beef is on the menu every day; and it is terrific. The fish fry comes with your choice of perch, walleye, or grouper.
Jake's - Milwaukee , WI
Through the lunch hour, Jake's continuously hand-slices corned beef for the surfeit of customers who crowd into the old Jewish deli for sandwiches to eat here or to go. There is no corned beef anywhere so tender and so rapturously luscious. Slices come medium-thick and are piled into slick-crusted, Milwaukee-made seeded rye.

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