Slyman’s Restaurant

Review by: Michael Stern

Jake’s in Milwaukee, Manny’s in Chicago, and Shapiro’s in Indianapolis are all worthy contenders for the nation’s corned beef crown. To that list, add what is billed as “the biggest and the best corned beef sandwich” in Cleveland, as served by Slyman’s.

A vintage deli on the near East Side, it is open only for breakfast and lunch, the morning menu including such temptations as a corned beef omelet and a corned beef, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich; but it is the heap of beef between slices of rye that is the star. It is indeed gigantic — one of those steroidal deli sandwiches way too big to pick up and eat in any normal way. As is custom in so many urban heartland delis, the meat is very thinly sliced; and while it glistens, I wish it had been fattier and spicier. It is tender, but lacks the lasciviousness of well-striated corned beef. That is perhaps why Slyman’s Rueben is so popular. The addition of melty cheese and sauerkraut plus a crisp crust of griddled rye add wanton luxury.

A fun thing about eating at Slyman’s is its lingo for ordering a corned beef sandwich. Natural means plain. Mummy gets you mayonnaise and mustard. Smurf is Swiss cheese and mustard. Ask for whack and it will come on whole wheat instead of rye. Strangest of all is grill brick: buttery-crisp, griddle-sizzled rye with no corned beef whatsoever.

Culturally, an intriguing place. It looks and sounds like a normal urban delicatessen. There’s a sandwich-prep area towards the front where the corned beef slicing machine seems never to stop, a short counter in back, and a small dining room to the right. Room tone is boisterous and happy. Waitresses are no-nonsense, and the guys behind the counter are full of joie de vivre. The menu is classic Jewish (non kosher), but brochures at the cash register invite customers to get to know Allah better and the menu includes praise to Jesus in the form of a reference to John 3:16.

Directions & Hours

8am - 2:30pm
  • Monday: 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Corned Beef Reuben

DISH
Corned Beef Sandwich

DISH
Hot Beef Dinner

DISH
Chicken Noodle Soup

DISH
Hot Pastrami Sandwich

DISH
Corned Beef Hash

DISH

Slyman’s Restaurant Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Slyman’s Restaurant?

2 Responses to “Slyman’s Restaurant”

Linda Walsh

July 26th, 2011

I pulled up to Slyman’s not realizing they close at 2:00 p.m., and was intrigued by the six to eight men literally running from their cars to the deli door. I didn’t know what was going on, but now I know they were worried about not getting their sandwiches before the doors closed. I sqeaked in under the wire although I had to take my corned beef sandwich to go, because the dining room was closed and they were locking the door.

Back at my hotel I discovered it was the biggest, leanest corned beef sandwich I had ever seen. They actually included an extra piece of rye bread with the sandwich, knowing, I guess, that many people could not possibly get their mouths around this beauty. You can use the bread to make another fat half of sandwich and still have the thickest corned beef sandwich ever! Yum from a Chicago girl who also knows her corned beef.

Reply

Jonathan Maxwell

November 8th, 2007

Slyman’s is a deli located in Cleveland, Ohio. They have been serving corned beef for about 40 years. Let me say that there is a reason why the website brags that they are “Cleveland’s favorite deli.” You can find some of the BEST corned beef here. Unfortunately, they are only open until 2:00 for dining inside; however, they do open at 6 AM for breakfast. I’m sure breakfast is good here too, but the corned beef is their specialty!

Bring someone with you, because you will need two people to eat one of their sandwiches (the sign brags they have “Cleveland’s biggest corned beef sandwich”; in fact, it probably is the biggest in the state of Ohio!). You can get a plain corned beef sandwich, but the Reuben is the one to get. It is grilled, with sauerkraut and cheese, but it still has the full flavor of their corned beef. Located not far from downtown Cleveland, Slyman’s is a must!

Reply

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