I have a confession: I am obsessed with lox. I cannot get enough of it. This obsession has gotten so bad that a few weeks ago I Googled “Jewish Delis, Chicago” in search of every bagel and lox sandwich that exists in this city, purely to satisfy my cravings.
Alas, my Google search led me to Steingold’s of Chicago. Located in the Ravenswood neighborhood, a bit further than I would prefer to venture to calm my compulsions, it’s a gem of a spot. I grabbed my best friend Kelly and convinced her that it would be worth the trip.
We arrived promptly around 11 a.m. on a Sunday and were delighted when there were only two people in front of us in line. I had anticipated a long wait, based on the reviews. The only negative of the experience hit us early on, when the gentleman at the counter informed us that they had just sold out of all fresh bagels for the day.
I was disappointed. However, he quickly led us to the premade bagel and cream cheese sandwiches and told me that the bagels used are fresh daily, and can be made into any of the cold sandwiches on the menu. I had to satisfy my craving, so of course I agreed.
I ordered the Steingold’s classic lox sandwich, on an everything bagel with chive cream cheese, stacked with heirloom tomatoes, red onions, lightly pickled cucumbers and capers. I also made sure to order a side of latkes, served with labneh and apple sauce.
Kelly, who is a vegetarian, ordered the egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. This sandwich can be prepared on the diner’s choice of a bagel, Challah or rye bread. Kelly selected the Challah, because she is a smart gal.
We grabbed our iced coffees and found a table in the beautifully bright space. Just minutes after sitting down our orders arrived at the table, and I could not wait a single second longer. There was a bagel and lox sandwich sitting in front of me.
This sandwich was everything I had been dreaming about in the days leading up to our visit, and the bagel did not disappoint. The bagel was wonderfully topped with the everything seasoning, without overpowering all of the other accoutrements.
Kelly’s egg, Challah, and Swiss cheese sandwich, was very noteworthy. I am no stranger to Challah, but this sandwich was perhaps the fluffiest Challah I have ever seen. The egg and cheese was wonderfully paired and moist, as Challah, with all of its fluffy, can often make for a dry sandwich.
The latkes were my favorite part of the meal. When they arrived at the table I eyed their rather dark coloring, wondering if the were overcooked. Boy, was I wrong. The latkes were the absolute best I’ve ever had. They were so crispy on the outside, and just shy of gooey on the inside. Both of the dips were tasty, but I preferred the labneh to the applesauce. Not surprising, as I tend to veer on the side of savory and the more cream, the better in my book.
The Bitches say: A-. Aside from the absence of fresh bagels, we experienced excellent service along with tasty dishes. This traditional Jewish deli is now a staple on our list of go-tos.
Steingold’s of Chicago serves brunch Monday through Wednesday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday and Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Steingold’s of Chicago