Proudly serving since “1948,” Market House Meats is a meat shop and deli specializing in corned beef & pastrami. The first time I saw the huge “CORNED BEEF” sign calling in hungry patrons off the street, I immediately added it to my little list of places to try. Conveniently located on Minor Ave, it’s an extremely popular spot for people working nearby to drop in for some delicious sandwiches. Entering the shop, you immediately notice a meat cooler filled with their vacuum sealed meats for sale and a small sign instructing sandwich goers to circle whichever sandwich you want and write your name on top. To make it even simpler, they only offer about four different sandwiches; famous Reuben, pastrami (hot or cold), corned beef (hot or cold), barbecue brisket and currently a Philly cheese steak. Here’s what I ordered on two separate visits.
storefront off minor and howell
grilled reuben: house cured corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, thousand island on marble rye $8.95
This was a great reuben! The corned beef was flavored awesomely with a perfect balance in their brine. They don’t skimp on the portions either – each sandwich had a mountainous mound of meat between the marble rye. The sauerkraut wasn’t too salty and accompanied the corned beef and swiss cheese perfectly. The one thing I noticed that took away from the sandwich is the fact that they put the grilled sauerkraut directly on the bread – causing the bottom slice of my sandwich to become extremely soggy from the juices. Perhaps having the meat and sauerkraut to be tossed/heated together could be a way to prevent this from happening – like in this video here.
pastrami & corned beef sandwich with swiss $8.95
The menu offers either a corned beef or pastrami sandwich, but you can get it mixed – which is what I got. You can also choose to have it cold or warmed – I went with the latter. Again, they piled meat (pastrami & corned beef) very high and topped it with melted swiss cheese. Like the reuben, both the pastrami and corned beef were rich in flavor and very filling. The bread was warmed and did a pretty good job keeping everything together. These sandwiches came with a side of lettuce, tomato, onion which I slipped in between everything and came together well. Instead of potato salad, I went with the coleslaw this time which was very average. Pre-packaged slaw mix topped with some dressing.
As for the the sandwiches, I had no problem either one – both flavorful, fresh and filling. It was the employee making my pastrami/corned beef sandwich on my second visit, that turned me way off. It’s important to note, that everything made behind the counter is clearly visible and conversations can be heard anywhere you stand. As the older man began making my sandwich, he started grumbling angrily about how tired he was… something along the lines of “…I’ve been working 15-hours and have another f*ckin 14 to go!” The younger worker (who I believe is an owner from the video I posted), stood silently, as did I, and watched the old man prepare my sandwich. I heard him complaining about how “everything is empty”, when he had to refill the coleslaw and dressing after he mistakenly put potato salad in my order. I then watched him attempt to throw the to-go box, with the potato salad, away into a large garbage 6-inches away… he missed… horribly. This failed attempt obviously further upset the already disgruntled deli man, resulting in him forcibly shoving the box down into the garbage. At this point he’s causing a spectacle, and the older woman who finished cashing someone out stood to watch the show. Personally, I don’t mind frustration at work, but if everything you do & prepare is in the open for customers to see, please put on your big-boy pants and act with some professionalism. There’s nothing more unprofessional and displeasing to see as a customer, than a grown man well into his 50’s, stomp around throwing tantrums because he’s tired. I didn’t see anyone holding him captive and he wasn’t some indentured servant… go home if you missed nap time! Mind you, everything he’s done up until this point has been with the same pair of disposable gloves, so the next thing he does next really left me perplexed. He walked over to the sink to wring out a wash rag for some unknown reason, then without changing gloves, finished making my sandwich… grabbing the heated bread, placing the meats and then putting into box. Can you say, health code violation?! Now I am not naive to the fact this kind of stuff this happens all time time all over – but behind walls of the kitchen. It’s different when you see it first hand… I should have asked for a new sandwich made to Health Department Stands, but I didn’t feel like stirring an already hostile pot… I was also in a rush & grumpy because I too, missed my nap time with my warm milk.