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Jake's famous corned beef on rye.
Jake's famous corned beef on rye.
People line up for lunch in front of the tiny storefront.
People line up for lunch in front of the tiny storefront.

Jake's Deli makes Grand entrance

When I heard that the venerable North Side institution that is Jake's Deli was coming to the Grand Avenue Mall, my first question was "why?"

But, if you stop to think about it, it makes sense. Most of the action in the mall is at the food court, and I've never met a Milwaukeean who doesn't love Jake's – but doesn't always find the time to schlep to 16th and North Ave. to eat there.

Today, I gave the new Jake's a try, and you know what? The tiny storefront below the food court tastes exactly like Jake's. Which is awesome.

I ordered a corned beef sandwich on rye with mustard for $8.24 and attempted to complement that with a bowl of matzo ball soup. Oddly, Jake's was out of matzo ball soup at 11:30 a.m., so I went with chips and an iced tea.

Having grown up on the North Shore, I'm more of a Benji's man when it comes to corned beef and matzo ball soup, but Jake's is a close second – and heads and shoulders above whatever comes in third place in Milwaukee.

To me, Jake's corned beef is a little fattier than Benji's, but there is an option for "extra lean" for a buck more. I might try that next time.

Still, I'm super-excited that Jake's has made its way Downtown. The original location should be on every Milwaukeeans' must eat list. But to know that the food of my people is this close to my office? Oy vey. I'll be back. Often.

Talkbacks

devidia | Jan. 8, 2013 at 12:49 p.m. (report)

"Corned beef on rye with mustard with matzo ball soup"? Maybe it's just me but that sounds like a Seinfeldian lunch.

Good, but Seinfeldian.

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spencerb | Jan. 6, 2013 at 3:10 p.m. (report)

34889 A group of friendly employees with plenty of seating right in front of the deli.

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TosaJim | Jan. 3, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. (report)

I've been going to Jake's on North Avenue for many years...I usually order a half corn beef and a half pastrami sandwich...with a bowl of the soup....(kinda looks like dirty dish water with "stuff" floating in it)...gotta have the soup to complete the experience. :)

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buck | Jan. 3, 2013 at 1:55 p.m. (report)

corned beef from benji's. pastrami from jake's.

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