The New Haven for Sandwiches: A Tasty Irish Reuben


So anyone who is from, lived in, or knows anyone who is either from or lived in New Haven will tell you that the best pizza in the world comes from there. New Haven is world famous for its thin crust, brick oven pizza, that you just can’t find anywhere else. Pizza is kind of like a sandwich, if you put two pieces on top of each other right?

Sure. Whatever.

I like Pizza from New Haven and all, but I also like sandwiches (hence, the splitloaves sandwich blog…. ) and I am not going to try and tell you that New Haven should now be known for its sandwiches. I will however tell you that if you are sick of eating really thin crusted pizza with clams and no red sauce and listening to the constant debate over who makes a better pie (Sally’s or Pepe’s), you have some other options. There are places that serve sandwiches in New Haven, as well as the surrounding towns.

One of the places that I went to while I was there was a nice Irish bar named Delaney’s Taproom, and it is a good place to order food, appetizers, and drinks. There have been a couple of changes over the years, but for the most part, the bar hasn’t changed a whole lot. They got a couple of new upgrades recently, and I think they may have spraypainted one of the plants outside so it doesn’t look dead, but the place has character. The staff is really nice, and went out of their way to make me an arnold palmer, when they don’t even have lemonade! How cool is that!?

Anyway, the Menu is pretty basic barfood, but they do something right for sure. they separate burgers and sandwiches! They also have quite a few vegetarian options, as well as an odd mix of fried plantains and other south american tapas type dishes that you wouldn’t expect to find at a place called Delaney’s. Well, I happened to be chatting with one of the managers there, and asked her what her favorite sandwich on the menu was… she suggested the Delaney (the namesake of the restaurant… duh) or the tuna melt. Not eating pig, I didn’t opt for the Delaney (Grilled breast of chicken with Prosciutto, melted Swiss cheese and a Roasted Pepper Aioli.) and not liking tuna, I didn’t opt for that. I was eying the rueben, and asked her what she thought about that….

“Oh yeah,” she exclaimed “I totally forgot about that sandwich. that is the one I would normally use as my go to”… or something like that. I took it as a good answer, so that is what I ordered.

A Grilled Rueben for $7.95: Corned beef & sauerkraut or roast turkey & coleslaw grilled on rye with Swiss cheese and Russian dressing.

Now I don’t know about the two option thing, it kind of threw me off, but I of course went with the classic Corned Beef and Sauerkraut, but I opted for no cheese. I got fried plantains on the side, because they are pretty spectacular, and i haven’t had them in a long time. Emily ordered mussels, so she could be strong, and her sister ordered the pasta that was new to the menu. When the food came, the pasta portion was huge, the mussels could have fed an army, and there were enough plantains on my plate to feed all of Jane Goodall’s apes. The sandwich was a good size, and it wasn’t piled up so high that it was intimidating. The bread was toasted, and at first glance it looked good…. but then I went to pick it up.

Right off the bat, you need to make sure that your sandwich has structure. A good rye bread surely will not disappoint, especially after it has been toasted, but much to my dismay, as soon as I tried to pick it up, all of the careful toasting was ruined, as the sides of the sandwich collapsed. Bread broke into chunks just as the berlin wall was broken down in little bits and pieces. The sauerkraut spilled out a little, and the corned beef wandered out of the pasture…. But once I got over the fact that sandwich had lost its structural integrity, I was ok with that and could focus on the flavors. The Russian Dressing was tangy… more tangy than usual Russian Dressings… and the corned beef was lean, nice thin slices, but not too thin, and the sauerkraut was not to pungent. The bread had a nice crispness and flavor to it, even though it was a little on the thinner side. The combination really didn’t need me desiring anything else to be added to the sandwich, and the fried plantains were an excellent addition to the zest of the dressing and the harshness of the sauerkraut.

Since we were sitting with the manager, who happens to be good friends with my girlfriend, I surely wasn’t going to hold back my sandwich criticisms. Actually, I would probably proclaim them to anyone walking by….
“On first glance, it looks good. And then upon closer inspection, it still looks good….”
“ok… then what?” she asked.
“I went to pick it up…” and i paused. How do I say this without making it seem too harsh. “and it fell apart. Not a good sign right there.”
“Oh… yeah, it is tough to get a sandwich that thick to stay together on that rye bread.”
“no. its not…. you just need slightly thicker bread slices… but with the bread you have, it is very difficult. Especially if it is grilled or toasted”
“ok… what else Mr. Sandwich Man?” she asked jokingly.
“Nothing. that is all…. everything else was great. Good meat, really good dressing, nice flavors. I really like the plantains”
“oh… ok. what grade does it get?”
“I would give it a B… and I am a pretty harsh grader. It would have gotten a B+/A- if it hadn’t fallen apart. Don’t worry, I will still blog about it though…. 🙂 ”

And with that, I recommend going to visit the nice folks at Delaney’s, trying out some of their sandwiches, and definitely go with the fried plantains…. now if you get the pasta special… you probably want to add a lot of parmesan…. I mean, who would go to an irish bar and order pasta? Just kidding. All of their food was pretty tasty there.

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