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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For the Reuben Alone, Morty's Deli Deserves Sainthood

Posted By on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 9:50 AM

click to enlarge Morty's Reuben: It keeps you wondering for hours. - MORTY'S DELICATESSEN
  • Morty's Delicatessen
  • Morty's Reuben: It keeps you wondering for hours.
We went on a vegetarian kick recently, after a sudden epiphany ― grilling lamb chops will do that to you. Then we passed Morty's Deli in the Tenderloin, and it spoke to us in the language of yummy. Suddenly we remembered Tim Brown's Reuben, the best in this town, anyway, self-described "East Coast soul" on decent grilled rye with lashings of sauerkraut, pastrami or beef, melted Swiss, Russian dressing, and a big fat pickle on the side. It's $7.50 but will keep you wondering for hours why it's so delicious. So delicious that we wound up getting sauerkraut on the steering wheel while wondering if that was aniseed ― or even juniper? ― in the rub.

Bare-bones and stripped back, Morty's does takeout, has just started delivery to select areas of the city, and also offers a horseshoe-shaped table in the window or a banquette, high tables, soups from scratch, righteous mac 'n' cheese, beer and wine (that's right, beer and wine!). They even make velvet mini cupcakes. The spinach salad boasts mandarin oranges, jicama, eggs, cranberries, smoked Gouda, candied walnuts, and basil vinaigrette: $7.50, yes, but huge, and you get owner Tim thrown in. Formerly the cook at St. Anthony's, Brown somehow hangs onto his humanity in this city's cockamamie catering world. He deserves his popularity with law students; some day all his parking tickets will be forgiven for this Reuben alone.

Morty's Delicatessen: 280 Golden Gate (at Hyde), 567-3354.

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Elgy Gillespie


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