Cari Taylor-Carlson

No One Can Beat McBob’s Corned Beef

And oh those Reubens. It’s the best corned beef in town.

By - Dec 5th, 2016 01:37 pm
McBob’s Pub & Grill. Photo by Joey Grihalva.

McBob’s Pub & Grill. Photo by Joey Grihalva.

Corned beef rules at McBob’s. I used to think the corned beef sandwich at Jake’s Delicatessen on West North Avenue won the day, until I discovered an awesome version at The Wicked Hop in the Third Ward. Not to diminish those memorable sandwiches, but after several visits to McBob’s, I stand corrected: no one can beat McBob’s.

This is not a sandwich intended for a neatnik. Chunks, not tidy slices of tender corned beef, stuffed inside light or marble rye, collapse on my plate with every bite. After checking with my server, I learn every corned beef or reuben sandwich on the regular menu holds a half pound of meat. The Mini Reuben on the Appetizers menu contains a mere quarter pound.

I can’t comment on the plain sandwich because when I eat at McBob’s, I choose the Reuben on toasted marble rye with sauerkraut, horseradish mustard, and melted swiss. Traditional thousand island in the sandwich is nice, but that horseradish mustard pulls it together while adding extra zing. Damn, it’s good! A sandwich I dream about when I’m hungry. It comes with nice fresh chips, which is enough, unless you want the deluxe, an additional $2.00 for American fries, a cup of soup, or a small salad.

Don’t want a sandwich? Check the menu. There are more ways to enjoy that corned beef at McBob’s. Irish Meatloaf stuffed with corned beef and bacon topped with swiss is available every day except Tuesday and Thursday. If it sounds like a winner, and even more corned beef sounds better, take a look at the Farmer’s Dinner, corned beef served with American fries, sautéed spinach with onion, and a slice of bacon bread. Or, you could try the Irish Spring Roll, corned beef rolled inside a flour tortilla along with, what else — sauerkraut, swiss, and some horseradish mustard. For a few extra calories, all that deliciousness is fried and served with more horseradish mustard on the side.

At breakfast (you could read the menu for hours, it’s complicated), recycled corned beef turns up as hash in The McGinnity. The McBenedict features toasted marble rye topped with corned beef, two poached eggs, and house made hollandaise. For a hit of plain corned beef, find Ala Carte where it’s served sliced for $5.50 or for a meal at home, $12.00 buys a quart of the hash.

There’s lots more good stuff worth a mention coming out of the kitchen in this bar that doubles as a restaurant. On Taco Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, a chef mans a grill in the front of the bar and churns out dozens, maybe hundreds of burritos described on the menu as “tacos.” Beef or chicken, $4.50 or $5.00, come wrapped in a twelve-inch flour tortilla stuffed with lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, black olives and ranch dressing. To make sure we get our money’s worth, the chef piles on the meat. For the price of a chicken taco, you can have both meat and chicken. It’s a one pound monster-cheap. My friend and I unroll the giant tortilla and eat the thing with a fork.

No one can beat McBob’s. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

No one can beat McBob’s. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

The meat, also available in Taco Salad, Nachos, or a Quesadilla, might be the reason customers pack the restaurant at lunchtime on those “Taco” days. I leave unimpressed with the monster and agree with my friend who says as she scrapes the last of the chicken off her tortilla, “I like the ones at Mexican restaurants better, but, it is a lot of food for the money.”

On an earlier visit I sampled Joey’s Changa, beef, cheese, onions, and taco dip rolled inside a small flour tortilla and fried, another variation on the Mexican theme. I did not appreciate the puddle of grease underneath the changa.

At that same lunch, my friend scored with a bowl of the daily soup, Turkey Noodle. It tasted homemade, as if it started with a leftover carcass from Thanksgiving. It came in a bowl about a big as a dishpan, stuffed with chunks of turkey breast meat, a few noodles, and some corn and celery.

Unfortunately, it was the “Daily” soup. No promises for a speedy return.

As I read the menu, I notice the italics that tell me everything isn’t available every day. While you can’t get a taco on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, you can order a Fish Fry on Wednesday and Friday. Or, to start the weekend, look for Clam Chowder, available only on Friday. Don’t plan on soup or chili on the weekend. Sandwiches and burgers are available every day. Like I said, it’s complicated.

I’ll pass on that taco/burrito thing but I will never, ever, tire of the Reuben!

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4 thoughts on “Dining: No One Can Beat McBob’s Corned Beef”

  1. John Vebber says:

    Wrong. Benji’s is the best.

  2. Casey says:

    Phuah! Benji’s is ok but way over priced. I’d take McBobs or Jake’s over Benji’s any day

  3. Daddy says:

    I’m a former Benji’s adherent but it’s quality has dramatically declined in the last few years. No question McBob’s reigns king. I look forward to my next visit.

  4. Dakota says:

    I’ll try McBobs. Look forward to a good Corned Beef.

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