Foodgoat & I finally ventured into Jack's Deli, a longstanding family-owned "corned beef haven" just down the street, and which always seems full (even on an early weekday night). Jack's reminded me of the little deli we went to in Las Vegas, which was meant to remind me of traditional, old-style New York neighborhood deli. The menu was huge and filled with odd (at least to me) dishes like chopped liver, gelite fish, and bagels for dinner.
And lots of corned beef. To Foodgoat's chagrin, corned beef to me is crumbly and comes out of a can. He'd like to banish the image of my family and I happily eating a big dish of canned corn beef and cabbage right in front of him, but it's burned into his brain for eternity.
But at Jack's Deli, of course, corned beef looks like thinly sliced pieces of meat. Thinly sliced pieces of meat (6 inches) piled up high on top of my two potato pancakes (1 inch). Served with sour cream (Good) AND applesauce (good but unexpected).
But what really surprised me at Jack's was my drink. I ordered a Chocolate Phosphate because I had never heard of it and because I wanted to order a drink that sounds like it belongs in a chemistry lab.
I got a soda glass filled with dark brown liquid and bubbles on top that resembled the surface of the brain. Mmm!
Apparently, chocolate phosphates are a regional thing - perhaps even a just local Cleveland thing.
A phosphate is a carbonated drink, made from carbonated soda water, flavored syrups and phosphoric acid, an ingredient still used today in many brands of soda (or pop, if you really insist on calling it that). Soda jerks kept the phosphate in a shaker bottle (like hot sauce or worchestershire) and added a few drops to each drink.
The first sip: freaky bizarre. A little too bubbly. I felt like chocolate powder and water was going up my nose, and that's not tasty.
The second sip: better. Like watery chocolate milk, without the creamy taste and texture of milk. The chocolate powder still didn't feel fully mixed in though.
The third sip: Foodgoat suggested putting in the ice that the waitress left for it. I dropped it in, swirled it around and sipped. A ha! Much better. Chocolatey! Refreshing! Phosphatey!
The conclusion: I like chocolate, but I'm not so fond of the chocolate phosphate. Not so much because of the taste, though, but the texture. But chocolate to me should be rich and creamy, not watery and bubbly. In the phosphate, chocolate just doesn't match.