Thursday, April 26, 2012


Ok, so I finally went to Shapiro’s. Well I had been as a child, and maybe even a teenager, but that was, *ahem*, awhile ago so really it was like a first visit.  And I am just going to preface this whole post by saying, honestly, this isn’t my favorite kind of food—I know a lot of people live for the whole New York style deli sandwiches, but I am not one of them (sorry).  But everyone said to get corned beef in some fashion, so I let hubby order that while I focused on some other things (based pretty exclusively on twitter recommendations).

So I had the meatloaf meal ($10.25) with macaroni and cheese and bread.  Several people had recommended the meatloaf and I can understand why even though it isn’t something I eat a lot.  The ground beef was about as juicy as meat in a loaf can be—very tender.  Of course it was drenched in a tomato sauce which probably helped keep it that way, but even when you cut into it, the middle was very tender.  I am not so sure about the tomato paste based sauce—I think I am a traditionalist with meatloaf and prefer a little sauce on the top of the loaf, and not so much that the slice of meatloaf floats in it.  But that is just a matter of preference I guess.  The mac and cheese was interesting—very creamy in a different kind of way.  I am guessing maybe they use a lot of sour cream in the mix—it was not as cheesy as most mac and cheese I have had.  My favorite part (as always) was the crunchy slightly burnt noodle parts on the top.  I think if I went back, I would ask for extra burnt parts.
Ideally, hubby wanted to get half a Reuben and a cup of soup (they do have these types of combos) but apparently they don’t do it with the Reuben.  So he ended up with just the Reuben ($12.05).  We knew when we went that we were going to get a giant overstuffed sandwich at Shapiro’s and we did.  I am not a big fan of sandwiches that don’t fit in my mouth, but as we discussed it, we realized one of the reasons that maybe they put so much meat on it is because the bread itself is not very big—so maybe in order to get the equivalent amount of meat that you would get in a larger sandwich bread-wise, they started adding more meat?  Just a theory.  But regardless, for both of us the proportions were off.  With all that meat, it was hard to taste the sauerkraut and the thousand island dressing, which is what makes a Reuben unique right? All of the ingredients were good—the corned beef very good.  But it is just not our style of sandwich.  The rye bread, incidentally, which I also got with my meatloaf, was also very good—nice rye flavor and a crispy crust.
I did get a piece of the marble cake with chocolate icing ($3.95) which was actually probably my least favorite thing.  The cake was a bit dry and the icing too sweet—I hardly tasted the chocolate flavor because of the pure powdered sugar flavor. 
And yes, the portions are huge, and that is what people expect at Shapiro’s.  I didn’t eat even half of what I ordered.  (Hubby did eat his whole sandwich though, minus some of the meat).  And yes, the prices are pretty high ($12 for a sandwich) for lunch.  My overall thoughts?  It’s obviously an Indy tradition, and people go there for sentimentality I think (and good corned beef).  We wondered how well it would do if it opened now for the first time.  The food is honest, basic food.  Nothing was bad, and for me, nothing was great.  Would it be a place I would go a lot?  Nope.  And most of the people in there were older than I am.  I think people go for comfort and sentimentality as much as they go for the food.  But who knows, maybe some people are really passionate about the food there.  Tell me what you think.
918 South Rangeline (and there is one downtown and one at the airport)
Carmel, IN 46032

Shapiro's Deli (Carmel) on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm with you, Erin. Especially the part about not enjoying a sandwich as much if it doesn't fit in your mouth.
    I would say the place is about tradition also, but I'm always hearing about New Yorkers who are amazed that Indy has a place that is so traditionally New York Deli style. So it must be good as far as delis go, but I guess I'm just not crazy about deli food.

  2. When you asked about it on Twitter, I was going to make a snarky comment, but I held off. I think their rye bread is great. I like the corned and peppered beef so long as I can cut the fat off the brisket before I eat it. It's way over-priced and over-rated.

  3. I doubt if I ever go back. Not impressed at all. My wife and I took two of our daughters there a few months ago, one daughter got the chicken noodle soup which I considered awful...I mean not even as good as Campbell's soup awful. My reuben was decent, corned beef was a little dry but ok. I wasn't impressed with anything that we got and based on what we paid it wasn't worth it at all.

    Sorry Shapiro's...but I'm not sure what the attraction is.

  4. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who doesn't "get" Shapiro's. I've only been once but my sandwich was mediocre at best and definitely over priced. I also ordered chocolate peanut butter cake, but was very disappointed that I couldn't taste anything but sugar. I have no idea how this restaurant survives.

  5. Peppered beef on rye - and depending on a combination of the crustiness of the person behind the counter and my initiative, I will ask for the peppered beef to be lean. Hey, some people like the fat - to each their own.

    I think their prices are high, but a solid corned beef, pastrami or peppered beef is something that I do not feel like I can easily replicate in my kitchen (good as Boars Head deli meats are).

  6. We go there from time to time and get one thing: a reuben to share (I don't know how anyone could eat a whole one themselves). In my opinion, they really make a great reuben. Almost everything else I've tried has been middling, so I just stick to the reuben these days.

  7. wow, kinda surprised at how many people seem to agree with me. Sounds like maybe it is surviving on tradition.

  8. Yeah, I'm the one who replied on Twitter that I've been getting the same sandwich there since I was a child. It definitely holds good memories of going with grandparents. And, since it was my first exposure to that type of food, now anything else in that genre tastes wrong. Their sandwich is what a deli sandwich *should* taste like to me. Food can be funny like that.

  9. I always get the chicken salad sandwich on sourdough bread. It's definitely the best chicken salad I've had (save for maybe the curry chicken salad at Barcelona Tapas). The cheesecake is really really good too. It's one of those places where you have to find the right meal for you- not everything is universally appealing there, but once I found what I liked, I was sold.

  10. You didn't "get it" because you were not downtown at the South Meridian Street location.

    For some reason it's always better there at the first Shapiro's. lol