Last visit: November 2013 (Westlake)
NE Tarrant locations: Grapevine, Westlake
Other location: Denton
November 2013 update: I seem to get over about once or twice a year. Tried the LA at Night this time. Basically like a chili dog but with pastrami instead of a frankfurter.
December 2011 update: Managed to squeeze a visit to one of our favorite deli's earlier this week. They have tons of different sandwiches, so it's always difficult to just pick one. On this visit I tried the Wallstreeter, which is a hot pastrami with Russian dressing - and quite good.
The Weinberger legacy goes back to the early 1950's and a rejuvenated old chicken parts store in Homewood, Illinois. At its zenith, Weinberger's grew to 5 stores and covered the south Chicago suburbs as far as Indiana. A few years after the last store closed, the second generation picked up the name and opened a Chicago styled deli right here in Northeast Tarrant - specifically in old town Grapevine. And we're all the better for it. This was in 2003, coincidentally at the same time the RJG relocated back here from our 10 year stint in Colorado.
Finding authentic Midwest and Northeast deli's of any sort are difficult to find in DFW. It shouldn't be this way, living in such a large metropolis as we do. Of course, the hardest part is using authentic ingredients from locally made produce. Most deli's rely on specific meats, cheeses and breads, of which many of them aren't exported beyond their own city limits, and in some cases, their product may not even be available within the same city! We're not used to this concept here in DFW, where we're used to getting our meats, cheese and bread at the grocery store from national brands. It's our loss. But inroads have been made. Billadelphia's imports product from Philly. And Weinberger's does the same with vendors from Chicago. It's a bit more expensive to do business this way, but it's worth the premium for us consumers.
We've been regular visitors to Weinberger's since about 2004 or so, and nothing has really changed. That is to say, it's always excellent and remains so. Weinberger's offers a range of goodies from sausages to cold and hot subs and "dagwoods". And, of course, they offer that most recognized of Chicago sandwiches: The Italian Beef. Or as it is so proudly painted on any decent Chicago storefront worth its salt -- "BEEF". That's it - just beef. Personally I think Weinberger's is exceptional in all areas, except one, and that's the signature beef sandwich. Maybe it's just a fantasy, or I'm just plain stubborn, but it doesn't remind me of the beef sandwiches I've had in Chicago. It's either the bread or the flavor of the beef, but something is just a little off. That's not to say it isn't good - it is. Just not the same. And maybe that's for the better, as it gives us something to call our own, while giving me a perfectly good excuse to continue to go to Chicago. I could eat in that city for 50 years, and not discover the half of it.
On this visit, I devoured the "Italian" sub, with additional "sport peppers", which were pretty hot actually. And while I was enjoying my sandwich, I spilled mustard all over the Fort Worth Weekly where they apparently just discovered Fernandez Cafe. Are they sneaking a peek over here? That I doubt, but they did a great job actually - and I learned a few things about the Fernandez family. They were also going on about how "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" will be featuring Fred's Cafe in a soon to be aired episode. Is it just me, or is the Regular Joe in fashion now? Perhaps no longer can one afford $45 meals that include a thimbleful of meat and a nice presentation of arugula? Don't forget the $65 bottle of wine...
Back to the topic at hand, Weinberger's comes wholeheartedly recommended. For awhile, they attempted expansion in Watauga and Westlake. The Watauga location, which we visited a couple of times, closed down quickly. It was pretty sterile compared to the original if truth be told. Weinberger's is the kind of place that's worth driving long distances for, so if they do decide to expand again, they should think about Arlington, Dallas or Ft. Worth first.
The Grapevine location is on Main Street, on the primary drag through old town. Definitely an essential stop for deli hounds!