Eat This

Weinberger's Deli: Italian Beef from the Great Beyond

Inside Weinberger's Deli in Denton, pinned to a yellow counter is a sign explaining something along the lines that they reserve the right to be rude. If customers can't take it, they're probably in the wrong place.

I normally can't take it, but I was definitely in the right place. After I ordered the Italian beef sandwich, the guy behind the counter asked how I wanted my meat. Dangerous question. So I asked him what, exactly, he was referring to.

"Well, you could read that sign behind you," he told me. Ouch. And hey, I write manuals on how to get shitty service. I should have a thicker skin than that. "Or, I could walk you through it," he finished. And just like that, he became a better service person than I will ever be.

First, he asked if I wanted my Italian Beef dunked in jus, or have a timid side of the stuff along with my sandwich. Dunked, for sure, dunked, I told him.

Then I got to pick the flavor of the beef (sweet, mild or hot) and whether I wanted it "cheesy." Which, I assumed, with my great big culinary brain, meant smothered in cheese. This looked like a "smothering in cheese" kind of joint. And duh, I want cheese on my sandwich. You could probably melt cheese on shoes and I would eat them.

"So you're wet, mild and cheesy?" He asked me. Yes sir, that's what it says on my profile.

My sandwich came out soaked in meaty, salty jus that had only left the hinges of my bread soggy. The bun was sturdy enough that the juice hadn't percolated through, so a fork and knife were unnecessary (as long as you're not a wuss and not worried about getting your hands messy.) The beef was cut in chewy, spicy bits and tucked in next to a generous handful of peppers. And, as predicted, my sandwich was suffocating under a layer of grated cheese, which had a tendency to slip off into blobs and float in the puddles of meat juice in my tray. And they were, without a doubt, the best thing I've ever eaten. Besides my sandwich, which was, in a word, beyond.

I've only been to Weinberger's once. They say you're supposed to go several times before writing a review, but I wonder if that applies when you're heralding that restaurant as the place to take Christ Himself for lunch. In fact, I can't figure out why anybody would eat anything besides Weinberger's sandwiches. Other than the fact that you would develop gout in a matter of weeks. (Weingber's also has locations in Grapevine and Westlake.)

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Weinberger's Deli 311 East Hickory St. No. 110, Denton

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Brooke Nottingham