Restaurant Review: Izzy’s in Cincinnati, Ohio

Izzy's Cincinnati Review at
There is something about the promise of an awesome Reuben sandwich that sucks me in every time. Izzy’s in Cincinnati, Ohio, claims to sell “world famous Reubens”—and we frequently visit the Cincinnati area and have never tested the claim? Izzy’s, originally a downtown Cincinnati deli, now has deli style restaurants throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. During a recent trip to the riverfront, we were able to check out Izzy’s and their Reuben claims at the Beechmont Avenue location. What did we think of Izzy’s?  

A deli—for dinner? The family posed a little resistance with my plan for Izzy’s deli sandwiches for dinner. Heading to a sandwich shop brought images of Subway—not our usual choice for a sit-down, family dinner. When we arrived at the Anderson Township, Beechmont Avenue Izzy’s—and discovered that it was literally a dot on the end of a strip mall—the husband and the girls were not initially pleased with my selection. Luckily, everyone was too hungry and tired to put up much of a fuss!

Izzy's on Beechmont Avenue in Cincinnati from

We were inside Izzy’s—now what? When we entered, we were not sure what to do or where to go. There was an obvious take-out ordering counter, but lots of diner style, eat-in tables as well. There were no signs indicating whether we ordered at the counter, waited to be seated or selected our own table. There was one busy server and one visible cook/cashier. With locals—who evidently knew where to go and what to do—staring at the four of us—we caught the cashier’s attention and were advised to seat ourselves. After the initial strip mall grumbles and confusion—we were seated and ready for what turned out to be a dining experience worth repeating.
Izzy's Cincinnati Menu from a review at

Menus were on the table—and within seconds, the one server brought out the kids’ menus and a small container of Kosher Dill Pickle slices. No—not squishy, sandwich dill pickle slices—but, cucumber dill pickle slices. Crunchy, fresh, and seasoned well—we were off to a good start.

Kosher Dill Pickles at Izzy's Cincinnati from

“Mommy—kids eat free on Saturdays,” announced our speed reading middle child. We had no idea of the promotional special—so that was a nice Saturday evening surprise.

Now—what to eat? One of us obviously had to order a Reuben. Not the Reubenator (a double-decker, reuben) or the 110 Reuben (a 5-pound, food competition style Reuben)—but, a normal mom or dad-sized sandwich. Unfortunately, there were so many sandwich options on the menu; we had a really tough time choosing only two! I am not really sure what triggered the husband’s immediate zoning in on the Joe Walter Combo. I would like to think it was the ingredients—but, having grown up near Cincinnati (and Cincinnati sports)—it could have simply been name related. We opted for grilled sandwiches—I am not a soft, soggy sandwich bread fan no matter how premium the ingredients. I prefer them grilled or toasted.  The sandwiches at Izzy's were served with potato pancakes—and the kid’s menu selections were served with  babycakes (mini potato pancakes).

Time for an odd question from the server—would we like a side of thousand island dressing for the potato cakes? The husband and I exchanged glances. What? For the potato cakes? Since it seemed to be the standard request….ummm... Sure? For the record—if you visit Izzy’s and the server asks (or fails to ask) if you would like Thousand Island dressing for your potato pancake—request your own cup. Once you try it—you will not want to share with the rest of the table. 

How was the food at Izzy’s. Okay—the Reuben was awesome. It was absolutely loaded with meat, cheese and sauerkraut. As we typically do, the husband and I split the sandwiches so that we each had the opportunity to try both.
Izzy's Cincinnati World Famous Reuben from http://www.amamascorn

While the Reuben certainly stands up to any I’ve had—the Joe Walter Combo was my favorite of the two sandwiches.  The husband has a knack for quickly sifting through a menu and striking gold!

Izzy's Cincinnati Joe Walter Combo from

But—the potato pancake was absolutely the best. I have made potato cakes for years. My grandma fried unbelievable potato cakes—but, Izzy’s potato cakes were truly amazing—especially dipped in Thousand Island dressing. I had never considered the potato/Thousand Island combo—but, now I crave it.

Final thoughts on our review of Izzy's in Cincinnati? I would certainly eat at Izzy’s again—probably as take out since the atmosphere is nothing necessarily special. I would like to visit the original, downtown location since I'm sure that the environment may be a little more nostalgic and interesting. I do not think I will ever drive by an Izzy’s without stopping at least for a potato cake!

Izzy's on Urbanspoon

For more information on Izzy's: 
Visit Izzy's Website
Check out the Anderson Township Izzy's on Beechmont Avenue--or find another location

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