Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Frances' Deli

Location: 2552 N. Clark
Cost: $13 per person

So I'm on my pediatrics rotation which takes place at CMH in Lincoln Park. For a few days I worked at an outpatient clinic on Clark and Deming. Another buddy of mine, Mike Heller, was at the same location, and one day we were given an extra long mid day break. We decided to grab lunch nearby at Frances' Deli.

Frances' is a two room setup on Clark. When we went for lunch we were practically the only people in there. The service was pretty good although not that quick for a lunch spot on a weekday. Also, our waitress didn't seem all that knowledgeable. When I asked what they're known for, she explained to me that it's a "Jewish" deli place and that I should get the corned beef (she used finger quotations around the word Jewish and had a weird tone in her voice [I don't think she realized we were Jewish, but I also don't know how she could mistake Heller's curls for anything else]).

The cost is what I'd expect for a place serving large deli sandwiches. Most sandwiches were $11. Mike and I both got the half soup and sandwich for $9. Mine had some add ons so it came out closer to $12.

The Food
So we stuck to the recommendations of the waitress. I got a half Reuben with Matzoh Ball Soup, and Mike had a plain Corned Beef on Challah. The soup was pretty average. I appreciated that it wasn't too salty, but the ball wasn't particularly light, fluffy, or flavorful. The Reuben had a nice balance of toppings and meat, but the corned beef itself was a bit dry. Mike wasn't very impressed by his sandwich either. In retrospect, I guess the sandwiches weren't all that large either relative to other delis I've been to.

The Reuben

 The Half Corned Beef and Matzoh Ball Soup

I don't think there's much need to hurry over to France's. We both felt like it was just alright all around, and nothing really stood out as impressive. Maybe we just got unlucky dry cuts of beef. For deli food I'd stick to Manny's or 11 city. I'm giving Frances' 1.5 out of 5 Pearls.

Frances' Restaurant & Deli on Urbanspoon


  1. So sad. When I first moved to Chicago back many many years ago, I used to work at Frances' on the weekends. Hostess duty for the brunch crowd. I still dream about their turkey club on dark rye. (Part of my wages was a sandwich to go on Sundays.) It was soooo good. The dad seemed pretty old when I was working there. I have to guess he's gone now. I think it's hard to be a Jewish deli when all your staff is not.

  2. I used to live around the corner from Frances' (15 years ago now) and back then I thought it was great. Their reuben and turkey reuben were always great, and I probably went there almost every week for 5 years. Sorry to hear it's not the same.

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