My initial taste of a Reuben sandwich was at the Lincoln Del, a legendary bakery and deli in Bloomington, Minnesota. My wife and I were there on one of our first dates and she suggested that I order the classic favorite. Seeing my hesitation, she said, “You won’t regret it; it’s the best sandwich ever!” I wasn’t totally convinced, but I tried it anyway. To this day, I have never regretted my decision and look back nostagically on my wife’s recommendation. We enjoyed them for the next 25 years at the Del.
When the restaurant closed in 2000, it created a huge culinary void in my life. As a result, I had to find another Reuben to replace the one we were faithful to for so many years. I was relentless in my pursuit. If I was in a restaurant that had the sandwich on the menu, I would order it. It didn’t matter that the restaurant had a well-known entree. If they had a Reuben, I was good to go. Unfortunately, it’s hard to duplicate perfection, so only a few were suitable and many more were rip-offs. It’s been nearly another quarter of a century and I have never had anything like the signature meal offered at the Lincoln Del.
Now that we make our own sauerkraut, we are on a quest to create the sandwich that has been absent from our lives. Researching the origins for this remarkable creation has been fun and definitely encouraging. I believe I have the original recipes for the Reuben sandwich and the Thousand Island dressing created by Reuben Kulakofsky and Sophia LaLonde, respectively. After we put The Kraut Guy spin on them, watch for them to pop up on our recipe page.