the reuben sandwich from manny’s cafeteria and delicatessen

Not often that I pay $17 for a Reuben, but I gladly forked over a twenty and change because… Manny’s. Legendarily known for their corned beef (I’m sure the turkey pastrami is also great), Manny’s serves up all sorts of sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides.

It is a true cafeteria experience. Grab a tray and your spot in line.

And then let’s dissect this sandwich. Corned beef piled high on rye bread with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. (Thousand Island dressing is available on the side.)

Many side options but I decided to kick it old school with a perfectly fried latke.

honeycrisp, opal, and lady alice

Autumn = apples, and the Midwest and Washington State generate some pretty great ones.

The Honeycrisp–perfectly sweet and super crunchy. (You can thank the University of Minnesota for creating this variety.)

The Opal. Knockout color and great apple taste.

And Lady Alice–a touch sweeter than the Honeycrisp but very satisfying. And a great name.

hoosier mama pie company on chicago ave.

Pie shops have a strong butter smell. Or should, anyway. Hoosier Mama Pie Company on Chicago Avenue smells exactly that: butter and more butter.

Owner/baker Paula Haney, an Indy native, opened her pie shop on Chicago Ave. in 2009, and her pies might be the best in the city. The pie crust is buttery, flaky goodness. The fillings range from strawberry rhubarb (my fave), apple (classic), Fat Elvis (chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas, natch), to different custards and chess arrangements. Dieters beware, pie lovers rejoice. You can fork the pie menu here.

5411 empanadas

If you have a hankering for savory pastries (who doesn’t?), empanadas could/should be your thing.

The Ham & Cheese empanada from 5411 Empanadas is kind of heavenly. A baked turnover containing slices of smoked ham with bits of oregano swimming in melted mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. That’s the Ham & Cheese.

5411 Empanadas started out as a delivery-only enterprise 10 years ago and now has a bunch of locations in the city. And Houston. Your tastebuds can thank me later.

the brown cow ice cream parlor in forest park

Another summer day, another opportunity to try ice cream. The line at Brown Cow in Forest Park was longish, but the ice cream was worth the wait. Ice milky in texture.

This one melted quickly. Messy but fun to eat when the temps are in the 90s.

The indoor lighting was dim, but the ice cream tubs were so bright. The yellow one in the lower right corner is vanilla cupcake.

strawberry sour cream pie from norske nook

Norske Nook. If you’ve hustled your way north to Eau Claire, you might know to pull off at Osseo for this Norwegian American bakery and restaurant.

My family has been pulling over for the Nook for more than 30 years because PIE.

I pulled over yesterday and promptly plopped myself down by the counter. Wanted to try something new, and Strawberry Sour Cream looked like a good wager.

Osseo Wisconsin Norske Nook Strawberry Sour Cream Pie

It was. Very light, with a strawberry whipped cream topping. I ate the entire slice.

Osseo Wisconsin Norske Nook

Osseo is a small town; approximately 1,700 people call it home. I don’t live in a small town but admire the persistence of places like Osseo. And bakeries with pie.

Osseo Wisconsin

Osseo Wisconsin

Osseo Wisconsin