4766 Red Bank Expy, Cincinnati, OH 45227 USA

(513) 376-6008

Category: Deli

Price: $$

Overall:A(4.4/5.0 stars)
Value:A(4.5/5.0 stars)
Atmosphere:B(3.5/5.0 stars)
Service:A(4.5/5.0 stars)
Taste:A-(4.1/5.0 stars)
Presentation:B+(4.0/5.0 stars)
Izzy's, Cincinnati, OH

Reuben Details

Sandwich Name: The “Reubenator” ($11.99)

Menu Description: For the real Reuben eater! Izzy’s famous Reuben double decker-style on rye bread smeared with Izzy’s special dressing. After eating this hearty sandwich, you’ll say, “I’ll be back!” {Enjoy your bread toasted or grilled upon request.}

Included Side Items: Potato pancake

Izzy's Reuben, Cincinnati, OH

Presentation: “The Reubenator” was constructed with three slices of rye bread. The first layer of corned beef was directly atop the bottom slice of rye, followed by sauerkraut and special dressing under a slice of Swiss cheese. This was followed by another slice of rye bread and the pattern continued: followed by corned beef, then sauerkraut and special dressing under another slice of Swiss cheese. This was all topped by another slice of rye bread. The sandwich was cut in half somewhat diagonally and served on a ceramic plate facing a potato pancake. Although the menu says that Izzy’s sandwiches are served with pickles, no pickles were provided.

Dimensions: 858 cm3 (13 cm x 11 cm x 6 cm)

Bulk-to-Cost Ratio: 72 cm3/dollar

Review -

Review Date: Jun 24, 2022, 12:25 PM

Liked: bulk of the sandwich

Disliked: needing to specify the bread should be grilled or toasted—that should be a given

Overall:A-(4.2/5.0 stars)
Value:B+(4.0/5.0 stars)
Atmosphere:B(3.5/5.0 stars)
Service:A(4.5/5.0 stars)
Taste:B+(4.0/5.0 stars)
Presentation:A(4.5/5.0 stars)

While I had eaten at Izzy’s a number of times, I had never given them a formal Reuben review. Perhaps it was due to their bold claims of having the “World’s Greatest Reubens” and “…We’re Simply the Best!” that cautioned me that I needed to sample several of their sandwiches before giving a verdict. I am also not a little peeved that they have named this sandwich after me; I have been known as “The Reubenator” in the midwestern United States since 2003. I’m not sure when they named the sandwich, but don’t take it necessarily as an endorsement from me.

Izzy's Interior, Cincinnati, OH

We walked into Izzy’s on the Red Bank Expressway about noon on a Friday. They were fairly busy but not packed. We seated ourselves quickly in the dining room and were waited on attentively. They had regular tables and high-top tables in the dining room, along with a counter area where you could place to-go orders. The dining area was rather loud, with music playing from built-in speakers and much conversation bouncing around the hard-surfaced walls and floor.

Izzy's Menu, Cincinnati, OH

There are a number of various Reuben options on the menu: a Turkey Reuben, Izzy’s Famous Reuben, The “Reubenator,” a Veggie Reuben, a Goetta Reuben, a Pastrami Reuben, a Beef Frank Reuben, a Philly Reuben and a Cod Reuben. Most types of Reuben sandwich you could want are available with various deviations from the classic recipe.

One of the most disconcerting things about an establishment purporting to have the “World’s Greatest Reubens” is that if you order the Reuben, they don’t grill or toast the bread at all—they simply serve the sandwich with soft, unheated, ungrilled bread. I’ve accidentally made that mistake before, simply ordering “a Reuben” to discover that the bread was wholly inadequate in its texture and taste. So I advise everyone to always be sure that they specify that they want their Reuben grilled or toasted when ordering at Izzy’s.

After we placed our order, it came out in reasonable time and looked impressive on the plate. I will note that I was surprised that on this day the sandwich was not served with a pickle. In prior visits to other Izzy’s locations, they have often brought out a free appetizer dish of various pickles before the meal—not sure why this visit was a pickle-free experience.

The sandwich was a double-decker and stood high next to the potato pancake. The sandwich clearly had lots of corned beef, and the beef was a good flavor. The sauerkraut also had a good taste and the rye bread had been grilled nicely. I didn’t really taste the two slices of Swiss cheese on the sandwich, although they were visible to the eye. The special dressing could be tasted here and there, but was underwhelming and in very short supply. When they applied the dressing, it must have been with a very light touch.

It was the lack of the typical “Thousand Island”-style punch to the sandwich that caused me to rate it as low as I did. The balance of ingredients just tasted off. There was plenty of beef and bread flavor, but the juiciness wasn't there. For a good Reuben, one would have expected a double-decker to be a little messy with bits falling out of the sandwich and requiring use of a napkin to wipe one’s fingers several times during the meal. However, this Reuben had a zero mess factor. Now that might be a plus if you are going through their drive-thru and eating a Reuben while driving through traffic—but to sit in a dining room and eat such a large sandwich without needing any napkins at all is definitely a sign that the dressing and sauerkraut was disproportionately applied.

So if you’re looking for a nice-sized Reuben, the “Reubenator” is a good choice. If you’re looking for a drive thru Reuben, then Izzy’s is a good place to pick one up. If you’re looking for lots of Reuben varieties so that you can find one to fit your peculiar fancy, then Izzy’s is a good place for you. But if you’re looking for truly the “World’s Greatest Reuben”—then prepare to be just a little disappointed. It’s a tasty enough sandwich, but “World’s Greatest” is a stretch. I’ve had plenty that far excel the flavors I’ve had at Izzy’s on multiple visits.

Do I recommend Izzy’s for a Reuben in Cincinnati? Yes, I do. However, I think that next time I’ll go for the single layer “Izzy’s Famous Reuben” instead of the double-decker model. Perhaps the extra slice of bread and meat just multiplied the imbalance of the ingredients. Perhaps I’d be more satisfied with the single layer variety. Perhaps next time I would also ask for a small cup of their special dressing on the side so that I could doctor the sandwich to my liking.

Review -

Review Date: Jun 24, 2022, 12:25 PM

Liked: grilling

Disliked: light on dressing/cheese

Overall:A(4.5/5.0 stars)
Value:A+(5.0/5.0 stars)
Atmosphere:B(3.5/5.0 stars)
Service:A(4.5/5.0 stars)
Taste:A-(4.2/5.0 stars)
Presentation:B(3.5/5.0 stars)

I ordered the “Reubenator” and it came nicely grilled. It was light on the dressing, but it presented as not being dry despite that. I would have like a little more dressing and cheese but a little less beef. Still, it was a good solid Reuben!