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Shapiro's Deli Cafeteria

808 S. Meridian, Indianapolis, IN - (317) 631-4041
Posted By Michael Stern on 6/10/2011 5:32:00 AM
Opened by Louis and Rebecca Shapiro in 1905 as a small grocery store, Shapiro’s became a restaurant in the 1930s. Today it is a full-service kosher-style deli where you can buy smoked fish and cold cuts by the pound; and it is also a huge cafeteria serving three meals a day. In our experience, Indianapolis is not a big breakfast city, so Shapiro’s is especially well worth knowing about in the morning.

The menu ranges from biscuits and gravy (not typical of Jewish delis!) to bagels and lox. We love the corned beef hash and also the corned beef omelet, which is loaded with meat and served with good home fried potatoes. One morning we asked the server in the cafeteria line about an item listed on the menu board as a matzoh omelet. She shrugged and offered her opinion that she couldn’t imagine that some crumbled crackers could be any good in eggs. But we tried it anyway and found it to be a kind of mid-American gloss on matzoh brei, the traditional Jewish breakfast dish in which bite-size scraps of matzoh are sheathed in scrambled egg like a kind of jumbled French toast but with a distinctive unleavened munchyness.

Shapiro’s is best known, and rightly so, for its corned beef sandwich. The vivid red spiced meat is steamy hot, sliced thin and piled high between slices of excellent rye bread. With a couple of latkes (potato pancakes) on the side, you’ve got a great lunch. Other good sandwiches include melting-soft beef brisket, garlicky salami, and chopped liver. Among the hot dishes is matzoh ball soup masterfully made with extra-strength chicken broth guaranteed to cure anything that ails you.

There is a second location on Rangeline Road in Carmel.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
corned beef sandwich
Custard Pie
rye bread
corned beef omelet
potato pancakes
Matzoh Omelet
Hot Pastrami Sandwich
Matzoh Brei
Tapioca
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Hot corned beef on thick slabs of Shapiro's own rye bread: there's no better deli sandwich.
"Hot corned beef on thick slabs of Shapiro's own rye bread: there's no better deli sandwich. "
Michael Stern





Jewish delis are not known for excellent pie, but Indiana is. The custard pie at Shapiro's is first-rate.
"Jewish delis are not known for excellent pie, but Indiana is. The custard pie at Shapiro's is first-rate."
Michael Stern


A popular place to eat three meals a day, Shapiro's reflects central Indiana's rich lode of cafeteria-style dining.
"A popular place to eat three meals a day, Shapiro's reflects central Indiana's rich lode of cafeteria-style dining."
Michael Stern


Famous for its corned beef sandwiches, Shapiro's also makes one fine corned beef omelet at breakfast time. Note the extra-thick hunks of rye toast on top.
"Famous for its corned beef sandwiches, Shapiro's also makes one fine corned beef omelet at breakfast time. Note the extra-thick hunks of rye toast on top."
Michael Stern


Matzoh brei, aka a matzoh omelet is a mix of eggs and softened crackers. Note the extra-thick slices of rye toast in the background.
"Matzoh brei, aka a matzoh omelet is a mix of eggs and softened crackers. Note the extra-thick slices of rye toast in the background."
Michael Stern


A close view of matzoh brei shows its textural variety.
"A close view of matzoh brei shows its textural variety."
Michael Stern


Indianapolis is a city of big cafeterias. Shapiro's Deli is no exception. This picture was taken as breakfast began. Lunchtime, every table will be occupied.
"Indianapolis is a city of big cafeterias. Shapiro's Deli is no exception. This picture was taken as breakfast began. Lunchtime, every table will be occupied."
Michael Stern


Kosher style as opposed to kosher means that meat and dairy products are both available. But pork is not.
"Kosher style as opposed to kosher means that meat and dairy products are both available. But pork is not."
Michael Stern


House made Rye bread and juicy pastrami.
"House made Rye bread and juicy pastrami."
Kendall


Shapiro's is kosher-style, not actually kosher. Nonetheless, pork is excluded from the menu. If you want bacon with breakfast, you get a choice of turkey bacon or beef bacon, the latter pictured above. It's not bad, but it's not really bacon.
"Shapiro's is kosher-style, not actually kosher. Nonetheless, pork is excluded from the menu. If you want bacon with breakfast, you get a choice of turkey bacon or beef bacon, the latter pictured above. It's not bad, but it's not really bacon."
Michael Stern



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