Best Deli (Wayne County)
Lou’s menu brags: “We are turning back the hands of time to bring the reader ‘old-fashioned deli food.’” Truth be told, some of the traditional Jewish deli items (that original owner Lou Loewy must have loved) are missing now. There’s no lox and bagels, no chopped liver and no chicken soup. But new items have been added — 60 years ago, who in Lou’s University District clientele knew sweet potato pie? Current owner Marty Goodman started working at Lou’s as a busboy, when he was a Mumford High School junior. He thinks Lou would be pretty comfortable with the remodeled deli across from Marygrove College. He’s also expanded the business to three locations: two in the city and one in Southfield. All of them are open till 2 a.m. during the week and 4 a.m. on weekends for those with a late-night or early-morning hankering for “Morris’ Jewish Piano” (roast beef, corned beef and salami) or “Damon’s Delicious” (corned beef, Swiss cheese and liverwurst). Together, the three delis go through 8,000 pounds of corned beef a week. “Cows shiver when they see me,” says Goodman. The two best-selling sandwiches are Dinty Moore (corned beef) and Roselawn (hot corned beef). “People are supposedly cutting down on meat,” Goodman says, “but you couldn’t prove it by me.” Popular demand has increased the dimensions of his sandwiches, and you can super-size one for an extra $1.25 or super-duper it for an extra $2.25. Other nontraditional changes: chili is on the bill of fare; so is peach cobbler. Goodman now opens up the knishes (explained on the menu as “meat pie with gravy”), so customers can see what’s inside. Apparently, they like what they’re finding. Lou’s is an institution — may it last another 60 years.