Restaurant Express: Izzy's

Get to know Izzy's. It was voted Cincinnati's best deli and is home of the 110 Reuben Challenge.
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Name: Izzy's

Izzy's has 9 locations, with 2 in Kentucky and 7 in Ohio. The Man v. Food Nation episode was shot at 612 Main St. in Cincinnati.

 Izzy Kadetz came to the US from Russia and started the business in 1901. He and his wife Rose ran the business for many years and passed it along to their son David in 1980. In 1982, David decided to open a second location and turned to family friend John Geisen to run the new restaurant. Together David and John grew the business. Ultimately John purchased it from the family, and is now the president and CEO. David Kadetz passed away this year, but Izzy's still carries on the vision set forth by its founder so many years ago.

Menu:  Izzy's serves sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads, wraps and more. You can find the full menu on their web site.

Signature Dishes:
 Izzy's is known for their Reubens (they have 8 different versions) and potato pancakes. Their chicken noodle soup has also won awards. Two other popular sandwiches are the corned beef and Swiss and cod Reubens (especially during Lent).

You can get a Reuben, side and drink for around $10-$12.


How Izzy's Is Celebrating Its MvFN Appearance:
President and CEO John Geisen will be at the Izzy's Main Street location along with challenger Adam Turer to watch the episode. Each of Izzy's 9 locations will stay open late for the airing, and offer the 110 Reuben Challenge for people to try before the show. In addition, there will be cupcakes with "pickles and sauerkraut" on top.  

 All About the Challenge

: 110 Reuben Challenge

History: For the 110th anniversary of the restaurant, Izzy's wanted to do something quirky and different that honored Izzy Kadetz's spirit. He was a character who was loud and loved to banter with his wife. He charged people for their lunch by how much he thought they could afford.

Ingredients: The 110 Reuben Challenge is a huge sandwich that needs to be eaten in 30 minutes along with the jumbo side order of Izzy’s own kosher sliced pickles. Here's what makes up the sandwich: a super-sized potato pancake, 1-lb. of Izzy’s Famous Corned Beef, a colossal pile of sauerkraut, imported Swiss cheese -- all on a gigantic poppy seed oval loaf.

Attempts & Successes:  50 people have tried to complete the challenge, but only 5 have been successful.Will Adam Turer be one of them? Tune in to find out!

Winners Receive: If you are successful you get your money back, plus a T-shirt and a photo on the Wall of Fame. If you aren't, you get a button that says "I Attempted the 110 Reuben Challenge."

Other Food Challenges: Izzy's doesn't have any other food challenges, but they do hold fun events, such as a potato pancake-eating contest at local colleges. And don't worry, the 110 Reuben Challenge will stick around even after Izzy's 110th anniversary year is over.

Special thanks to Jacquie Bauereis for giving us the inside scoop on Izzy's.

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