Blackstone District to host 2nd Annual Great Reuben Debate

(Omaha, NE) -- Omahans will get a chance to pick their favorite Reuben sandwich in the famous sandwich's birthplace, Midtown Omaha.

The Blackstone District is holding its 2nd Annual Great Reuben Debate, from January 22nd-31st. Participating locations will battle it out for ten days to see who has the best Omaha-famous creation.

One origin story holds that local Omaha grocer, Reuben Kulakofsky, requested a sandwich made of corned beef and pastrami at his weekly poker game held in The Blackstone Hotel, now Kimpton’s Cottonwood, in the 1920s. The poker participants, nicknamed "The Committee”, included the hotel's owner Charles Schimmel. Schimmel's son, who worked in the kitchen, made the first Reuben by adding swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and putting the whole thing on rye bread. The sandwich gained local fame when Schimmel put it on the Blackstone's lunch menu, and its popularity spread when a former employee of the hotel won a national sandwich idea contest with the recipe!

During the ten days of The Great Reuben Debate, each restaurant will duke it out by creating their own unique versions of the classic Reuben sandwich. Two title winners will be crowned based upon the voting categories of "Most Reubens Sold” and “Popular Vote”. If both categories are won by the same competitor, they’ll be crowned the undisputed champs of The Great Reuben Debate 2021.

Customers will get to try as many Reubens as they like and vote for their favorite online. Competitors will also be offering smaller bites of their creations this year, giving customers the opportunity to try more options. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Women's Center for Advancement. Voting will be conducted at Only one vote is allowed per person.

COVID-19 regulations will be followed and enforced by each establishment participating.

Participating Restaurants:

  • Ansel’s Pastrami and Bagels, 3618 Farnam St.
  • Cheeseburgers A Take-Out Joint, 4007 Farnam St.
  • Crescent Moon, 3578 Farnam St.
  • Farnam House Brewing Company, 3558 Farnam St.
  • Lucky Tiger, 3852 Farnam St.
  • Mula, 3932 Farnam St.
  • Nite Owl, 3902 Farnam St.
  • Noli’s Pizzeria, 4001 Farnam St.
  • Orléans Room, 302 S 36th St.
  • Rathskeller Bier Haus, 4524 Farnam St.
  • Stirnella Bar & Kitchen, 3814 Farnam St.
  • The Blackstone Meatball, 3910 Harney St.

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