SAN ANTONIO — Max and Louie's New York Diner was a conversation and a dream. Maybe not the current or location. But it was a tangible thought bubble for Drew Glick and his father who wanted to open a deli in New York.
"The kind of New York-style delicatessen---has the counter where the old guys are sitting with their hats," Glick said. "And they're slicing corned beef and pastrami."
The 55-year-old's family lineage is connected to butchers. In fact, his father was a butcher until he ventured into a catering business.
"I used to carry my father's briefcase to visit potential clients when I was 5 or 6 years old," Glick said.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Long Island, Glick worked in the family business. He stepped away for 17 years to work in the insurance and financial industry.
His late uncle, an established eye surgeon in San Antonio, urged Glick to come to San Antonio to pursue that deli dream.
Glick moved to San Antonio in 2011. Their first version of a restaurant closed its doors after three years in the Stone Oak area.
Max & Louie's was born in 2017. The restaurant is still going strong.
"People walk in and go are you Max or Louie?" he said.
Max was his uncle and late business partner's father. Louie is Glick's grandfather. Both were butchers who came from Russia to NYC. The restaurant is a diner with deli touches all over the menu and nods to Jewish Eastern Europe delights.
"Most of the things on the menu are things that my wife and I grew up on---on Long Island eating in our homes," he said. "Most of the recipes are family recipes. If they are not then I borrowed them from relatives or friends."
The diner serves wide-ranging fare. Customers can order meatloaf, Reubens, corned beef, pastrami, house-made bagels and cream cheese, smoked salmon and the ever-popular French toast.
"I want everything here to be good or I don't do it," he said.
Max & Louie's is an all-day breakfast eatery where patrons can even get cocktails and boozy milkshakes.
Neighborhood Eats was provided with a large sample of menu options starting with the towering BSF. It's short for burger, shake, and fries. The presentation is a feast for the eyes.
A huge milkshake mug comes topped with fries and a burger. The BSF also hits the spot.
The diner flexes its deli muscle with the open Reuben sandwich. The creation, as suggested in the name, slices of Reuben on rye topped with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island salad dressing. This sizable sample came paired with sweet potato fries, potato salad and an NYC deli pickle. Delicious!
Prepare to stretch your hatch for the triple-decker roast beef sandwich. The triple-layered offering comes with bacon, Swiss cheese and trimmings. This is a solid deli choice. It came with a side of coleslaw and the great deli pickle from New York. Wonderful!
Glick serves a Hungarian stuffed cabbage roll. He takes steamed cabbage leaves, adds meaty stuffing and rolls. The rolls are covered in a sweet and sour tomato sauce with golden raisins. The dish comes with house-made mashed potatoes. Ohhh so good!
Max & Louie's offers a pretty legitimate Bloody Mary garnished with pastrami.
The king of desserts is their Ding Dong cake. According to Glick, the cake is nearly ten pounds of chocolate, cream, and ganache. ¡Que Rico!
The real chew: Drew and Wendy Glick are so New York talking to them just about transports you to NYC. The portions at Max & Louie's are huge especially if you have any of their overstuffed sandwiches on challah bread. The pancakes are good but the French toast reigns supreme. Everything on the menu is under $20. This place is a wonderful place to meet friends or even go on a date. It's a modern 200 seater where it doesn't feel like a greasy diner. Max & Louie's in a place where you definitely need to come hungry.