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Kelly D's famous Reuben wins the 2012 Reuben Round-Up.

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You never know where you're going to find a great reuben. Case in point, Kelly D's Sports Bar, a sparingly illuminated lounge tucked between Wilson Avenue and Reed Market on Bend's commercial strip. While this isn't the kind of place where you're likely to plan a family outing (I was seated next to a trio of ladies who were drinking over the noon hour as if it were happy hour), the staff at Kelly D's is more than hospitable. More importantly, they really know how to make a reuben. When I asked how they prepare their corned beef, which arrived fall-apart tender, the bartender directed my eyes to a pair of slow cookers that were perched on a sill between the bar area and the lottery lounge.

Like me, the rest of the patrons were oblivious, or simply accustomed, to the sight of the large metal cookers pouring forth a stream of succulent steam, part of a seven-hour cooking process that Kelly D's employs to get their meat to the perfect degree of tenderness. Weighing in at 20 ounces, we're pretty sure this is one of biggest rueben's in the region. That's why we're crowning Kelly D's Famous Reuben "The King."

Bread: Di Lusso marbled rye

Meat: House cooked corned beef

Dressing: Made in house

Sides: Coleslaw, potato salad and chips are all options, but you can't go wrong with Kelly's

Irish stew served in a savory broth with thickly sliced carrots and tender chunks of beef

Intangible: Keno with your kraut

Address: 1012 SE Cleveland Ave.

Phone: 541-389-5625


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