I have commented before how my last meal is a hot pastrami on rye sandwich, a black cherry soda and steak fries. So why is it so hard to find really really good pastrami outside of NYC. Recently, I went to Attman’s in Baltimore.
Now to be fair, Attman’s is famous for their corned beef and brisket, not their pastrami. Well, I am sorry that what they state is New York’s Finest Pastrami, I am afraid is just not up to that standard. The slices were too thick and it tasted microwaved. Good rye bread though.
So why is pastrami, good real good pastrami so hard to find and a great hot pastrami limited to NYC.
I was first exposed to this perfect food as a child. First cut pastrami from the deli, warmed in tin foil on a the stove and then put on wonderful rye bread from Vaccaro’s bakery.
At that time I just thought pastrami was a tasty deli meat. Oh, how wrong I could be.
Years later I was working in NYC and I went into the Carnegie Deli. I ordered a pastrami sandwich, the waiter recommended the steak fries and on a whim I ordered black cherry soda. By fate, I created the perfect meal.
What I thought was just a good deli meat was transformed by the Carnegie into a tender, salty, peppery, smoky succulent – – –
Sorry, I started to dream about the sandwich.
When you add the syrupy sweetness of the black cherry soda that is just nirvana in a meal. The steak fries, well you need big fries to stand up to a big taste like pastrami and well fries are fries.
Add to Carnegie, the Stage, Katz’s and Second Ave deli’s are just the best in the world.
The only two places outside of NYC that offer good (not great) pastrami are Jackie Cooper’s Deli in Edison, NJ which offers the steak fries and the black cherry soda. In Portland, Me there is Full Belly Deli that does not offer steak fries, so pass on those.
I will keep looking in other cities, but I will have to return to NYC once a year to have the perfect meal in the homeland of the perfect meal.