Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Apr 18, 2002 12:03 AM

best hot corned beef sandwich?

  • j

I am going to Boston for this Sat. and Sun.- April 20 and 21. What is the best place to eat in where I can get a good Jewish style hot corned beef sandwich? I live in Vermont and you can't get decent corned beef up here.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Good luck! I've been searching for years since the old Jack and Marion's deli closed. You may want o keep on going and head for New York City!

    1. My solution is to go to the Butcherie, a kosher market on Harvard st. in Brookline, buy my corned beef or pastrami, a loaf of rye, potato salad, and even a half sour, and make my own. The best around. Caution, they are not open on Saturday.

      1. o

        Check out Rubin's Deli on Harvard Street in Brookline.
        Haven't been there in a few years, but the corned beef I had there was very good.
        It's not served in sandwich form, per se - they give you a big pile of sliced CB, some rye bread and mustard.
        Kind of a DIY project, but good nonetheless.

        1. I'm not an expert, but Sam LaGrassa's downtown on Province St. has a great pastrami sandwich and I assume their corned beef is equally as good. They're not open on Sun.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Joanie

            La Grasso's is my fave too. Unfortunately, I don't think they are open on Sat either.

            1. re: 9lives

              LaGrassa's is open Saturday afternoon's

              1. re: 9lives

                I put in another vote for La Grasso's!

            2. Judith, if you are looking for a good( yet alone the form of the good) hot corn beef (or pastrami) sandwich in Boston, I'm sad to say you're not going to find it. I'll leave it to others to tell you where you're apt to find the best of what is I am pained to say is a very mediocre lot. Years ago it was said that if you lived in Boston, the best way to get a good meal was to take a cab to Logan and get on the shuttle to New York. Fortunately, those days are behind us and although (both for better and worse) Boston isn't New York, we've got lot's of good restaurants where you can get some very good food. Unfortunately, and it truly pains me to tell you this, if you want a good hot corn beef (or pastrami) on rye, forget about finding it in our beloved Boston and just keep on driving to New York (without stopping at Reins, yet another mediocre deli located just outside of Hartford). Drive directly to the Second Avenue Deli (Second & 10th). Or go a bit further down to Katz's on Houston St., where the corn beef and pastrami are hand cut by the counterman while you stand watching. If you kibbitz a bit with him while he's making your sandwich, he'll reach across the counter and give you a taste. A side benefit of going to Katz's is that you can walk down the block to Russ & Daughters where Mark Federman, third generation at the same location, sells several varieties of the best smoked salmon and salted lox I have ever tasted. If the Second Avenue, Katz's and Russ & Daughters are great Jewish food gone Lower East side, the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue at 54th is great Jewish food gone Broadway, a touch more touristy but still well worth a visit. The Carnegie also has incredible cheesecake.
              Judith, I share these opinions with you not as some snooty transplanted chauvinistic yuppie from New York but as a former Chicagoan who has loved living in Boston for nearly forty years despite the fact that in my opinion Boston has sadly never had a Jewish deli worthy of the name.
              Wish that I could be more encouraging but...
              Curiously, still on the subject of hot corn beef, just this morning I walked past a vacant storefront near where I live in Brookline and saw a sign which modestly announces that Michael, the Corn Beef King , will soon be opening a New York style deli. I suspect that Michael will probably prove himself to be just another pretender to the throne. But who knows? Perhaps someday by some miracle the deli gods might actually answer our prayers.
              Last thought. Skip the sure to be disappointing corn beef and head down to Chinatown for the 'Viet Nam sandwich' at the Mix Bakery on Beech St. that was recently recommended on this board. Absolutely wonderful and only two bucks a piece!

              8 Replies
              1. re: Elzoe

                Another country heard from. Can we start another round of Boston vs. New York here? Ooops, I forgot, New York is the best place in the world to buy anything, and you can't even find anything decent outside of New York.

                OK, I feel better now.

                Back to the topic, a very good corned beef sandwich can be had at Barry's Deli in Waban (part of Newton). Also, not quite as good is Joan and Ed's in Natick. I haven't tried it at enough places to steer you towards "the best", but I recommend Barry's.

                1. re: Elzoe

                  After all that, have you actually had the pastrami or corn(ed) beef at Sam Lagrassa's?

                  1. re: Joanie

                    Joanie-- After all that, yes, I have been to Sam La(G)rassa's and went downtown yesterday to give the place another try. I found the corn(ed) beef hot and moist but not particularly flavorful. I think that the meat suffered from being too long in the steamtable and the rye bread ended up like a soaked sponge. My impression is that most of the edible corned beef in our area comes from Hebrew National or Morrison&Schiff and is no better than what you can buy at the the local Stop&Shop. Again, I'm no New York chauvinist but I think that the 2nd Ave and Carnegie shine because they actually make their own. I wonder if you followed the Corned Beef War waged on the op ed page of the NY Times some years back, an exchange of letters between the 2nd Ave and Carnegie that even debated the virtues of the water each used. The Carnegie was faulted for making their corned beef in Newark and ruining the product by using New Jersey water. Fun stuff.

                    1. re: Elzoe

                      FWIW..I have read many posts on the NY board..lamenting the demise of many NY delis..including (especially Carngie..only for tourists)Maybe it's just fun to trash the hometown delis. I'm an x NYer..still love the Carnegie and 2nd Ave..but I've had some great pastrami and CB at La Grassos.

                  2. re: Elzoe

                    I've been to Katz's in New Yak, it's okay nothing great.
                    Rubins in Brookline does a decent corned sandwich.

                    1. re: Elzoe

                      Thank you for your very honest answer! I grew up outside of NYC and in fact my father used to live around the block from the Carnegie Deli so we used to go there before it was discovered. I guess I will have to wait till August when we are heading down that way. (sniff, sniff, sounds of silent sobbing.)

                      1. re: Elzoe

                        I don't know about hot corned beef, but the best corned beef sandwich I have ever had (it's cold) was at Barry's Deli in Newton. I have tried the Second Avenue Deli in NYC and was very disappointed in both their corned beef and pastrami, even more so with sandwiches priced at approx. $10. No offense to you transplanted New Yawkas, but not everything is the best in NYC. By the way, I know it's still only April, but let's give it up for those Sox (the Bruins and Celtics, too, who at least made it to the playoffs).

                        1. re: paul

                          The reason why any kosher deli's (not "Jewish-style", which is usually not really kosher)food is more expensive is beacuse kosher meat is terribly expensive. Observant Jews pay this price all too easily, allowing the delis to get away with it.

                          Thats why Second Avenue deli in NYC or Rubin's up here requires a small loan to have a corned beef sandwich.