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best pastrami- Manhattan

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  • comishner Mar 23, 2006 02:28 PM
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I know "what is the best deli" would cause an uproar, but who has the best hot pastrami in Manhattan?
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Without a doubt -- Katz's.

    1. I'll stick to the Carnegie, with the Stage in second place.

      I go to Katz's once in a while for their wonderful knoblewurst, with enough garlic to make it float an inch off the plate. Their salami, to send to your boy in de Ahmy, is also quite good, if overpriced. Everything else is mediocre beyond redemption. I've tried the pastrami several times, and it looks great. However, the flavor just isn't there. Combined with the racket and chaos and it's just not worth it, particularly on weekends.

      IMHO, Pastrami King and Sarge's are not so hot on the pistol either.

      8 Replies
      1. re: KRS

        Finally, another partisan for Carnegie's pastrami! Totally agree on that, (though strangely enough, I don't care for their corned beef),their kasha knishes, and their stuffed derma.

        Never cared much for the Stage, though (and for that reason, I haven't been there in decades - literally - so take that for what it's worth).

        1. re: Striver

          Oh man, I love the Carnegie corned beef. One of my best food memories is of huddling around some Carnegie fries and the huge, tender, fatty pickled beefiness of their c.b. sandwich on rye at a political convention. We lost - I mean we got our kishkas handed to us - but the sandwich was great.

          Link: http://www.wesfoodie.blogspot.com

          1. re: WesFoodie

            My wife also likes their corned beef and always orders it extra-fatty; maybe I'm just a pastrami kind of guy...

            1. re: Striver

              Try Arties pasatrami & CB, equal if not better than Katz or Carnigie...and cleaner!

              1. re: Fred

                Take a trip out to New Hyde Park, and go to Deli King, the best Pastrami in my opinion.

        2. re: KRS

          I've been going to Katz's for pastrami for many years. I like the fact it's hand cut and not mutilated on a deli machine. I've always been tempted to go to the Carnegie Deli, but I've noticed their pastrami to be sliced awfully THIN which leads me to believe it might be dry. There's no argument that the sandwich is HUGE, but so is their asking price....($14-$16 range?). I'd love to try CARNEGIE, I just need someone to explain to me how they differ in TASTE and QUALITY.

          1. re: Cheese Boy
            c
            Chris Dalrymple

            You just have to ask for "hand-cut" to get the good fatty stuff.

            1. re: Chris Dalrymple

              I'll try that. Hopefully no scowls.

        3. We recently sent someone to Katz's for sandwich's and were very disappointed. The only thing I can think of is that he was not familiar with the tipping and tasting ritual. You definitely get a better product if you schmooze the guy behind the counter. I will say that they have the best Kasha knish in NYC by a wide margin. Believe me I am sure this was an aberration. I have always had great sandwiches there.

          About 15 years ago when I was working as a trader, we had this discussion on our desk. To settle the matter, one of my brokers rented a limo and we hit all of the candidate delis and shared a sandwich. Katz's won easily.

          THere is one name that is harldy mentioned and that is Bloom's on Lex. Extremely good. Weirdly they do not serve knishes. They had a fire resently and seem to be working to re-open.

          Bergers on 47th can be good too, but somewhat erratic.

          1. after extensive research (i tried about 25 different places over the last 18 months), i've concluded that the top places for a pastrami on rye are (in no particular order) David's Brisket on Nostrand and Fulton in Brooklyn, Adelmans on Kings Hwy and E 19th in Brooklyn and Mill Basin Deli at 5823 Avenue T in Brooklyn. So, if you really want serious pastrami, Brooklyn's the place. all are tastier, more consistent and even cheaper than places like katz's, carnegie, pastrami king, sarge's etc.

            get yourself to brooklyn.

            5 Replies
            1. re: joe

              Sounds like you've been doing your homework. So I take these suggestions seriously. Thanks for the report.

              1. re: joe

                Wow, I never thought there would be places that could be vetter than Katz's. I'll have to give those places in B'klyn a try.

                BTW, would those B'klun Delis give me the 2nd cut pastrami (not the leaner 1st cut) if I asked for it, like they would at Katz's?

                1. re: joe

                  Without a doubt, I and my wife's favorite pastrami was to be had at The Pastrami Queen...unfortunately, they are now closed! Calling the phone company will redirect you to a Long Island (516) phone number, and then calling that number you'll get a message from the owner machine, claiming that he'll be relocating in the 70's sometime in June. I certainly hope so, as I've been a patron since I was taken as a kid in the 1970's, when the place was on Queens Blvd, and then called The Pastrami King (they changed the name upon his move to Manhattan, which occurred shortly after an unfortunately timed, and ugly face-lift). By the way, this deli has no relationship with the Long Island deli also called The Pastrami Queen. Incidentally, does anyone know if the New York Magazine award winner (circa 1974 or '75) Pastrami & Things is still around, and if so, if they're still any good? I remember loving them during the few years I ate there. Lastly, in the late 1980's I'd sometimes go to a place that I think was called the Manhattan Deli, done up in a nice art deco decor...can't recall how the sandwiches were (which probably speaks for itself), but do remember some nice lunch dates there. Does anybody out there know if this place is still in operation, if I've got the correct name, and if so, if their pastrami or corned beef is any good?

                  1. re: joe

                    Haven't been to Davids. I have been to Adelmans and Mill Basin Deli and don't think either one could even compare to Katz pastrami.

                    1. re: joe

                      I have to say that I agree with you about the Mill Basin Deli. When I go to Katz's, I always stick with pastrami. At Mill Basin, however, I think *all* their deli meats are superb. My favorite is their knoblewurst -- absolutely the best in the entire universe! Bowls of delicious cole slaw and pickles are served free-of-charge at the tables. And where else can you dine on deli surrounded by an art gallery!?

                      http://www.millbasindeli.com

                    2. I am no expert but I found Katz's to be the bbest i have had anywhere. will have to try places in Brooklyn I have heard of on here though. order it nice and fatty and tip the guy.

                      1. There is a deli on Queens Blvd (Forest Hills/Rego Park) called Ben's, and is NOT RELATED to the chain of Ben's Deli's throughout this area. Their pastrami is soft, tasty and melts in your mouth. I have never had better pastrami. My memories of Katz's Delicatessen was that their pastrami was coarse and stringy. It did not seem like it was made from the best cut of meat.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Fred19

                          You are absolutely correct about the pastrami at Ben's Best. It is by far the yummiest I have had in Queens for certain. I think they were mentioned in an article in the N Y Times a few years back as having some of the best pastrami in the NYC.

                        2. I can't address pastrami places in the "Outer Boroughs" but in Manhattan: Katz's, no contest.

                          1. Katz's Deli. Seriously, look no further.

                            1. I rate Katz's in Manhattan and David's Brisket on Nostrand and Herkimer in Brooklyn as neck and meck. Different styles of pastrami, both extremely well made.

                              1. Manhattan only.....KATZ's by a landslide. Carnegie is despicable not only as a "ny deli" but as a restaurant as a whole. Won't go into long stories but it used to be awesome now since ownership changes it's vile. Thanks for Brooklyn suggestions, will have to try...