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Pastrami in New Jersey?

Epicure Dec 25, 2006 08:39 PM

I do not spend much time in New Jersey, but my parents live in Bridgewater, and I'm wondering if there's a deli in the Northern/Central NJ area that has pastrami of or near the caliber of Katz's in NYC or Langer's in L.A.
Thanks for any help!

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  1. jfood Dec 25, 2006 10:12 PM

    Trying to match Katz's is waaaay too high a standard. You will be disappointed to shoot that high, do not know Langers.

    Your best bet is going to be a bagel-deli joint. In the Millburn Short Hills area try Bagel Chateau in Millburn or Livingston Bagel. I am not sure whether any Tabatchnicks or Eppes Essens are still open as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood
      HillJ Dec 26, 2006 12:27 PM

      fyi..Tabatchnicks closed.

    2. s
      surly Dec 26, 2006 07:42 AM

      your best bet is almost certainly harold's new york deli in edison, which is on woodbridge ave, close to the intersection of the nj turnpike and I-287. definitely the best ny-style jewish deli in northern or central nj that i know of.

      here are some links that should provide you with plenty of info about the place:


      3 Replies
      1. re: surly
        Epicure Dec 26, 2006 09:52 AM

        Thanks, I've actually heard about Harold's. How/what do you order there? Anything else I should know about?

        1. re: Epicure
          georgeb Dec 26, 2006 10:24 AM

          Take your camera.

          Enter, sit down, peruse the menu, order the pastrami on rye. Walk to the pickle bar and pick up your choice. When the sandwich arrives, start taking pictures.

          After you're done, take home half the sandwich. Send pictures to your friends. They will be amazed at the size of the sandwich!

          1. re: georgeb
            jenniebnyc Dec 27, 2006 08:13 PM

            That's so funny. This is exactly what I did the first time I came here. You really cannot believe the size of the portions here. AND even though everything is BIG...I mean HUGE, the food still tastes good.

      2. f
        FAL Dec 26, 2006 11:23 AM

        Harold's don't order any thing large unless you have a party of 20. I never saw a 2 foot hot dog in my life. When the knish came to the table i thought it was a whole turkey breast. Pastrami I ordered a small I couldn't finish it.

        1. s
          surly Dec 26, 2006 04:22 PM


          georgeb and fal have it right. don't order any "large" portions if you're sharing or planning on taking food home.

          i think the roadfood.com link pretty much sums up what you should order. harold's is especially known for their pastrami and corned beef.

          is the food at harold's on the level of katz's or langer's? probably not, but it's definitely better than anything i've ever been to in nj. of course i don't discount the possibility that there's a better place in the state, but i just haven't heard of one yet.

          hopefully there's an undiscovered gem out there, but that type of thing tends to be more likely in the city.

          1. r
            RGR Dec 26, 2006 04:32 PM

            While Katz's is, without a doubt, in a class by itself, the pastrami at Jesse & David's, in Manalapan, is quite good as long as you make sure to order it "fatty." And, btw, their crinkle-cut fries are seriously delicious. Note: They have a sister location called Lox, Stock & Deli, in East Brunswick. One would think the pastrami there would be as good as at J&D's, but I've never eaten there, so I can't say.


            1. seal Dec 26, 2006 06:33 PM

              The pastrami at Harold's is very high quality - machine sliced, but as good as it gets in nj. I also agree with RGR about both locations of LoxStock&Deli being amoung the tops as well.

              I hope so as they all charge like they are in nyc ;o)

              2 Replies
              1. re: seal
                Epicure Dec 26, 2006 07:12 PM

                Can you request it to be sliced by hand? I much prefer that, of course...
                Do Lox Stock & Deli and Jesse & David's machine slice?

                1. re: Epicure
                  RGR Dec 26, 2006 09:51 PM

                  Jesse & David's slices by machine, so I presume the same for LS&D. Honestly, it has never occurred to me to request hand-sliced since what comes off the machine is fine with me as long as it is fatty and juicy. The same goes for the Mill Basin Deli, in Brooklyn, which is my other favorite NYC deli. They use a machine, and the pastrami there is delicious! But you got me thinking, so I just gave Jesse & David's a call. The answer was that slices would be "messier," but if someone wanted hand-sliced, they would do it.

              2. e
                ELA Dec 26, 2006 10:24 PM

                Pastrami in NJ? Like Katz's?

                Here's the answer -- NO! LOL.

                Great thread and some great suggestions.


                1. e
                  emperorchan Jan 3, 2007 05:48 PM

                  Katz's, Harold's and Carnegie's are awesome places for Pastrami and Corned Beef if you live in the New Jersey & New York area. Recently, I came across an alternative and for me a closer deli for excellent Pastrami and Corned Beef. The deli is called Steve's Kosher Style Deli, located in Bayonne, NJ. I found this place by referral and I must say the pastrami is excellent but the corned beef is phenomenal. A nice pastrami & corned beef combo sandwich with a small cole slaw and pickle, for $7.50. A good sized sandwich for 1. I am so happy I no longer have to drive to far or pay too much for a pastrami and corned beef sandwich. Thanks Steve! I would give the restaurant a call before visting at (201) 858-8100 as his operation hours vary. By the way, Steve doesn't let anyone in his deli slice the pastrami or corned beef.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: emperorchan
                    RGR Jan 3, 2007 10:00 PM

                    "Awesome" might describe the *size* of the pastrami sandwich at the Carnegie Deli; however, when it comes to the quality, mediocre is the word I'd choose. Not in the same league as the pastrami at Katz's.

                  2. a
                    albinoni Jan 3, 2007 06:28 PM

                    There is also Larry's on South Avenue in Plainfield. It is near the Fanwood border. Not in the same league as Harold's (nothing is), but the pastrami is pretty good.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: albinoni
                      jazzymom Jan 5, 2007 11:59 PM

                      Larry's used to be very good...I have not been there for a few years. Deli-King in Clark has a pretty decent pastrami sandwich
                      and still has fabulous rye bread. The corned beef is also excellent as long as you do not order it lean. Everything else there is just so-so...

                    2. Striver Jan 3, 2007 07:45 PM

                      Eppes Essen in Livingston is good, but if you feel like going to downtown Newark, try Hobby's Deli. There's been a deli at that location for over 90 years, and they still make a good pastrami sandwich and outstanding knishes (particularly kasha)...always bearing in mind, as others have said, that there's only one Katz's.

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