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Dec 26, 2006 04:51 AM

Cal-Mart Fressen for Christmas Lunch: David's Old World Pastrami, Alexander Valley Pickles, Acme NY Rye

Christmas lunch was pulled together from fixin's purchased yesterday from Cal-Mart in San Francisco.

Finally tried the Alexander Valley pickles and like them very much. Though some have compared them to half-sours, these are cured more than that. They're only lightly sour and salted and a bit shy with garlic, yet the elements are all in balance and they have a very fresh snap.

Alexander Valley Manhattan-style Fresh Pickles -

Also had my first taste of David's pastrami, not the navel cut I hoped to find but the regular grade. Not on display in the deli case at Cal-Mart, but I took a number anyway and luckily, they do stock the corned beef and pastrami. The counterperson had to run upstairs to pull them out of cold storage. She was nice enough to bring me two random weight hunks to give me a choice of cuts. I picked the one that had an extra line of fat running down the middle of the point cut in addition to the upper layer. I got 10% off for buying a whole, shrink-wrapped piece, costing $24 for about 2 lbs. Not as well-marbled as Katz's, but still quite tender. We liked the fine use of smoke and found this less salty than other pastramis. It's now my favorite local pastrami.

David's Old World Pastrami -

I grabbed a loaf of Acme's NY rye from the shelf and saved myself a trip to the Ferry Building.

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