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Jan 28, 2007 11:00 PM

Canter's - what happened?

Am I losing my mind, or was Canter's - esp. the pastrami sandwich - always this bad?

I just returned, after arriving starving and prepared to eat anything. Ordered half pastrami with swiss, chicken noodle soup, and a cel-ray.

The pickles arrived - sour, not snappy. But that's ok, they're not my favorate normally. The soup came, and though the broth was a pale yellowish, it was indistinguishable in taste from water. Believe me, I wish I were exaggerating - I was very, very hungry, and couldn't finish what was basically like un-drained pasta. Oh yeah - little pile of crumbled bagel chips. How nice.

The sandwich - completely gristly and greasy. It was like each piece had something sinewy in it. Totally gross. I actually became briefly nostalgic for The Hat (which I feel is a totally different species of sandwich).

Of course I know "the deal" about Canter's, having grown up here - the nasty floor, jarring decor, lighting, service (waiter asked three times what I'd ordered and ended up forgetting the cheese in the end).

But has it even declined in the past year? I'd been away for about that long, and remember a half-pastrami and soup at Canter's pretty much like Jerry's - though certainly not the best in town, a fairly satisfying combo, at least late at night when hungry.

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  1. I've noticed Canters go in cycles. Perhaps they're undergoing turnover with BOH staff or product purchasing.

    1. I haven't been to Canter's in several years, but I always found it entirely vile. For the record, I found Jerry's entirely vile also -- possibly worse than Canter's (first tried Jerry's in '95 or '96 and threw in the towel at least five years ago).

      You've done me a favor; I'd been considering a return to Canter's to see if it was still as godawful as I remembered.

      1. I had dinner at Canter's tonight and it was just fine. I didn't have any of the same things but I enjoyed what I had.

          1. Since Canter's is out of our normal orbit we probably haven't been there for 20 years. Sounds like it has not been time wasted. We go to Junior's on a regular basis. The food seems fine to me. Not brilliant, but deli food doesn't typically get that sort of reaction from my taste buds in any case. As I said in the m ball soup thread, Junior's has a pretty darn good one and their pastrami and corned beef both seem equally good most anytime I have them. I noticed some recent posts panning Junior's outpost in the South Bay, called Deli Boy's (sp?) however so maybe the West L.A. locations quality didn't transfer for some reason. I guess my main complaint with all deli's is the prices seems pretty high for what the food is - but I know what I am getting into when I go to one so I might as well just shut up about that aspect of things.

            We used to go the Jerry's location in the Marina, but finally the food was just so bad that we gave up on it completely. Their only redeeming feature is that they are open 24 hours if you have no other option.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tony michaels

              most deli fare is pretty disagreeable. canter's pastrami is no exception, especially ever since i had my first bite at langer's. although i do like canter's limp, musky pickles. i must be a masochist.