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Explain to me why I like the pastrami at Oinkster better than at Langer's?

Let me preface this by saying two things up front: (1) I am by no means a pastrami expert and (2) because of the former, I have never been a fan of Langer's.

That said, today I tried a couple of bites of the pastrami sandwich at Oinkster and thought, "Gee, this is better than the stuff I remember having at Langer's!"

Now I'm just wondering if there is a difference between the pastrami at Oinkster and at Langer's? Is the former, not serving "true, authentic" pastrami?

Or, do I just not have a well developed palate for pastrami and can't really appreciate the real thing?

For the pastrami experts out there, what do you think of the stuff at Oinkster?

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  1. I haven't had the pastrami at Langer's, but I pass by the Oinkster frequently, so maybe I'll check this out. I thought they only sold pork. Is pastrami pork? I better look this up. :)

    I looked up pastrami, and it's supposed to be made of beef. In any case, can you describe the sandwich a bit more ? It sounds pretty good. How much was it, and is there anything else on the Oinkster menu that you recommend?

    4 Replies
    1. re: katkoupai

      The pastrami was 7.50. I had the BBQ pulled pork sandwich, which was 6.50. It wasn't too bad.

      Not a destination locale, but a nice neighborhood place.

      www.oinkster.com

      1. re: katkoupai

        I've had a couple of very good burgers at Oinkster (and a couple of not-so-good burgers, too - seems to depend on who's in the kitchen and whether or not they pay attention to what the customer's requested) - and the fries, extra-crispy, are really quite good. (Or maybe I'm just a sucker for the aioli that's served for dipping.)

        1. re: ElsieDee

          I'm a sucker for that sauce, but my last experience with the fries was not so good. They were not crispy at all. Soggy and a little undercooked. All other times, the fries were perfect. But then again, we went there around 8:45pm ( littler later than the norm for us) and they might have been closing soon. The kids in the kitchen probably wanted to go home.

      2. much, much, much subpar to Langer's perfectly steamed hand cut pastrami,

        although oinkster should be given some credit for the smokiness that they have imparted into the meat. oinkster is a better version of the fast food pastrami dip served around town from the hat to johnnie's.

        1. I have to agree that the Oinksters pastrami is not nearly as good as Langer's. But it could be for you that you apreciate a thinner sliced pastrami than that of Langer's. I would suggest the hat. There are many in Southern California but the closest one to the Oinkster is Pasadena. Although some will disagree with me, I love the Hat and Langer's equally for their two very different types of pastrami. And let's face it... Sometimes I don't feel like paying $11 for just a sandwich.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Rhachel

            Hmm, I've been to Hat. And I really don't like their pastrami either.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Never been to Oinkster, but i like the hat better than Langer's. But for me the best pastrami around is at a little dive up in the mountains on the way to Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear called the Original Kitchen. Every time we go up there we stop on the way up and again when we come back down. It blows those other places clean out of the water!

            2. re: Rhachel

              I agree - I love both The Hat and Langer's - but they are completely different animals (not really, but you know what I mean). I have not made it to Oinkster's (yet) but I think I remember seeing something about the owner of Oinkster learning from? or getting pastrami tips from? or knowing Langer? and taking it from there.

              1. re: WildSwede

                I believe Andre Guerrero was paying homage to Langer's. That gives him a lot of wiggle-room, I suppose.

                1. re: ozzygee

                  Andre spent much time with Al Langer in learning all there is to know about cooking pastrami, but keep in mind when comparing them, that the Oinkster does not put its pastrami on rye, but on a roll, and thus the whole sensation will be different, even if the pastrami was the same.
                  The Oinkster is pepperey, moist, and very flavorful plus you can add saucing as needed if an aioli or any other flavor might be of interest, as opposed to Langer's where mustard is the ONLY option.
                  As to the Hat, the less said the better - it does not belong in this comparison. Overly greasy kid-stuff, and fatttttttty - oh, my!
                  The one thing the Oinkster has is a quality burger, pulled pork sandwich, superb belgian fries, an ube shake with Fosselman's ice cream, Boylan's root beer, etc. as optional add-ons. Hardly the case at the house of purity - meaning Langer's, which when in that neighborhood, is one of a VERY few places I would even consider eating. Yet if not in a deli mood, I opt elsewhere.
                  check the menu at www.oinkster.com for more info.
                  ps - very good parking!!!!
                  pss - some nice belgian ales, among other beers, and rumor has wine on the way.

                  1. re: carter

                    Mustard is the only option?? Try the #1 bub!

                    Also, Langer's curbside service is a wonderfull thing.

                    1. re: carter

                      In comparison to the Oinkster pastrami, the Hat comes out ahead. It is tastier and not as spicy. The Hat is not my favorite pastrami on a french roll, but it is better than Oinkster's. I was burping all day after heating the much too peppered and spicy Oinkster cured pastrami sandwich. The hamburger at Oinkster was better than the pastrami, but still tasteless and nothing special.

                      1. re: wojpol

                        Funny, I liked both versions of the Pastrami at Oinkster and the Burger (they forgot the cheese) and the Cheeseburger. Tasty and reasonably priced. And Chef G's Ube Milkshake is the best milkshake that I've ever tasted - ANYWHERE!!! And no I haven't tried the famous shakes at Connal's, I walked out when they would not cook my cheeseburger like I wanted it.

                  2. re: WildSwede

                    There's two distint types of Pastrami, each for a different purpose. Lean and fatty. The lean can be used cold or hot and is what Langer's probably uses, I'm guessing but it's better for cold. The Hat definately uses fatty and cannot be served cold, period! That said, love the Hat, (for hot) they give you so much meat, and never any gristle.

                2. When we had the pastrami at Oinkster it was chunky and gristley... I am afraid to try it again it was that gross. I did love the pulled prok and hamburger. And the good beer on tap is what keeps me coming back. Was my wierd pastrami just a fluke, because the flavor was great?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: PurpleTeeth

                    wow, they gots beer on tap now, that sounds promising.

                    1. re: kevin

                      Just have to put in my 2 cents - as a former NYer I have had the pastrami at Langers and the pastrami at Oinkster and the verdict is:

                      Langers: OK, but nothing special

                      Oinkster: This stuff is seriously addictive. Have had it more times than I should be eating this high calorie treat.

                      Oinkster probably will not measure up for those who want a more traditional deli type sandwich. As for me, I consider it to be divinely inspired and totally craveable.

                      So, once again, I guess its a matter of taste. Ipse, I'm with you on this one!

                      1. re: jazzlover

                        do you like katz's in ny? langer's is similar, but much better, including the double seeded corn rye bread.

                          1. re: jazzlover

                            As a current NYer I must say that I find it deeply bizarre, and perhaps more than a little transgressive (in a delightfully Californian sort of way), to see people touting a pastrami sandwich from a place called Oinkster.

                      2. So, I can't resist throwing in my two cents either. I like them both. I consider them very different. There are times when I want the thin sliced, piled high, somewhat greasy pastrami of the sort that one gets at The Oinkster or The Hat; and times when I prefer the richer, meatier, more complex flavors of the pastrami at Langer's. I suppose if I had to be stuck on a desert island with just one or the other, I'd pick Langer's. But then another thing to consider is that at Langer's it is the totality of the sandwich - perfect rye bread and the right temperature and proportion of everything, that makes up the pastrami eating experience. I've never sampled just the pastrami alone from either place.