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Jan 4, 2008 11:18 AM

Langer's--As good as it used to be?

I've had Langer's 4 times over the past 6 weeks or so. I order the same thing everytime and have been ordering the same thing since I kicked the #19 habit about 2 years ago. Pastrami on rye. I put a little mustard on it myself but always take a bite or two without.
These sandwiches have all been curbside take-out, same as I've been doing for the last few years.
The pastrami isn't what it used to be or I remember it being. It used to be achingly tender and juicy and bursting with flavour. It was impossible to eat without fingers getting covered in pastrami juices/grease. The meat is still as tender as ever but the moisture is not what it used to be and the flavour isn't as deep. I find myself looking for coleslaw or something to wet the sandwich. This wasn't ever a concern before this past run of sandwiches.
It's still a great sandwich and something that I look forward to but I no longer find myself thinking, as I'm eating, about how it'll be too long before I get to have one of these again.

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  1. Since every batch of pastrami is different, I would simply chalk it up to a less than optimal batch. I think getting a pastrami reuben is a good way to mix it up a bit while still supporting the deli.

    Langer's Delicatessen
    704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

    11 Replies
    1. re: SauceSupreme

      I agree: pastrami reuben. A better, more complex mix than a pastrami sand. When I discovered the pastrami reuben, I consigned corned beef to the outer darkness.

      1. re: SauceSupreme

        I tried the pastrami rueben the last time that I went and while very good, I found that it takes away from the pastrami itself which for me isn't a good thing at Langers.

        1. re: JAB

          I agree that the hand cut is still the way to go, but I offered it as a suggestion to mix it up. Perhaps the OP was suffering from the fatigue of ordering the same thing every time.

          1. re: SauceSupreme

            I love pastrami but haven't been to Langer's yet. Just wondering...what makes hand cut superior to other cuts (machine??)?

            1. re: fdb

              In my opinion, hand-cut pastrami gives you bigger chunks of pastrami (as opposed to a stack of sheet-thin slices). That's important because in those large chunks, a whole new depth of flavor emerges.

              Hey, looky here, I actually had a thread about it. I don't even remember starting this thread. See Mr Taster's explanation in the responses here:


              (Readers of the board from earlier this year will remember that the Taster wedding actually was partially catered by Langer's.)

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                Now, I really can't wait to go. To make sure I get it right for the first time, what exactly must I say when I order?

                1. re: fdb

                  Plain pastrami on rye, hand-cut.

                    1. re: fdb

                      I was going to make mention of it, but I know the server will ask you. I like it with mustard but I didn't want my predilections to sway you. It's all about the meat and the bread, so ask for some on the side if you like.

                      1. re: fdb

                        There's deli mustard on the table to add to your liking.

                        1. re: JAB

                          I also order the pastrami, hand-cut, on rye. But I also specify that they should not trim the fatty crust -- that is where a lot of the moisture, pepper, and texture lies.

        2. Are you getting hand cut?

          1. Ack!! Is it possible... pastrami fatigue?!?

            1. I always get the number 1. It's the same as the #19 but without the cheese. The cheese is so mild I can't taste it with all the other things on the sandwich, so who needs it. I slather the hot Chinese mustard on it. That way, you get 4 distinct experiences. The wonderful salty flavor of the pastrami, the sweet Russian dressing, the crunch of the coleslaw and the heat of the mustard. With the krinkle-cut fries on the side I'm in heaven.

              1. I went to Langer's for the first time today. Ordered hand-cut plain pastrami on rye with mustard (as per instructed by fellow 'hounds, thanks) for curbside pickup ... ummmm, ummmm, ummmm!!! It was really juicy and moist with just the right amount of fat. The bread was very soft and fresh, and the crust perfectly crunchy. I agree the flavor is not as intense as 2nd Ave Deli (my previous favorite), but overall it was a fabulous sandwich! I'm curious about coleslaw and Russian dressing--maybe I'll try that next time.

                4 Replies
                1. re: fdb

                  If you have time and perhaps a dining companion, you can park a block away (on the north side of 7th, a block east across the street, validated and guarded) and stop in. Share an order of the krinkly fries, and be sure to order welldone. Or start with a cup of matzoh ball soup. Did they put a couple of pickle spears in with your to-go sandwich and seal them properly?

                  1. re: nosh

                    Yes, pickles, mint candy and handi-wipe. I'm a pickle person but don't care for theirs much. I like them crunchier. Thanks for the parking info and suggestion. I was planning on dining in today but couldn't find a parking space so after circling the block 3 times, I called in my order. Matzoh ball soup and krinkly fries sound good. I'll definitly try to dine in with a friend sometime.

                    1. re: fdb

                      Not everyone knows they have an arrangement with that lot, since it is a block away. No big signs that I can recall saying that Langer's validates, either. But it is free, though I always tip a buck or two.

                    2. re: nosh

                      oh yes, their fries crunchy are BOMB!