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Feb 13, 2008 10:32 AM

Best Pastrami Sandwich Joint in SF?

6 mo. ago I moved back to SF after a 5 yr stint in West LA. While PPQ, Burma Superstar and my other assorted faves have made my tummy happy...I just now was overcome by a wave of hunger for a big ass pastrami sandwich that would bring me to the brink of cardiac arrest while a grad student in LA. I'm talking 6 inches tall, greasy, yummy authentic jewish pastrami sandwich on rye. I wouldnt mind some chopped liver and gribenes on the side to go with it. Where do I have to go!?

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  1. Unfortunately you'd probably need to go to L.A. for that. Here's a discussion of various wannabes etc.

    1. If your standard is Langer's, you've been spoiled. My favorite local pastrami is at Golden Gate Meat Co. in the downtown Ferry Building. Their pastrami is cut thinner and is fattier and juicier than Langer's: it's a totally different style though also very good.

      Living in SF, there are four things on my cravings list whenever I go to LA : E. Hollywood Thai, K-town Korean, ramen, and Langer's pastrami, not necessarily in that order.

      1. While not a classic Jewish diner presentation, I have found AK's subs to be a good deal for the money...they have a location at 25th and Clement (decent meat counter there also) and one on Eighth Street (SOMA), that closes earlier...

        1. Oddly, you might try Lee's Deli with branches all over downtown. Will it be as good as Cantor' but it will be cheaper and they will toss on a couple of fist fulls of pastrami for like $4 bucks. If it's not enough meat, ask for more..another buck. Ask for it hot and it will be dripping with all that artery clogging goodness. Bread is okay. Might try Saul's in Berkeley. BTW, I thought Langer's p-sandwich was dry...too dry.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ML8000

            You probally didn't order the hand Cut, FATTY pastrami....

          2. I think Miller's East Coast West on Polk is pretty darn good for pastrami (flown in).

            7 Replies
            1. re: Deeg67

              I believe the rye is flown in (half baked), but the pastrami is prepared in-house.

              1. re: Civil Bear

                Nope, according to the owner they get the pastrami from the East Coast. They do source the corned beef (never tried it) from a local family that's been making it since the 20's.

                1. re: Deeg67

                  Ah, I stand corrected. I remebering hearing something about the corned beef on "Check Please." I'm guessing they get it from Robert's Corned Meats on Bryant.

                  1. re: Deeg67

                    I tried East West yesterday, and the pastrami looked, and tasted identical to Boar's Head.

                    It also happened to be sitting in a case full of Boar's Head product, with a stack of other perfectly uniform pastramis (the corned beefs were the only naturally irregular meat there). I had asked before ordering, and they said the stuff wasn't the mass produced junk, but the flavor with what they served was unmistakable.

                    Maybe they did at one time import their meat, or maybe they use the Boars Head as a back up for when they run out each month, who knows....maybe they just mean it comes from a Boars head plant on the East Coast, since it originated in NYC?

                    1. re: sugartoof

                      That is a sad report, indeed, as I recall Miller's used to fly their pastrami in from NY.

                      I'm from the Detroit area (a secret excellent Jewish deli destination, and I'm familiar with the coastal gold standards of Katz's and Langer's. Finding good authentic pastrami here in the Bay Area is a bit futile, I'm afraid. I had some hopes for the sandwich at Golden Gate Meats in the Ferry Building after reading positive reports here, but it fell far short.

                      That said, I'm never unhappy with my pastrami at AK Sub. It's my go-to place when I get a craving.

                      1. re: mrs bacon

                        Luckily this is a great all around sandwich town even if they do fall short on a stripped down classic Pastrami on Rye, where there's nothing masking the meat, or even just Jewish style deli.

                        I've never tried AK Sub, but I was raised on Submarine Center. Who knows what kind of meat they use, because it doesn't even matter once they get done with it!

                        1. re: sugartoof

                          The meat the the refuge is kind of "different", it's melt in the mouth but doesn't have that pastrami spice & fat. When I get the craving, I actually go to Togo's.