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Feb 16, 2008 02:06 PM

Wood Tavern pastrami sandwich [Oakland]

Warning: this is not remotely most people have in mind when they ask for a pastrami sandwich. Nevertheless, for the open-minded, it may be the best pastrami sandwich in the area. Best I've had by a long shot.

Niman pastrami (to my surprise nice and fatty), sliced thin, piled high on a length of fairly wide La Farine baguette slathered with Dijon mustard and horseradish dressing, topped with melted Emmethaler. Really great combination. The baguette holds together better than the traditional sliced rye. Some people would think it was too salty.

Comes with a wonderful cabbage slaw with cilantro and green chiles, simply dressed with olive oil, citrus, and salt, and a few slices of excellent house-made pickles. Served at lunch only. Worth a trip from San Francisco.

Wood Tavern
6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

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  1. My wife swears by that sandwich as well. Wood Tavern is one of those restaurants that just seems to be hitting on all cylinders.

    1. I've been waiting for your take on this. I need to schedule a trip. Pastrami should not be ghettoized to crumbly, thin sliced rye! Could you describe the flavors present in the rub, if they were evident?

      4 Replies
      1. re: P. Punko

        I was too busy gorging myself to analyze it that carefully.

        Definitely tasted of pork fat.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            We used to joke that pastrami came from the mythical pastrami beast, some sort of kosher relative of unkosher beasts.

          2. re: Robert Lauriston

            Good recommendation. We too were too busy wolfing it down to think too carefully, but I did notice that the meat was particularly moist with what must have been rendered fat. Based on the flavor, I could believe that they're moistening the pastrami with pork fat when they warm it.

            The sea smoke sandwich of smoked black cod didn't really work. The fish had perfect texture and great flavor, but wanted to slip out of the sandwich. I'd re-engineer it as a chunky spread to put over romesco-smeared toasts, accented with preserved lemon and some type of bright-tasting fresh herb.

        1. I had this for lunch today, and it was really really good. The pastrami was nicely fatty and good, and all of the condiments went perfectly. I also loved that slaw.

          1. The Wood Tavern's Pastrami Sandwich is simply the best in the Bay Area. I know it is not traditional, but it doesn't matter. In fact, it is probably the best sandwich, period, in the Bay Area. We've been known to have dinner on Friday at Wood Tavern and still come back on Saturday for that sandwich.

            1. I was lucky enough to be treated to a pastrami sandwich at Wood Tavern last week. It was a bit on the salty side for me, but overall, it was a very good sandwich. I loved the baugette, which you look at and think it's too hard to eat with the thinly cut pastrami, but it isn't. The dijon was very strong, in a good way. The pickles are very good. The slaw was okay, I like the slaw at Bakesale better, but that's me. I am lucky to live very close to Refuge in San Carlos, they have an awesome pastrami, which I think I prefer to the Wood Tavern. But, the fries at WT beat Refuge, no contest. Oh, and don't miss WT's crispy pork belly. Bacon and egg heaven.