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Jan 2, 2009 12:49 PM

real corned beef or pastami

i was just wondering if there are any new york style delis anywhere in the area. i've lived here all my life, and have never seen a deli that cures there own corned beef, or that spices and smokes ther own pastrami. i was recently in manhatten, and the quality of the deli's are unmatched by anything i've ever seen around here. i'm hoping that i might get pointed in the right direction, because someone, somewhere must be doing it right!

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  1. Two places come to mind. Both are mostly takeout with a couple tables- not a full-service deli. Michael's in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, and Arthur's in Chelsea.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Luther

      I'll second Michael's. I know the old hounds have heard this but I went to Carnegie and Michael's within the same week and really can say that Michael's meat is as good. He says he sources it carefully so it could be the same. I don't know. I would believe it if he told me that it was Carnegie.

      1. re: BostonZest

        Agreed. I had lunch at 2nd Ave. Deli in NYC yesterday and I have to say that while their pastrami is definitely better than Michael's, Michael's corned beef is tastier than 2nd Ave. And that's saying something!

    2. Maxie's Deli in Stoughton cures their own corned beef, I believe. It's not quite as good as NY, but it's darned good, and it's much cheaper than the NY delis at around $10 a pound (a buck more for extra lean).

      1. Whether or not a deli cures their own Corned Beef or smokes their own Pastrami is not as important as how it's need to fund a place where the pastrami spends 3 or more hours or more in the steam cabinet before slicing for your sandwich.
        Truth is, while some NY delis cure their own meats, most don't...a lot of them source these products from a plant in (I think) Albany NY, or from Carnegie Deli's wholesale division...their pastrami is made at their plant in NJ. The key to "real" pastrami is that it should not be too lean (liberally fatted "navel" pastrami is best) and it should spend hours in the steam cabinet. Pastrami not heated in this manner pror to serving is almost always tough.

        4 Replies
        1. re: The Professor

          Unfortunately, you've hit on a major lacuna in Boston, but all hope is not lost.

          Barry's Deli in Waban has quite good corned beef.

          Sam Lagrassas downtown often gets the nod for a terrific pastrami sandwich.

          I remember not liking this place much in the past, but a recent trip to Rubin's, the kosher deli in Brookline, netted a terrific pastrami sandwich --- one of the best I've had in a very long time. It was also one of the most expensive!

          As a last resort, there's always the ninenty minute ride to Rein's Deli, in Vernon CT (right off of I-84). While it's convenient on the way back from New York City, on more than one occaison we've taken the drive there and back to pickup lox, whitefish salad, pastrami, and mushroom barley soup.

          1. re: lipoff

            There's also a Rein's in W Springfield, convenient to Big E and 6 Flags.
            Barry's is good, but saw them heat CB in the micro once.
            I really must try Michael's. Is that the one on the corner?
            Any input on Kugel's in Framingham.
            BTW, I think Al's if that's one neat the entrance to IKEA, is gone.

            1. re: trufflehound

              Al's isn't anywhere near IKEA. It's in Sharon a mile from exit 8 off of 95. Ikea is off of Rt 24 in Avon.

          2. re: The Professor

            True - even 2nd Ave Deli in NYC proudly claims to cure their own pastrami and tongue, but make no such claim about their corned beef or other deli meats.

          3. Arthur's in Chelsea and Al's in Sharon (about a mile from Exit 8 off 95) are both excellent. After stumbling on Al's, I stopped requesting care packages when friends go to NY. I got into a conversation with the owner who told me gets it in "the city"(New York city). Last month, I finally tried Maxie's in Stoughton and was very disappointed. It reminded me of the corned beef at Stop and Shop. On a side note..the meat knishes I got at Maxie's were terrible too. VERY greasy. I threw them out. Barry's deli is pretty good...when it comes to corned beef, I'd rate them pretty close to my first 2. When I'm lazy and don't feel like making it, I get a few qts of wonderful REAL chicken soup and matzo balls and freeze them so I have them on hand. The knishes are good too but very big.

            2 Replies
            1. re: catsmeow

              Michael's in brookline is the best. he imports meats from the same processors the nyc deli's use. so its just like being in nyc. enjoy

              1. re: catsmeow

                Is this "Al's" you're referring to in Sharon on S. Main St, in Sharon Heights Plaza? There's a deli there, but I'm pretty sure it's not "Al's", and I'd love to try the place you're recommending.

              2. You might want to check out Sam La Grassa's deli on Province St downtown..M-F; lunch only. Not the usual "Jewish deli" items but home cured corned beef and pastrami. I rank their pastrami best in Boston and their CB a close second to Michael's in Brookline..btw, had a few very good meat and potato knishes from Michael's last week..not offfered at SLG.


                1 Reply
                1. re: 9lives

                  I think Sam La Grassa's is pretty close to NYC. Unfortunately, they don't have the bread. They have portuguese rolls (definitely do not eat with pastrami - the sweetness is overwhelming) and their rye and pumpernickel are standard wonder bread fare. The bread, to me, is half the equation - nothing like real sisal or sometimes a crusty Kaiser roll. They do have some excellent fresh pickles - if you order a side, they give you a plateful.