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I have been to the Brothers, which I like quite a bit. I will be spending a little bit of time in St Paul today, so any ideas for both Mpls and St Paul would be appreciated. Mort's is too far out! I'm sure this will be a fun topic!

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  1. My caveat is that I haven't had too many of the pastrami sandwiches around town, but of the ones I've had, BeWiched takes the cake. Man, I love those things. They house brine the meat, and the sandwich is wonderfully composed with cabbage and spicy mustard. The rye its on is terrific.

    The only real consistent complaint I have heard about the sandwich is that it isn't a "hot" pastrami sandwich - the meat is room temp. I guess I was never expecting the meat to be hot (although I have had sandwiches that way, and they are good) but the flavors are just so wonderful in that sandwich, that I don't care what temp it is.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pgokey

      I agree with pgokey on BeWiched; the bread is thin and soft, the mustard is sinus-clearingly spicy and the pastrami is outstanding (though a bit milder than I would prefer).

      Surdyk's sometimes has a pastrami on rye as well, and it very reminiscent of BeWiched's version, (cabbage salad, seeded rye) but without the great mustard.

      1. re: Foureyes137

        I'll third Be'Wiched, since their Pastrami is one of the best food items of any kind in the cities.

        Beyond the great ingredients, I was struck by the balance and placement. Every bite strikes the same chord, which is a rarity in even the best sandwiches.

    2. Be'Wiched.

      One warning...if you don't like horseradish spicy, have them tone it down. The first bite of my sandwich the other day almost launched me out of my car onto Nicollet Mall. I'm not sure if it was just the assembler that day or if they've generally stepped it up, but it was much more potent than usual.

      1. Morts is only minutes away from minneapolis... just down 55 basically from Be'Wiched (around 5 minutes).

        I lost out on Be'wiched i guess... when i was there the bread was stale, meat was dry and it was all around an absolutely terrible sandwich, so bad i couldnt even finish -however the flavor was spot on. But i hear great things, i think i need to go back.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ashii

          That's funny. You pretty much described my experience with Mort's pastrami on rye, except that the flavor wasn't even good. I guess it goes to show how elusive a good pastrami sandwich is in this town.

          1. re: ashii

            Mort's pastrami is inedible. It's so dry, little flakes fall out of the sandwich -- and little flakes is about all there is.

          2. Yup, Be'Wiched. Best sandwich in the entire TC for that matter. Except when Be'wiched does their short rib and taleggio sandwich. Then that's the best. If they would only decide to do an eggplant parm...

            1 Reply
            1. re: eatyourpeas

              Morts pastrami from the Carnegi deli is the best in town. The Brothers is second. Nothing else is that good. Cecils is too lean. Pastrami jacks is so. The only problem with Morts is the bread is not great but the hot pastrami rocks.

            2. adding to the chorus of be'witched. . .

              but-- i also had a very good pastrami sandwich at nick & eddies once, though i don't think that's it's a regular menu item. i was bummed when i went back a week later, craving the sandwich, and it was gone!!! if you spot the elusive pastrami at n&e's, grab it while you can.

              1. Just got back from Be'wiched. Didn't particularly care for it. The flavor was average, but my biggest complaint was price. The sandwich alone was $11, and afterwards I felt like I had room for another. I'm not a particularly big eater, either.

                9 Replies
                1. re: SpursDynasty

                  You would do well to stay away from Cecil's. Limp, flimsy and very stingy with the amount of meat they give you for just under $9.00

                  1. re: SpursDynasty

                    Which sandwich did you order? The prices online indicate $9.50 or less, and that has always been my experience going there.

                    1. re: kevin47

                      The pastrami on rye. $10 and change after tax, so just rounded up. I thought it was really small. Maybe I need to order it New York style next time, but I don't know about spending $14 for a sandwich.

                      1. re: SpursDynasty

                        Fair enough. Most people evaluate price based on what's printed on the menu. I think Be'Wiched provides excellent value for the money. The fact that it is a sandwich doesn't detract from the fact that it is comprised of solid ingredients prepared by real experts.

                        Pastrami is an expensive item ($10/lb.) when you buy it in stores, and the quality at Bewiched far exceeds store-bought stuff. I could go to a chain and get a bigger sandwich for the same price, but why? It's not healthy, it's not local, it's not anywhere near as good.

                        1. re: kevin47

                          I agree with you kevin. The prices at Be'wiched are high in proportion to the portion sizes. You are paying for quality of ingredients and the effort involved in house-curing the meat and doing everything else from scratch. I love walking in there and smelling onions sauteeing or watching them actually carve a turkey in the back. I'll gladly pay the extra money for that but I recognize it just isn't everyone's bag.

                          1. re: MSPD

                            I understand where you all are coming from believe me. But seriously it isn't THAT labor intensive to throw a brisket of beef in some water with pickling spices and 2 days later throw it into an oven. It's not gonna break their bottom line to throw a few more slices of beef into the sandwich without charging 3 more dollars.

                            1. re: Fudist

                              True. But when you consider nobody else within a 5-hour drive does an even PASSABLE job of it, that's another reason to grit your teeth and put down the money if you have to have a pastrami fix.

                            2. re: MSPD

                              So the photo on their website's menu is not an accurate representation of the end product?

                              1. re: jfood

                                That is the NY Style. I believe that is 3/4 lb. of pastrami, twice as much as the regular.

                                I don't think their price point differs substantially from other restaurants. Mort's charges $13-18 for their pastrami sandwiches. Cecil's clocks in at $9. Cheeky Monkey doesn't have a pastrami sandwich.

                    2. Hello. I am new to the boards here and hate to ruffle any feathers. But, am I alone in my disappointment with the way B'witched slices/serves their pastrami? It seems to sort of homogenize it when they slice it so thin, and serve it unwarmed.
                      A good pastrami sandwich, IMHO, should highlight the contrasts between the decadent warm fattiness, the smokey, piney, nose tingling black pepper and coriander "bark" , and the salty, toothsome chew of the protein. The way B'witched serves it, it just comes off as high end lunch meat sliced into oblivion. Every bite is the same. And while it tastes good, it could just as easily be industrial corned beef or pastrami. Until I am able to try it sliced into shingles and warmed (i admit I haven't asked), I have trouble finding it much more satisfying than store brined products. Not bad, just decent. The home made dry cured/smoked/sliced version i made a few weeks back blew it out of the water....

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: aec2011

                        I have tried really hard to like B'witched. I agree with their concept and support and admire how they do things. That said, I haven't had anything remotely good there yet. The meat has been sparse, dry, and chewy to the point that the whole (messily-assembled) sandwich disintegrates when eaten.

                        We went to Mort's when it first opened and thought it was so-so. We should try it again.

                        Nick and Eddie is a gem and I can see how their pastrami might be good. Unfortunately, this is a place that you have to catch on a good day. When they're good, they're REALLY good; when they miss the target, well....

                        Cecil's used to be pretty good in a lovely old-fashioned way. Unfortunately, their quality has suffered in recent years and it's no longer a destination for us.

                        I'm quite sure that when Surdyk's does pastrami, they do it well.

                        1. re: aec2011

                          That seems to be a point of contention w/r/t pastrami sandwiches in general. The case for thin sliced is that you have more touchpoints to taste the meat itself.

                          I strenuously disagree with the comparison to industrial pastrami. You are entitled to your opinions, but not your own facts. Even Mort's, with which I am largely unimpressed, is far better than your basic deli pastrami. When someone makes an effort to do it right, it shows.

                          1. re: kevin47

                            Kevin- Thank you for entitling me to my opinions ;-). I would ague my "facts" are sound, and thereby I'm entitled to them as well.

                            Before I start, I want to make sure and include what I forgot to say in my in my original post: Many other things I've had @ B'withced have been fantastic. I genuinely enjoy what they do, and i do frequent the place for lunch. They make, hands down, my favorite egg salad in town. And, I would confidently recommend the place to others. Even the pastrami is good (just not great), I just have a prob with the way they serve it. Sorry I left that out earlier...

                            Okay, that being said, back to the pastrami. I think your point of contention with said "facts" may have stemmed from a misunderstanding as to what type of industrial product I am speaking of. I should have made that more clear. I was certainly not comparing their pastrami to the pre-packaged sliced Budding or the "deli" loaf garbage you get at your local big box grocer. I was referring to an industrially wet-brined brisket coated with pepper/coriander, smoked, steamed tender, but then sliced thin and served room temp. This is not an inherently bad thing. In fact it will be quite satisfying, and taste good. It just won't have the same depth or complexity as a dry cured version done with a point cut brisket, or navel plate, sliced into thick shingles glistening with warm fatty goodness. MMMmmmmm!!!!!!

                            If it seemed like I was B'littling B'withched, it was not my intention. I just wish we had more pastrami options in these towns........

                            1. re: kevin47

                              In general, I've noticed folks in Minnesota tend to like their deli meats "shaved". I've never seen shaved deli meat before coming here. I'm sure there's a theory behind it - perhaps the "more touchpoints". Personally, I'm not a fan of shaved meat. While B'witched pastrami isn't shaved, it's thinner than I like, and, in general, pastrami in the area tends to be sliced thinner than my preference.

                              The woeful state of pastrami in the TC perennially comes up, but the conversation shouldn't be limited to just that one meat - you can count the seriously good sandwich places in the Twin Cities on one hand (well, maybe 2, but you don't need all your fingers).

                              Don't get me wrong - there's a ton of things that the Twin Cities does great, and it's really a bastion of great restaurants (congrats to Russo and Becker). But making great sandwiches just isn't something Minnesota does well in general.

                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                I don't like my deli meats shaved, for the very reason that shaved meat generally becomes goo on sandwiches. I'm open to either thin or thick preparations, and my guess is that Mort's doesn't do the latter justice because it really lacks flavor.

                                We don't have great sandwiches because we do not pay for great sandwiches. Give a restaurant a clientele that will pay $15-25 for a great sandwich, and they will come.

                                The title of this post is best pastrami in the Twin Cities, not best pastrami in the world. If you think Mort's is better, alright then, but Be'Wiched is very close to best of class.

                          2. No, you're all right about the Bewiched pastrami sandwich. I tried it one day, based on recommendations here, and it was awful. There was something seriously wrong with the meat. It was grisly, chewy, and just plain horrible. Bewiched has pretty good soups, but other than that............

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: alpa chino

                              all i say is RIP Pastrami Jacks, the best pastrami in the TC's

                            2. Does anyone remember Louie's Habit in Wayzata? That was some fat sliced, unctuous, spice edged goodness. sigh.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: sporkgirl

                                remembered both pastrami jacks and louie's habit. Both very good but my favorite is Morts. Haven't tried Brothers or Crossroads deli.

                                1. re: ticrta

                                  Have any of you been to Pastrami Tommy in Oakdale? I went there a few times probably like a year ago and for some reason just stopped going. I have no idea why because I always liked it.

                                  Tried it again last week and thought it was outstanding. Sides weren't the greatest but the pastrami was top notch. Not as good as Brothers but since I live on the East Side it makes for a much shorter trip when I get a hankering for pastrami.

                                  Pastrami Tommy's
                                  1091 Geneva Avenue North, Oakdale, MN 55128

                                  1. re: whoopdido

                                    I've been there a few times, it's not bad given what it is (especially since there are very few options on the East side), but it's just Vienna brand meat dressed up in cheese, mustard and griddled rye.

                                    I do really like there potato salad though, and their prices are reasonable.