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Langer's question...

Anyone ever order the hot pastrami with cream cheese and tomatoes? It sounds really frickin good, but I wouldn't want to waste a trip if it pales compared to a regular pastrami. Would appreciate some imput. Thanks.

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  1. The pastrami at Langer’s is so amazing that I hate to put anything extra on it. Maybe I’m just boring, but I always order the plain hot pastrami sandwich on the fabulous double-baked rye bread. Just the bread, a little mustard, and the pastrami. That’s heaven! Adding extras would almost seem like putting vanilla syrup and coke into a glass of Romanee-Conti. For the same reason, I don’t put Tabasco, lemon, or mignonette on a fresh raw oyster from Washington or Canada. For Gulf oysters, who cares? But for the briny delicacy of a fresh-from-the-sea Pacific Northwest oyster, why screw it up? Especially when I’m tasting a variety of PNW oysters and trying to discern the subtle differences between them. To beat this horse completely to death, one of the best desserts I ever had, at the Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley, consisted of a single Kishu tangerine from Churchill Orchard in the Ojai Valley and three Barhi dates from the Flying Disc Ranch in the Coachella Valley. Simple, and simply amazing flavors. Less is often more.

    1. Tom Is correct, IMO, and he's not boring at all. Cream cheese and tomatoes probably would pep up a lesser sandwich, but the plain pastrami (hand cut only) needs no additions. That's why I avoid the much touted #19 which, IMO, dilutes the flavor and texture of both the meat and the bread. Don't forget to request "new" pickles.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TomSwift

        I agree. They keep pushing the sandwich with cheese. But once you taste it, you realize the pared down version is the better version.

      2. Count me among the "please don't do it" faction.

        Well, I'm exaggerating (a little bit) since you should of course order what you like, but Langer's pastrami is quite good and putting anything on it (except maybe the slightest trace of mustard) seems a shame. My work sometimes brings me to the LA area and Langer's is always on my list to visit.

        And TomSwift is right...be sure to ask for the "new" or "half sour" pickles. Their more subtle flavor is the perfect accompaniment to the sandwich.

        1. As a sucker for cream cheese, I think it sounds really amazing too. Sacreligious, but really delcious. Report back if you order one because I'm dying to know.

          1. I'm in the purists' camp on this issue...

            1. A good deli style mustard is the only adornment for me. I'm a big ruben fan and I tried the pastrami that way once and only once.

              1. I say try it. It might be amazing. I love their pastrami. Worst that could happen is you learn something and are out a few $s

                1. I don't think I'd bother. Why tinker with perfection? But, I do very much like cream cheese and tomatoes with salami on rye (with mustard), either the Jewish salami or Italian dry, either one. I think that's a very good sandwich, especially if you throw a slice of onion in there, too.

                  1. I've tried it (along with a couple other variations), and I didn't care for it as much as the plain or #19. They put more cream cheese than I had imagined and it took away from the pastrami. Still solid, but stick with the original or the #19 (I personally like the 19 better).

                    1. Allright, ya'll. I think I might stick with classic, as it's my first Langers trip. But I will definitely have to order it soon, as I'm a glutten for cream cheese....I'll update on Saturday, after I eat.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: schrutefarms

                        Past questions regarding having the #19 or getting a "plain" pastrami with some deli mustard elicited a good idea to get one of each and either mix and match with your dining companion (if you have one) or take the left overs home if you are dining alone. Would that method work for you in this case?

                        1. re: schrutefarms

                          Just order 2 #19's and experiment on your own - one with cheese, one without.

                        2. I'm so happy!!!

                          I cannot tell you how delighted I am too see so many chowhounds praising the plain pastrami on rye with mustard, which is pastrami as God (or at least a whole lot of eastern European Jews and New Yorkers) intended it.

                          I've been fighting the good fight against the Langer's #19 monstrosity (and other adulterated incarnations of the sandwich) since (at least) 2005:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6934...

                          This is literally the first post I've come across that didn't overwhelmingly give blind praise to the #19:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3330...
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5149...
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3924...

                          You've made me proud, Chowhounds!!

                          Mr Taster

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            I think a lot of folks, including myself, really love the flavor combinations of the #19 over the plain, so it's hardly blind praise...

                            1. re: wakko11

                              A recent story on NPR talks about the demise of the Jewish deli and why ordering your pastrami on white bread is a sin.

                              I've posted a link to it on the Food Media board.

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/659446

                              Mr Taster

                          2. UPDATE--
                            Went to Langers today, decided to wait to try the cream cheese and pastrami. Instead had the #44-pastrami, sourkraut, swiss (I subbed it for their reg cheese) and mustard on rye. Greasy perfection.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: schrutefarms

                              Greasy? Langer's pastrami is not so greasy . . .maybe the wonderful cheese did it.

                              1. re: kc girl

                                This franchise would be an incredible goldmine on the Westside or beach cities. Do you know if they plan on staying downtown indefinitely?

                                1. re: bernardo

                                  "This franchise would be an incredible goldmine [in name your neighborhood or city]."

                                  I've seen that thought destroy more than one great small restaurant around the country. I vote for Langer's staying Langer's, although I wish they would stay open until 4:30 or at least 4:15. ;-)

                            2. I echo the sentiments expressed above. Get the pastrami hot and unadorned with the exception of mustard. Buy a loaf of their rye bread and try the tomato/cream cheese thing at home.

                              1. Umm, as a long time pastrami loving Jew from New York, what's so terrible about the number 1? Cole slaw and Russian. That's how I've eaten pastrami sandwiches since childhood, along with my whole family and our whole circle of friends and relatives. I never knew there was another way. Cheese? No way. Plain? Also, no way. Langers rules, for sure. I will probably never try anything except the number 1. Aptly named, I might add.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: la tache burger

                                  Well of course...I'll give you that one. I do still like really _good_ pastrami best unadorned, but the #1 is certainly a nice combo (especially if the pastrami itself isn't quite top notch).

                                  1. re: The Professor

                                    Langer's pastrami is good enough to eat with your fingers. No bread necessary. At home, will I put on a little mayo, a little Ranch, a little wasabi? Yeah, I might.

                                    Think of all the great things that have happened because people put stuff in their mouths after they were told by a higher authority not to...

                                2. We know this is a fine line to walk, but we'd ask posters to stick to either answering the poster's question ("Anyone ever order the hot pastrami with cream cheese and tomatoes?... [does it pale] compared to a regular pastrami) or share your experiences with other winning options from the Langer's menu.

                                  General discussion on what you like on a sandwich and how you think other people should eat their sandwiches is off topic for this board, and we've removed number of posts in that line of discussion.