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Langer's Beware.....? Hot Pastrami Truck!

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http://fressers.wordpress.com/

The photos look dreadful, but what an interesting idea. Long, slow steamed pastrami would lend itself really well to a mobile operation.

Mr Taster

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  1. Langer's already has a mobile operation. You're the mobile!

    Almost invariably, I swing by to pick up (curbside) a pound of subtly smoky brisket -- in the form of pastrami -- and quickly swing over to the closest McDonald's w/drive-through (on Olympic), where I seek fries and a parking spot. I pull one of those little Dublin Dr. Peppers from my ice chest and eat the lovely, fatty meat with my trembling fingers. Unlike the great majority on this board, I don't care for either the taste or the textures of their rye bread and want nothing between my tongue and the delicate, warm beef except wolfish saliva.

    Job done, the next thing should be a snooze, but the smell of leftover Langer's pastrami attracts too many curiosity-seekers on skateboards, so I get out of there and in the morning finish the meal standing at my kitchen counter, coffee in one hand, cold pastrami in the other. Low-carb -- at this point, low-brow -- it is DELICIOUS cold.

    Don't need no stinkin' truck when the Langer's-transaction takes under five minutes.

    -----
    Langer's Delicatessen
    704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

    3 Replies
    1. re: Harry Nile

      And you don't even need them to tweet you their anticipated location. You already bloody know it.

      1. re: Harry Nile

        It sounds as if you're either 1) in the neighborhood or 2) or have a lot of time to spare during Langer's (very) limited daytime-only operating hours. I'd eat at Langer's quite a lot more if it were more accessible, but no matter how hard I try, I can't get there by 4:00pm when my office closes at 5pm.

        The idea of a high quality pastrami truck rolling up to my office door on Miracle Mile would be too great a temptation to ignore, much to the dismay (or delight) of my waistline.

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster

          Neither, Mr. T. That's why, when I pass through the neighborhood occasionally (especially at an odd hour -- the curb probably gets backed up at normal lunch time), I go with the five-minute transaction for the best pastrami in these parts.

      2. They've managed to spell "sandwich" three ways in fifteen lines of text on the menu linked on that page. And "institutional" is not a compliment.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          that menu is insanely hard to read, but i am glad i am not the only that saw "institutional mashed potaotes."

          that just can't be good.

          1. re: Jelly71

            haha - the 'menu' link seems to removed the excessive "Sandwich"'s and "institutional" is also omitted....

            1. re: The Oracle

              How odd.

              They've actually got two versions of the menu posted. I didn't notice it until DU pointed it out.

              http://fressers.wordpress.com/menu/
              AND
              http://fressers.files.wordpress.com/2...

              Either way, I'm losing confidence in this place.... attention to detail with pastrami is the thing that separates the horrible, chewy stuff from the tender and sublime.

              Let's note the following:

              1. Terrible, unappetizing photos. If they're not putting attention to detail on the photos, ostensibly one of the easiest parts of the operation, then how do we trust the meat?
              2. Silly misspelled menu.
              3. Two different menus.
              4. BEAVER MUSTARD. Where's the Guldens?!?
              5. "Home roasting" is only good if you trust the person whose home is hosting the roasting.
              6. Linda's or Sweet Cheeks... who's fudge is it?

              Welcome to amateur night, folks!

              Mr Taster
              P.S. I **REALLY** hope I'm all wrong abouit this truck.

              1. re: Mr Taster

                "P.S. I **REALLY** hope I'm all wrong abouit this truck."

                I think we all know how this is going to play out.

                12/28/09

                Mr Taster - "LANGERS I'M SORRY I CHEATED ON YOU!"

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  From the Fresser Truck blog:

                  "Most everyone loves the taste of 'flaked' mashed potatoes with gravy whether they admit it or not, or even know that they are eating them. We thought we would play off that and have fun from it because they are good and easier make [sic]. Then we realized it would reflect on the rest of our products which we keep as much under our own cooking control as possible."

                  I think I'll start a hospital food truck. Alter all, people love hospital food whether they admit it or not.

                  1. re: maxzook

                    Wow...that does not bode well.

                  2. re: Mr Taster

                    I can do a much better job on those photos if they would like to hire me. The pastrami looks dry and hard, what you can see and they do not give you much. Glad they have plenty of lettuce on the turkey sandwich, maybe call it a lettuce sandwich with turkey, tomato and mayo. The turkey and the pot roast look aweful. There better be some amazing reviews to get me to go.

                    1. re: Burger Boy

                      Another reminder that it's foolish to judge a book by its cover.

                      1. re: a_and_w

                        Yes but the cover is the first thing you see. Our eyes and sense of smell are the first two things when it comes to food. It should look inviting and enticing. JMTC

                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          I agree, but several people have now confirmed the food is better than the pictures. At this point, I think the picture horse is glue.

                    2. re: Mr Taster

                      Just look at the picture of this sandwich and tell me where are you going to go. I should not go to Langer's today but after all my chores are done, after looking at that picture, I am going! Look at the pic http://www.langersdeli.com/

              2. Dreadful indeed. The sandwich in that picture has a definite vending machine quality to it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Arthur

                  Went Friday night, Jan. 8, in front of The Brig on Abbot Kinney. I go to Langer's on a regular basis. I go to Katz's when in New York. While the rye at Langer's beats all others, the pastrami I had Friday night was as good, or better, than Langer's or Katz's. I realize that every brisket is a bit different and even different where on the brisket it's being cut but this was heaven. Pepper. Spice. Smoke. The real thing. Not much fat but still as tender as can be. The people were friendly. I still like Langer's, too but at 9:00 on a Friday Night, Langer's has been closed for 5 hours!

                  1. re: mopeyboy

                    You lost me at "not much fat". Fat's what gives pastrami its flavour. If I happen to see it I'll try it but I'm not going to seek it out.

                2. Maybe it's just me, but I don't see a conflict between daytime near MacArthur Park and nights in Santa Monica. More effect on a place like Canter's.

                  1. It does not surprise me that there are so many (15 replies as I post) negative comments, ALL from posters that have not tried their offerings. Unprofessional menus, instant spuds (I don't like them either) or whatever don't make for a bad Pastrami Sandwich so I for one will reserve judgement until I try it, and all of the other 'new wave' food trucks!

                    1. Tried them the other day at lunch. Service was a total nightmare with people waiting up to half an hour for sandwiches because they were slicing everything to order. I waited probably 20 minutes for mine.

                      The sandwich itself was tasty but with room for improvement. The bread was good quality, though I'd prefer a little more rye taste. The pastrami was moist and flavorful, but a little on the soggy side -- I think I prefer it just smoked, without the steaming. Also, by the time they made my sandwich, they were trying to speed things up, so the meat more like pulled pastrami, rather than neat slices. This place isn't going to challenge Langer's, and I wouldn't go out of my way for it. But you could far worse for a fershluggen pastrami sandwich if it's in your area.

                      26 Replies
                      1. re: a_and_w

                        Had another one tonight. It was absolutely delicious. Yes, I can see how it might be slow when everything is handcarved, and this thing about the fat? It was still as tender and tasty as can be. If you want a fat sandwich, go to Johnnie's or The Hat. I'm fairly new to Chowhound but Iam amazed at the attitude of some who haven't even tried this sandwich.

                        1. re: mopeyboy

                          Tried it tonight too! A convenient stop along the way home. Was impressed. It's "Langer's style". Obviously nothing can match the real thing but it was enough to satisfy the craving.

                          1. re: QualityMart

                            Glad you liked it. I have had quite a few sub-standard pastrami sandwiches at Langer's. Still like them and I know every piece of meat can be slightly different but it was still annoying, especially at what, $12 a sandwich? I like to sit at a table while eating but as many of us know, Langer's is only open till 4:00 PM and not on Sundays. I won't stop going but I won't go as often.

                            1. re: mopeyboy

                              Just curious, how long did you guys have to wait for your sandwiches after ordering?

                              1. re: a_and_w

                                2 minutes, but the only other people in line were getting theirs right when I walked up so there was no wait.

                          2. re: mopeyboy

                            "I'm fairly new to Chowhound but Iam [sic] amazed at the attitude of some who haven't even tried this sandwich."

                            What attitude? The only negative comments on this page have been that the Fresser's marketing materials are amateurish and do nothing to make their menu fare appear appetizing. If they can't make their own food look palatable, why should anyone reasonably be expected to seek them out?

                            1. re: Arthur

                              I second that. I love Pastrami, but those photos don't look good at all. They look like generic "clip art". Like somebody googled "pastrami sandwich" and that is what they came up with.

                              1. re: bsquared2

                                True, but the sandwich MAY taste good!

                                1. re: sel

                                  It is good.. My only problem with Fresser's is that they are very sporadic and not out very much. I hope that changes but I have been disappointed.

                                  1. re: mopeyboy

                                    Did it again. Had two today. One on rye and one on French. No condiments. Pepper. Spice. Perfect.

                                    Tried the coconut bar for the first time and it was delicious.

                                    1. re: mopeyboy

                                      Had one today that was quite tasty and had nowhere near as long a wait. The potato salad was also surprisingly decent -- nice and eggy.

                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                        decent does not make me want to get in my car and drive to get something decent.

                                        1. re: Burger Boy

                                          Your loss. It's pretty tasty.

                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                            By your own words it is decent. Pretty tasty, tell me it is the best you have had, it is as good as Langer's, it is the best in L.A. but pretty tasty and decent do not instill excitement in me. My Loss I guess!

                                            1. re: Burger Boy

                                              Hey BB, have you ever had the black pastrami out at Brent's in Northridge? I am trying to make time to go and have a black pastrami Reuben soon.

                                              http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_12lMvRlRTcw...

                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                No I have not, but a trusted friend who I have been to Langer's with swears it is better. I just need to get in my car and go.

                                                1. re: Burger Boy

                                                  Have car. Will pastrami! ;-D>

                                                  one more image: http://www.foodgps.com/wp-content/upl...

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    Is that Brent's or Langer's? I a off to lunch.

                                                    1. re: Burger Boy

                                                      Both photos are of Brent's black pastrami Reuben.

                                                2. re: Servorg

                                                  Langer's is better, but if you're in the Valley and don't want to fight traffic on the 101 or wait for the Red Line, Brent's will do you just fine—and their bread is better.

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    Why do they call it black? Is it the peppercorns on the outside??

                                                    1. re: brutusln

                                                      I don't know. Still trying to get out there to actually eat one.

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        Had the black pastrami reuben today at Brent's ($13.95). This was a seriously great sandwich. As noted, wonderful rye bread grilled to perfection with some of the most flavorful, tender pastrami and the swiss to a bountiful bunch of sauerkraut and a healthy schmear of russian dressing made for an A+ in my sandwich book. Can't wait to get back out and have another one. My idea of heaven on grilled rye. Wow. Home Run...

                                                        -----
                                                        Brent's Deli
                                                        19565 Parthenia St, Northridge, CA 91324

                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                          Yes, that ruben at Brent's is a great sandwich.

                                                  2. re: Burger Boy

                                                    Come on, dude. Obviously, it's not the best I ever had, and I was quite clear that it's not going to challenge Langer's. But it's a tasty sandwich that's worth a try. Your hostility to a place you've never been is just bizarre.

                                    2. re: Arthur

                                      Bad photography ... ha! Oddly enough, the owner is also in the photog business.

                                2. Tried it. Fresser's truck was on Miacle Mile on Thurs or Fri last week. Odd that half the menu was taped of, but I didn't care because the pastrami was available and that's al I cared about. Those "industrial mashed potatoes" were nowhere to be found. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the results. $8.25 (tax included) gets you a Langer's style sandwich- even down to the steam toasted rye (this was a great surprise- I am shocked nobody else commented on it). Thick, juicy slices of very tender meat. Foil-wrapped pickle spear at bottom of the bag. And although the dreaded Beaver mustard was present, I was delighted to see a bottle of Gulden's as well. My only real complaints was that a thimble of very average cole slaw cost $1, and the meat itself was not nearly as well spiced as Langer's. Also, it took about 25 minutes to get my sandwich (even though the counter girl estimated minutes. Overall, a superior sandwich and one I'd go for again.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    Yeah, they took an abnormally long time to make our half sandwiches at the L.A. Food Fest today.... they were one of the shortest lines and now I know why... yeesh...

                                    Anyway, I also really like the Sandwich. Not nearly as good as langers, but SO much better than Oinkster.... I'd totally order a full size again if I got the chance...

                                    The other sandwiches and the pot roast however.... meh...

                                    --Dommy!

                                    1. re: Dommy

                                      Now that you brought it up, I too objected to Oinksters. It's the thin slicing that makes it resemble buddig pressed meats from Ralphs. The thinner something is shaved, the more room there is for shenanigans like pressing and pre-processing. Thick sliced Langers can't be pressed, can't be anything but traditional cooked expensive beef.

                                      1. re: Dommy

                                        I really don't get why it takes them so long to make the sandwich some times but not others. The first time I went, I waited 20-30 minutes, but every other visit it's been more like 2-3 minutes. What could possibly explain such extreme variation in prep time?

                                    2. I just revisited their website. The awful pictures are now buried a few pages in. When you now click on the link in the OP's post, pretty much all you see is copy.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: Arthur

                                        Have you had a chance to try their sandwich yet? I was foiled a couple of months back when he was parked on Abbot Kinney. As I was literally motioning with my index finger to indicate that I wanted to order one sandwich, an overly zealous shopkeeper went ape-$#!+ on him. He promptly closed his doors and left.

                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                          No, sorry, I can't say that I have. Frankly, I just haven't pushed myself to get into the whole food truck phenomenon. Chasing down a vehicle via Twitter feeds, then waiting in an outrageously long line just so I can eat in my car? Sorry, that's not how I see enjoying my lunch or dinner. (But more power to those who do!) On the other hand, if it was parked right near my building...

                                          1. re: Arthur

                                            I'm similar in your mindset. But this was my chance - I was literally walking by, recognized it, the lightbulb went on, and POOF - my visions of a potentially GOOD truck experience vanished with the mad rant of shopkeeper.

                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                              Hey, bula - was this "shopkeeper" a bicks and mortar restaurant owner/operator?

                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                Yep - right next to the Farmacy ( a few shops north of the Brig). Shop owners in the area have been really hot about these trucks taking up parking on the street. Shop owners say they lose potential customers because the parking situation just gets worse as well as reducing their visibility from passing traffic. Truck owners say they bring more foot traffic to the street, thereby increasing potential shoppers. I think those shops and eateries that are doing well tolerate the trucks in general, while those that may be struggling need to vent on any visible target.

                                          2. re: bulavinaka

                                            I've had it... in the Pastrami-verse it's below Langers, but above Oinkster, which makes it pretty darn good. Even the bread is decent...

                                            Sadly no picture, we had it at the LA Street Food fest and had so many people around me that I was afraid if I didn't eat it right away, someone would come up and do it for me... LOL!!

                                            --Dommy!

                                            -----
                                            Oinkster
                                            2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                            1. re: Dommy

                                              Wow - so I guess I really missed something worthy! :(