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Langers was good but............

i
Illuminatus Oct 28, 2010 04:04 PM

I had always heard so much about Langers Pastrami sandwiches and how good they were. So I finally went with a friend to have one. The sandwich was good, no doubt, but the price.....geez. I don't know if any sandwich is worth that much. It's just a sandwich!

  1. n
    ns1 Oct 28, 2010 04:21 PM

    I'd rather eat 1 #19 than 3 subway 5 dollar foot longs.

    it is pricey , but it is SO worth it ;)

    1. SilverlakeGirl Oct 28, 2010 05:14 PM

      Langers is soooooooo worth it.

      I go on Saturday morning to avoid the crowds. At breakfast time, half the patrons are eating pastrami sammies.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SilverlakeGirl
        n
        NYCnowLA Oct 28, 2010 05:50 PM

        curbside pick-up also avoids the crowds!!

        1. re: SilverlakeGirl
          j
          JosephEBacon Oct 28, 2010 08:59 PM

          Either between 9 and 10 in the morning or after 2 are the best times to hit Langers. I just wish they would reopen on Sundays!

        2. BubblyOne Oct 28, 2010 05:16 PM

          You must never eat at delis-sandwich price is similar to all the others.

          1. m
            maudies5 Oct 28, 2010 07:02 PM

            So-, just curious. How much was that "just a sandwich.?" Would love to hear comparisons.

            15 Replies
            1. re: maudies5
              n
              ns1 Oct 28, 2010 07:32 PM

              probably $14

              Katz is 14.45
              Jerry's is 10.95 /15.65
              Canter's is around 13-14 bucks too

              therefore, all deli sandwiches are approximately $13 - $16.

              1. re: ns1
                wienermobile Oct 28, 2010 08:01 PM

                Langer's Prices:
                HOT PASTRAMI
                $12.95
                PASTRAMI and SWISS CHEESE Russian Style Dressing
                $13.70
                PASTRAMI and CHOPPED LIVER Russian Style Dressing
                $13.70
                HOT PASTRAMI Sauerkraut and Nippy Cheese Grilled on Rye
                $14.50
                CORNED BEEF Sauerkraut and Swiss Cheese Grilled on Rye
                $14.50
                PASTRAMI and COLE SLAW Russian Style Dressing
                $13.70
                And worth every penny.

                1. re: wienermobile
                  susancinsf Mar 19, 2011 09:55 AM

                  wiernermobile: for those of us who haven't had the pleasure, can you tell us which of these is the famous #19 I am reading about? TIA!

                  1. re: susancinsf
                    wienermobile Mar 19, 2011 10:10 AM

                    #19 - PASTRAMI, SWISS CHEESE and COLE SLAW Russian Style Dressing on rye...enjoy.

                    1. re: wienermobile
                      Servorg Mar 19, 2011 10:21 AM

                      And ironically it wasn't on your list that Susan was asking about. According to their latest menu the #19 is now $14.45.

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

                      1. re: Servorg
                        d
                        DBoos Mar 19, 2011 02:59 PM

                        Then I stand corrected Servorg....Brent's now saves you almost $2 per sandwich and you still get a "side" that you would otherwise have to add to the already OUTRAGEOUS bill you will pay at Langer's. The sky high pastrami at Brent's is still only $12.50 and that comes with the coleslaw and russian dressing on it. The regular pastrami sandwich is only $11.95...and that comes with the side...so either way, you still get your side, just either on it, or not. Still 2or more dollars cheaper and tastes BETTER than Langer's. It's been a competition for years between these two deli's...but when the taste is THAT close, yet the prices are vastly different, then throw in great service, a much nicer and cleaner atmosphere...the winner is clear to me!! Enjoy Brent's...totally worth the drive. IMHO

                        1. re: DBoos
                          Servorg Mar 19, 2011 03:42 PM

                          I like Brent's a lot. I normally have a black pastrami Reuben. But I still think Langer's has better pastrami. Mostly I give Langer's the nod because of the thicker slices of meat. And, while Brent's rye is very good, again Langer's rye is slightly better. But it really all comes down to whether I'm out in the Valley or near downtown and want a great sandwich. YMMV

                          1. re: Servorg
                            d
                            DBoos Mar 20, 2011 03:07 AM

                            That's what makes the world go round...enjoy that sammie from Langer's :-)...I'll be enjoying mine at Brent's

                      2. re: wienermobile
                        susancinsf Mar 19, 2011 03:55 PM

                        thanks...though I am not a big fan of cheese and pastrami together..but I definitely have Langer's on the list for one of my trips to LA. Will probably try it before I try Brent's, just because I've heard so much (and a few $ difference won't really bother me much one way or the other).

                        How is the sauerkraut?

                        1. re: susancinsf
                          d
                          DBoos Mar 20, 2011 03:06 AM

                          Either place is about the same...but make sure you get to Langer's before 3:30 pm. The sauerkraut is about the same in every deli. I miss the plate of pickes and sauerkraut you used to get at Nate N' Al's.

                      3. re: susancinsf
                        d
                        DBoos Mar 19, 2011 02:25 PM

                        Don't care about a number ANYTHING susan...sorry, but I posted what I believed in and have done a LOT of pastrami taste testing in my years, and I promise you that EVERY aspect of Brent's is better than Langers....not to mention that it is still CHEAPER....AND you get a side with it. I stand by my quote. Another glitch in the restaurant biz is that you will ALWAYS at some time, get a NOT SO wonderful sammie...why? That should be obvious....sometimes when you buy those meats in bulk, not all of them will be the same...so yes, the occasional "not so extraordinary" sandwich will appear. Had them at every single deli I've ever been a regular at, and that list is looooooong. BRENT's hands down!!!

                        1. re: DBoos
                          honkman Mar 19, 2011 03:16 PM

                          You are aware that taste is very subjective and so promising anything regarding "that EVERY aspect of Brent's is better than Langers" is amusing. Just relax and enjoy your pastrami at Brent's. It's always hard to understand (not only in this discussion) why one person tries to convince other people that something is "the best ever", "far superior" etc. when just a description of a dish without outrageous assessments is much more helpful and credible. And writing that somebody is a chef/restaurateur/foodie etc. doesn't add any credibility (more the opposite) because it doesn't give anybody a higher authority to say what is better or not.

                      4. re: wienermobile
                        d
                        DBoos Mar 19, 2011 03:01 PM

                        Go back and re-read the menu and prices Susan....no longer these prices, yet Brent's STILL remains the same. Alot cheaper and better taste.

                        1. re: DBoos
                          wienermobile Mar 19, 2011 05:56 PM

                          I love Brent's Deli. That black pastrami Rueben is a great sandwitch. Brent's Deli is one of the best in all of LA....but no one can touch Langer's Pastrami. No one. Heaven on rye. Just my opinion.

                          1. re: wienermobile
                            r
                            rickym13 Mar 19, 2011 11:06 PM

                            i agree 100%......when i think pastrami....langer's comes to mind first

                  2. m
                    mdpilam Oct 28, 2010 09:48 PM

                    I agree that it is definitely worth it. You know how many restaurants' entrees that cost ~$14 and are not even close to the deliciousness that is Langer's? ALOT.

                    Nobody ever said it was a good deal or cheap. If you want a good cheap sandwich, go to the Cemitas Poblana truck on Venice in front of Smart & Final. $5 and filling and delicious.

                    1. t
                      toonoble Oct 28, 2010 10:18 PM

                      Yes, it's worth it. Not debatable. It's one of the best sandwiches you will ever eat. Any decent pastrami costs about that amount with far less quality than Langers.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: toonoble
                        i
                        Illuminatus Oct 28, 2010 11:31 PM

                        Wow, lots of responses in a short amount of time. Guess Langers has lots of support around here. Like I said, the sandwich was good, no doubt about it. One of the best pastrami sammies I have ever had. The price is excessive, though, IMO. To each his own.

                        1. re: Illuminatus
                          h
                          Harry Niletti Oct 28, 2010 11:57 PM

                          If it cost $50 or was merely decent, then I could understand criticizing the price. But $12.95 for a sandwich that many of us who have lived all over the country think is the best? That's a steal, Illuminatus. In fact, I'd be willing to pay twice that amount during 4 p.m. - 1 a.m., if they'd only stay open that late!

                          -Harry

                          1. re: Harry Niletti
                            lottoman7210 Feb 12, 2011 07:12 PM

                            Now that's a thought! You think Norm Langer might go for it? I'd pay $28 for a Langer's pastrami on rye if it were open late late late!!!! It's too hard to make it out from Redlands before 4:30 PM!

                            1. re: lottoman7210
                              Will Owen Feb 14, 2011 01:38 PM

                              I'm told they used to be open 24/7, like Canter's, back when MacArthur Park was a tony part of town. It's come back from its depths, but not I think enough to encourage anyone with a cash register to stay open too late. However, I have little patience with anyone who fears parking in the lot and walking the block to Langer's and back. Yes, there are folks you might not want to share an elevator with, but chances of any real danger are pretty damn slim nowadays. Too many families with little kids and old granny ladies.

                          2. re: Illuminatus
                            A5 KOBE Oct 29, 2010 12:18 AM

                            "price is excessive"
                            ------------------------------

                            At CUT they charge $14 for a bottle of sparkling water. Not really excessive considering the price of most Jewish deli sandwiches though. I would agree with mostly everyone here that Langers price is the median of jewish deli pastrami.

                            1. re: A5 KOBE
                              i
                              Illuminatus Oct 29, 2010 12:28 AM

                              Well being that I have not frequented any Jewish delis other than Langers, perhaps I am out of touch with what they all charge. I have never been to Canters, Katz's or anywhere like that before. To say I am ignorant about Jewish deli would be an understatement.

                              1. re: Illuminatus
                                m
                                manku Oct 29, 2010 12:34 AM

                                Jewish Deli sandwiches are, IMO ,overpriced...at least when I lived in NYC, you could split a $15 sandwich in two...they gave you that much meat!

                                Langers is worth it, IMO, as any other Pastrami sandwich in town costs the same.

                                BTW, the best deal at Dodger Stadium is a Pastrami Sandwich @ Canters in left field/field level...its about $13, which makes it the only item in Dodger Stadium that isn't grossly overpriced

                                1. re: manku
                                  Phurstluv Oct 29, 2010 10:51 AM

                                  I agree, manku, NY delis would justify the high prices by literally giving you about a pound of meat on the sandwich. They are usually so huge, you cannot open your mouth wide enough to take that first bite, most of the time.

                                  I don't consider Langer's to be overpriced, it's just about right for that type of fare.

                                  What I do have a beef about, (pun intended) is that the #19 is not really like pastrami, it is more like corned beef. Their pastrami is cooked in a way that it's texture is not like that of thinly sliced pastrami, it is one of overcooked corned beef. Brisket that was cooked a very long time, and has a shredded appearance to it, is not the same as pastrami, IMO. Tasty, but it is not the pastrami sandwich I had expected.

                                  1. re: manku
                                    Mr Taster Nov 2, 2010 11:39 AM

                                    It might be a good deal if Canter's pastrami was worth eating... the last time I had their pastrami it was bland, bland, bland. I can't justify paying $13 for a bland sandwich when the same price will bring me pastrami nirvana. By the way, Canter's is walking distance from where I live, and I rarely eat there.

                                    Mr Taster

                                  2. re: Illuminatus
                                    Servorg Oct 29, 2010 10:57 AM

                                    If you are down in that general neighborhood and want something both delicious and cheap then seek out Dino's Burgers (NOT for the burger) and get a plate of their "El Pollo Maniaco" (Crazy Chicken indeed) with fries for about $5.25. A half of a chicken marinated in their day-glo orange sauce and grilled then laid over their fries with the marinade sauce dripping down on the fries - plus tortillas.

                                    I like the one on Pico Blvd. (linked) but they have other locations in and around downtown LA.

                                    -----
                                    Dino's Chicken and Burgers
                                    2575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006, USA

                                2. re: Illuminatus
                                  h
                                  HastaLaPasta Oct 29, 2010 01:52 PM

                                  IMHO, most delis are rip-offs when you stop to think about why you paid $15 for something like roast beef on rye. That said, I think Langers is a fair value compared to other deli's, at worst.

                                  1. re: HastaLaPasta
                                    OC Mutt Oct 30, 2010 07:36 AM

                                    Price is relative. There is a LOT of meat in most deli sandwiches, and that's the most expensive ingredient. You get almost a pound at the Carnegie. However, Jerry's sucks and a trip to the Carnegie, my other favorite adds airfare and hotel. So Langers is a bargain. Similarly, you can get a fantastic croque monseiur or crouqe madame sandwich in Paris for 4-5 Euro ($6-7) whereas the croque madam at Bouchon in Bev. Hills is $16 and it's fantastic as well, but it's still "only" a ham and cheese sandwich if you go by the auspices of the OP. Add plane fare and hotel and that Paris sandwich costs a heck of a lot more - plus you can't get a terrific one anywhere else in LA, that I know of anyway making that $16 a bargain at Bouchon. Supply and demand, if there is no supply of comparable quality, then it's worth the price to many - including me.

                                    1. re: OC Mutt
                                      m
                                      malibumike Oct 31, 2010 08:32 AM

                                      Most delis I have been to pile their meat in the center and when cut they look huge but the meat tapers off to almost nothing at the ends, a visual trick but most are still good.

                                      1. re: malibumike
                                        Phurstluv Jan 21, 2011 05:46 PM

                                        Most delis will weigh the meat before putting it in the sandwich, btw.

                                  2. re: Illuminatus
                                    j
                                    Jelly71 Nov 1, 2010 09:44 AM

                                    i have a question for you. what do you think is a fair price for what you admit is one of the best pastrami sandwiches you have ever had?

                                    1. re: Illuminatus
                                      m
                                      mrhooks Nov 1, 2010 01:43 PM

                                      Is this because you don't think it tastes as good as other (non-sandwich) things you can get for $15, or because you think sandwiches by definition are supposed to be cheap, no matter how good they are?

                                      I'll admit, I still kinda expect sandwiches to be in the <$10 range. But I'll gladly pay Langer's prices for something that good.

                                      1. re: Illuminatus
                                        Foodandwine Mar 19, 2011 07:34 PM

                                        why do you use the term sammies. I have seen it before ( is it term from the U.K. ? ) I get confused. Or is it a slang? Would some one help me here.. Thanks

                                        1. re: Foodandwine
                                          wienermobile Mar 19, 2011 07:50 PM

                                          Nick-name for sandwiches.

                                          1. re: Foodandwine
                                            Peripatetic Mar 19, 2011 08:10 PM

                                            "sammie" = US slang for sandwich
                                            "sarnie" = UK slang for sandwich

                                      2. ipsedixit Oct 31, 2010 12:27 PM

                                        Judging by the lines and the sustained popularity of the No. 19, I'd say the jury has spoken and the verdict is that it is not overpriced.

                                        Maybe you think the sandwich is not very good (just like me), but I don't think a reasonable argument could be made that the sandwich is overpriced.

                                        1. Will Owen Oct 31, 2010 04:12 PM

                                          Fourteen bucks is midrange price for a decent "designer" cheeseburger, and darned cheap for most other lunch entrées I've encountered in these parts. Yes, you can head out into the SGV and spend a heck of a lot less, or go somewhere like Clifton's, but for a sandwich that is both world-class and as much food as a sedentary man of advanced years ever needs to eat at one sitting, I say it's a bargain. And this is coming from someone who still wonders where all the nickel candy bars went...

                                          14 Replies
                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                            ipsedixit Oct 31, 2010 07:09 PM

                                            Actually for 14 bucks I think that a the Wolfgang's Burger is a much better value than the Langer's No. 19 ... plus you get free parking at Wolfgang's.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              Peripatetic Oct 31, 2010 09:44 PM

                                              Not arguing the first point, but Langer's validates for the lot on 7th and Westlake.

                                              1. re: Peripatetic
                                                ipsedixit Oct 31, 2010 09:45 PM

                                                Fair enough, forgot about that. Plus, Langer's has curbside pickup.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                  Will Owen Nov 1, 2010 12:00 PM

                                                  We are also doomed to disagree about any burger and any Langer's sandwich. I do love me some burgers, as I've tried to make clear on numerous occasions, but Langer's pastrami is special as no burger can be, though some come close (I have NOT had Wolfgang's, to be honest). My take on it is: I can make a burger that rivals any in the world, but I can't duplicate Langer's pastrami. Nor the rye bread.

                                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                                    ipsedixit Nov 1, 2010 03:31 PM

                                                    You bring up a good point, Will, and I agree that deli-style pastrami is a near impossibility to make at home.

                                                    However, I will say that I am generally unable to duplicate a good hamburger bun at home, even though I can come pretty close making good deli-style rye bread, if not better than what's found at Langer's.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      Will Owen Nov 2, 2010 11:33 AM

                                                      I'm not much of a baker, and am insufficiently interested in rye bread generally to try making any. In that one application, however, what Langer's uses is I think divine.

                                                      My favorite bun is a ciabatta or focaccia roll; Mrs. O prefers onion rolls. Each of us tolerates the other's favorite, so our homeburgers alternate between the two. NOT homemade.

                                                      1. re: Will Owen
                                                        Mr Taster Nov 2, 2010 11:44 AM

                                                        I was not much of a baker either, until I tried the no-knead bread. The rye bread variation is similarly spectacular.

                                                        http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                    2. re: Will Owen
                                                      d
                                                      DBoos Mar 19, 2011 01:53 AM

                                                      Will....I hate to disagree with you here. I've been to Langer's recently, and I have to say, that although the pastrami is absolutely devine....the atmosphere and the restaurant itself is just plain depressing. Not to mention that they close by 4pm!! Now...I know it's not downtown, or close to it, but I have to say...without a doubt, that BRENT'S delicatessen in Northridge, has BY FAR...the BEST pastrami sandwich anywhere in the entire L.A. basin!! I'm a foodie, a chef, and a restauranteur, and Brent's has it hands down. Why????....because not only is the pastrami JUST as good....it's better, and the service, the people, and the atmosphere is just hands down 100 times better than Langer's. I think Brent's is the best kept secret in Los Angeles...well not too secret. One of TV's best chefs comes out from NY every single New Year's just to eat a corned beef or pastrami sandwich from Brent's!! That's a hell of a long way to come from the deli capitol of this country to eat a friggin sandwich!! Hell of a testament if you ask me. I eat there at least two times a month. All the staff know me now by name, and they are just wonderful. Even when it's packed on a Saturday or Sunday morning...it moves quickly and the service is amazing!! BTW...their rye bread is twice baked with that wonderful crunch on the crust, yet the bread is soft and warm...just doesn't get any better!! It's also a DOLLAR cheaper than Langer's...AND you get a side with it....PLUS a plate of great kosher dills on the table and as many refills of those as you like. It's KILLER. Highly recommend it to anyone. Sits right at the little strip mall on Parthenia at Corbin. To anyone that loves Langer's I say...go Go...GO to Brent's!!! You won't be disappointed!!

                                                      1. re: DBoos
                                                        Peripatetic Mar 19, 2011 02:28 AM

                                                        As an ex-NYCer, Langer's atmosphere and environs appeal to my Lower-East-Side-loving sensibilities. Admittedly it's not for everyone, as this thread and others amply illustrate.

                                                        FWIW, I love Brent's, too.

                                                        1. re: Peripatetic
                                                          d
                                                          DBoos Mar 20, 2011 03:19 AM

                                                          Totally get that Langer's appeals to your sense of being home...but I just don't feel safe there anymore. Like I said...to me, the differences in taste are so minimal that they're almost not worth mentioning, but it's the vibe of Brent's that makes me smile. Nicest people...reminds me of Nate N' Al's back in the 60's and 70's where I went every Saturday morning without fail for years and knew every single person that worked there. Brent's is becoming that for me in my adult years after being gone for almost 30 years All the truly wonderful restaurants of yesteryear are long gone. I still can taste Chasen's chili, and beef soo chow from Ah Fong's, as well as the Cobb salad from the Brown Derby, and the teriyaki steak from the Luau. Long gone are MFK's, and Schwabs...and I could go on and on. Hell...I even miss the Ontra and Clifton's cafeteria's for that matter....but if anyone wants a killer corned beef sandwich or french dip....not in a deli type atmosphere...go to MaGee's in the Farmer's Market. Outstanding...and hasn't changed one bit in over 60 years.

                                                          1. re: DBoos
                                                            g
                                                            ginagv Jun 12, 2011 08:42 PM

                                                            hi.. I have been a long time lurker, but this post finally prompted me sign up. I think you and I lived parallel lives.. I remember each and every one of those things, growing up when you did. I still search for the recipe for beef soo chow.. the recipe for the teriyaki sauce from the Luau as well as their house salad dressing.

                                                            Went to all the same places you did.. thank you for the good memories.

                                                          2. re: Peripatetic
                                                            d
                                                            DBoos Mar 20, 2011 03:22 AM

                                                            Switching gears....anyone here had a burger from Umami yet? This ought to get some interesting feedback....lol. It is personally my favorite burger in Los Angeles...and was written up recently as maybe the "best" burger in the U.S. Any takers?

                                                            1. re: DBoos
                                                              n
                                                              ns1 Apr 14, 2011 01:15 PM

                                                              you should consult the 200+ reply ultimate burger throwdown thread.

                                                  2. re: ipsedixit
                                                    JAB Nov 1, 2010 07:33 AM

                                                    Additionally, Langer's is Red Line friendly!

                                                2. orythedog Nov 1, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                  I have never had an expensive good meal, only an expensive bad one. I love Langer's Pastrami and $14 for a large amount of meat is what I would call relative value. Compare this to the beef from New York's Pat La Frieda at LA's Burger Kitchen. 40-day prime aged beef from Pat La Frieda is used in their burger called The Natural ($29). I haven't had it but I want it.

                                                  -----
                                                  Burger Kitchen
                                                  8048 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                                  1. u
                                                    upstarter Nov 1, 2010 04:09 PM

                                                    Worth it!

                                                    1. Mr Taster Nov 2, 2010 11:48 AM

                                                      I always show up at Langer's very hungry.

                                                      I get the sandwich, regular pastrami. None of the unnecessary #19 schmaltz. Just a plain pastrami sandwich with Guldens and coleslaw on the side. I usually split fries with my Lovely Tasting Assistant™.

                                                      The sandwich always seems a little small. However, after finishing the sandwich, I always feel completely sated. Happens every time.

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                        n
                                                        ns1 Nov 2, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                        "The sandwich always seems a little small. However, after finishing the sandwich, I always feel completely sated. Happens every time."

                                                        amen to that.

                                                      2. Akitist Nov 2, 2010 01:22 PM

                                                        So, is their brisket any good? I'm not a monster for pastrami.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Akitist
                                                          lottoman7210 Feb 12, 2011 07:15 PM

                                                          The brisket, as my compadre Ray will attest to, is also world-class. A finer brisket on rye cannot be found in L.A. GOD eats at Langer's!

                                                        2. bernardo Jan 22, 2011 08:05 PM

                                                          On a budget, aye matey? So, howbout a smoked (~ 24 hrs on premises) brisket sandwich or platter from Whole Foods Terra Bella, generous servings for ~ $9 (occasionally $2 less for the sandwich). Intensely smoky, tasty, meaty and juicy alternative to NY style pastrami or brisket. Dead ringer for the product offered by County Line restaurants in Texas, NM & Colorado. And most importantly the costumer rules at the smoked meat counter, you choose the slab and slice exactly as you like it, all right before your own eyes. Removes the element of chance from your precious sandwich.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: bernardo
                                                            Mr Taster Jan 23, 2011 09:45 AM

                                                            I'd like to clarify to other confused Chowhounds that I think bernardo is referring to the Whole Foods which is located in the "Bella Terra" shopping center in Huntington Beach.

                                                            I've never seen a smoked meat counter at a Whole Foods-- will have to check it out. Are there any locations with smoked meat counter closer to LA?

                                                            Mr Taster

                                                            1. re: Mr Taster
                                                              b
                                                              bulavinaka Jan 23, 2011 09:58 AM

                                                              I think the smoked meat counters are at the WF that have enough floor space to offer a lot of full service islands/counters. The two that I frequent (El Segundo and Venice) both have the smoked meat counters. The one on Barrington/National is much smaller - a retrofit from its previous incarnation as Mrs. Gooch's - and has no smoked meat counter. Don't expect Bludso's or you'll be disappointed, but it kinda scratches the itch.

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                Will Owen Jan 23, 2011 04:30 PM

                                                                I would think, therefore, that the giant WF on Arroyo in Pasadena might have such a counter. As I have not covered every square foot of that place (who has the TIME??) I haven't noticed one yet, but I'll go look. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                1. re: Will Owen
                                                                  ipsedixit Jan 23, 2011 05:32 PM

                                                                  It does. Next to the cheese counter.

                                                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                                                    b
                                                                    bulavinaka Jan 23, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                    I've tried the two store's counters mentioned once each. The brisket was somewhat dry and not as smokey as the inner red ring might lead me to believe it to be. I've found WF's offerings in general to be the same in general - great idea, great offering it, but it seems to always fall short of delivering what I'd hoped for.

                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                      bernardo Jan 24, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                                      While my experiences at WF Bella Terra are mostly positive, I would concede there's variability in the product. But being local to Bella Terra, I can and do opt out on occasion sans regrets (other than opportunity risk), namely, one can screen the product in advance -- inspect visually and request samples before committing to purchase. So in my case quality post-screening matters more than variability pre-screening. But for those who insist on certainty and no opting -out, Langer's is undoubtedly worth the extra freight.

                                                            2. l
                                                              ltseligman Mar 19, 2011 04:20 PM

                                                              I have had the pastrami sandwich at Canter's, Stage, Carnegie, Katz's, and then some. Langer's #19 has an incredible combination of thicker sliced pastrami that nip cheese, the cole slaw and their incredible bread. It's all the elements combined that make it so freakin' good! I say this with every confidence. There are some few contenders but Langer's #19 is the champ.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: ltseligman
                                                                b
                                                                badbatzmaru Jun 12, 2011 01:21 PM

                                                                I'll jump in, adding to the hundreds of all valid opinions. A bit conflicted, but after thinking hard, the sandwich was not worth $14. It was worth it when I ate it, a very tasty sandwich, the pastrami was really good (portion wise just enough, though could have been more), fresh rye bread, and a great package.

                                                                But...would I go there again? No, only if money was not an issue or I wanted to splurge. Although I would rate the #19 an "A-" for taste/package, I would rate it a "B/B-" for value.

                                                                In San Francisco, I tasted Miller's East Coast Deli's pastrami sandwich, and although it's not as good, it's still a very good Pastrami sandwich for only (B+) for only $7.99 for the small and $9.99 for the large. Value wise: A+.

                                                                www.millersdelisf.com

                                                                1. re: badbatzmaru
                                                                  l
                                                                  ltseligman Jun 12, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                                  Griping about the price compared to something "almost as good" is ridiculous. A Ford is almost as good as a Bentley yet the Bentley is a wee bit more. The margin between anything that is "the best" and something acceptable is going to be narrow.
                                                                  Price for Langer's #19 is on par with every other deli in contention for this much coveted and contentious title. No matter which you think is the best, by virtue of it being that good, expect to pay more.
                                                                  Langer's has a line durring most hours of the day. These are primarily return customers. They come back for a reason and it's not to overpay for a sandwich.

                                                                  1. re: ltseligman
                                                                    OC Mutt Jun 12, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                    I agree with Itseligman on this Langers issue - griping about a few dollars on the price of Pastrami is absurd. Especially when many consider them to have the best pastrami in the country and few and they have a line around the block. I never begrudge a business, especially one providing a unique hand-made product, the right to make the best profit that they can. And a sandwich, even a $15 sandwich, is hardly considered a luxurious indulgent splurge. But your unfortunately Badbatz has a point when it comes to value in general. Price is always in consideration when determining whether to eat somewhere and there is in fact a price to value ratio for pretty much everyone. Everyone a point on an imaginary graph in their heads where liking something meets price and then crosses it - eg. I really like Pho from my favorite place which charges $7.99 for a huge bowl. If they charged $30 for it, I wouldn't go there - especially knowing that there are other places that make excellent Pho as well.

                                                                    1. re: ltseligman
                                                                      b
                                                                      bulavinaka Jun 12, 2011 05:14 PM

                                                                      +2 on Itseligman's perspective. We see this a lot when it comes to incremental quality increases v. price. As OC Mutt points out, cars are a classic example in general. Think about wines, beers, and liquor in general as well. Everyone has their own particular tastes and price thresholds, and some are willing to go from say, a 90-point pinot for $20, to a 94-pointer for three times the cost or more, just for that measly few more points. Don't even get into futures on French or Italian wines. A six-pack of Bud cans is what - $7? I'd easily pay two to five more bucks for for a four- or six-pack coming out of Oskar Blues or Avery Brewery - so much more worthy of drinking. Each consumer decides for themselves on what to spend versus what they want or are happy with. When it comes to food and drink, everyone loves a bargain, but at the same time, many Hounds probably would concur that it's worth stepping it up a few bucks to gain the desired effect.

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