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Nov 3, 2011 01:25 PM

Speed's pastrami

I thought I’d take a break from the loaded dogs at Speed’s and try the pastrami for a change. The meat is grilled, so it is not greasy at all, but slightly burnt and nicely complimented by Greg’s sauce and mustard. It would be a great sandwich any place else, but I’m glad I got it out of my system so I can return to those game-changing dogs on my next visit!

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  1. It's a high-quality pastrami product, though I find grilling, while adding some welcome char, subtracts a little more fat than I like. Still a nice change-up once in a while.

    1. Have you had any trouble finding Speed/Greg lately? I have buzzed through Newmarket Square on three separate occasions recently and the permanent cart was locked shut and no sign of the man. All different weekdays around midday and during good weather conditions - I don't even try it if it's raining - just bad luck

      Of course, have a great back-up - a large kielbasa sandwich from DJ Market around the corner - man, is that good!

      6 Replies
      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        I've been there on several recent Thursdays around noon. Unlike summer, there have been no lines, no waiting! Nice to know about a back up, though, just in case.

        1. re: Tonality666

          Speed has been making regular Sunday appearances at the SoWa Vintage / Open Market and along with the other dozen carts that tend to show up, enjoying long lines. 460 Harrison Ave, looks like another beautiful Sunday coming up.

          Other trucks include Clover, Roxy's, Lefty's, Bon Me, M&M Ribs, BBQ Smith, Grilled Cheese Nation, Silk Road, and the Dining Car. Lately, the Staff Meal truck has been parking at the nearby Peters Park on Washington Street.

          Bon Me
          Mobile truck; no formal address, Boston, MA

          Staff Meal
          Mobile truck, no formal location, Boston, MA

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            FYI, Staff Meal is at Peters Park, Washington St specifically on Saturdays. I'm not sure if they are there another day during the week or not, but the spot they park in is specifically designated for food trucks. I think I saw a cupcake truck there recently but it doesn't seem to be filled up all week long with rotating trucks like some other prime spots in the city. Not yet anyway, the food truck parking designation is relatively new, maybe a few months old.

            Staff Meal
            Mobile truck, no formal location, Boston, MA

          1. re: BostonZest

            you can also check his twitter feed...he updates it just about every day if he is there or not


        2. I wasn't crazy about Speed's pastrami.

          Much prefer Sam La Grassa's version. Do love the hot dogs.

          9 Replies
          1. re: 9lives

            Yes, Speed's pastrami is a commercial product made by Boston Brisket right near his Newmarket Square spot. Another worthy retail one is the NY Deli Patrol product, made in Westford, MA, occasionally available at Russo's. (I'm bummed: Foodies Urban Market had it for a while, but dropped it.)

            As for restaurants, I'm thinking La Grassa's must be one of the few places in town in town that makes its own pastrami -- a few indie fine-dining chefs might account for some, the Bissonnettes and the gastropub dudes -- but that whoever has the next-best pastrami is a distant second.


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Slim, do you know for sure that La Grassa is scratch-making their own pastrami too as opposed to having it custom-made elsewhere ? Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that, but just curious. I'm always more than a little impressed when I come across anybody making pastrami entirely in-house. (which is not to say that it's always good)

              1. re: Nab

                I'm pretty sure on DDD they showed themselves making it. Of course even if I'm right that doesn't mean that they *really* are.

                1. re: Nab

                  Yep, saw it on The Poochie Show (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives). Apparently their stock is like a sourdough starter, a bit of yesterday's always used in the next day's. Segment here:


                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Thanks guys. Although it's still not clear to me from the video that they're not maybe starting with an already seasoned and smoked product, and finishing it in the stock on-site. And I had no idea about the chowder - MONEY !

                    1. re: Nab

                      You're right: it's not clear from the video. I'll ask the next time I'm in: I'm overdue for a visit anyway.


                      1. re: Nab

                        So, the La Grassa's folks claim they smoke and brine their own pastrami, using beef brisket (not the traditional navel). In retrospect, this makes sense, as I believe the smoking is usually done after the brining.


                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          Yes, you smoke the pastrami after it is cured.

                  2. re: MC Slim JB

                    I like La Grassa's pastrami a lot, but a not-too-distant thread here alerted me to the pastrami at Neillio's Gourmet Kitchen in Lexington Ma, which is definitely homemade. They don't have it everyday (apparently, they do have it most Thursdays, but it's best to call and check). It's a different kind of pastrami, more like Katz' deli in New York --- thicker and sweeter. But wow is it good. Maybe it's like comparing grapefruits and oranges, but I daresay Neillio's is better.