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Pastrami

Is there outstanding Pastrami in Philly? Something that is close to Katz's? Thank you!

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  1. Herschels in RTM, #2 is Famous 4th St. Not as good as Katz's but it's the best around here. Both delis are as good or better than Katz's for other items IMO.

    3 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      Thank you! I had heard of Herschels, but have never tried it. Any comments on their rye bread? (the bread at Katz's is not worthy)

      1. re: barryg

        Listen! I'd be lying if I said anything compared to Katz' but very decent pastrami can be found at Ben and Irv's.

        1. re: arepo

          I have had it at Ben and Irvs.. they serve both a pastrami and a ny pastrami (which is their leaner pastrami). I recently had a hot pastrami sandwich there, and found the meat to be salty a bit on the dry side, and lacking pepper quality that I really like in a good pastrami. I am curious whether they make it themselves or they import it

      2. Hershel's rye is thick cut German Rye, not sourdough Jewish l grew up on.
        Hershel's hand cuts the sandwich and steams the pastrami perfectly, but their spice mixture is woefully underseasoned.
        4th St and Deli ( 7th and chestnut ) both machine cut which IMHO requires an overcooked and drier pastrami.
        If you like Katz's. Herschels is as close as you will get here.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          I prefer hand cut too but the Famous pastrami is still very tender and fatty.

          Deli on Chestnut closed some months ago so that is out of the running. Anyone try Schlessingers at 16th & Locust? I wasn't impressed with their corned beef.

          1. re: barryg

            Can you recommend any of their side dishes like cole slaw or potato salad, pickles? Thank you.

            1. re: DaisyM

              Assuming you mean Famous... they give complementary pickles (they're ok) and health salad (good) so I don't usually get anything else on the side, except maybe french fries, which are good -- very thick crinkle cut fry. Usually nice and crispy. My favorite things are the menu there are actually the corned beef hash, the smoked fish and the breakfast sandwiches. Also often get the matzo ball soup and the blintzes, both good but not exceptional (except in size). And the chocolate chip cookies are of course very good. THey give you some small ones with the check.

            2. re: barryg

              Deli was open when l walked by yesterday.
              We can agree to disagree on the moistness of Famous pastrami, l say a very no. at least the two times l have had it.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                You sure it was open and in business? Maybe someone took over the lease and concept. The original operation shut down in January.

                  1. re: barryg

                    Neat, l walked in yesterday ( Deli sign still out front ) and asked asian cashier if they hand cut or machine cut their pastrami, she did not miss a beat and said machine.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Could you be thinking of Old Nelson, the deli/convenience store next door Green Wasabi? Green Wasabi sells sushi according to their website.

                      1. re: caga tio

                        My two cents... The pastrami at Hershel's is really good. Not quite as good as Katz's but very close. My one experience at Famous was not so hot (granted I got brisket that was dry as a shoe sole and covered in brown canned gravy). My wife did get the pastrami there but found it way too fatty and thinly sliced.

                        1. re: bluehensfan

                          So, you've convinced me to go to Hershel's. Anything other then pastrami I should get? How is the corned beef? Cole Slaw?

                          1. re: DaisyM

                            The corned beef is excellent at Hershel's. Corned beef and pastrami are meant to be hot and sliced by hand. The cold, thinly sliced corned beef usually served in Philadelphia delis like Ben and Irvs is a different food than the corned beef that is served in NY.