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Nov 12, 2012 12:58 PM

Desperately Seeking Pastrami

We'll be in town for a few days later this week, and would love to find a proper NY-style Jewish deli in Center City (there are none whatsoever in the DC area, where we live). Think Carnegie, Stage, Katz's, or Second Avenue Deli's. Do we really have to go all the way to NYC for this?

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  1. Herschel's in Reading Terminal Market and Famous Fourth Street deli. Not as good as Katz's but I think on par with the rest though it's been a while...

    Herschel's is not really a deli, just a sandwich counter in the market, but Famous is a proper Jewish deli and they do all the staples well. Huge portions. They have two locations, I recommend the original location at 4th & Bainbridge. Technically outside of Center City but very close.

    3 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      Here is a good thread that discusses both Herschel's and Famous 4th.

      1. re: cwdonald

        Hershel's is usually very good and very close to Katz's.

      2. Nothing in Center City.
        In Bala-Cynwyd is Hymie's deli.
        In Southampton is Ben & Irv's...
        but nothing will take the place of Katz' so don't expect miracles.

        3 Replies
        1. re: arepo

          Herschels, Famous, and Schlessingers are all in Center City. I was not a fan of Schlessingers on my one visit but the other two--pastrami aside--are comparable with or better than Katz, Carnegie, Stage, etc for most items.

          1. re: barryg

            Also Rachael's, I haven't tried that one.

          2. re: arepo

            Agree arepo, Katz along with Carnegie and Stage are the high profile gold standards in Jewish Deli. I would guess there are other neighborhood delis in NY which can hold their own. It is the totality of the offerings and the quality of same which elevates these three to their legendary status. One can find some acceptable Jewish deli in Philadelphia, I am sure.

          3. Famous Fourth hands down.

            1. Many thanks to all who responded. Logistically, Famous Fourth looks lke the best bet (Rittenhouse branch). We'll report back next week. (I remember when every West Bronx neighborhood had a deli that would be to die for today. But that, sadly, was a long time ago.)

              3 Replies
              1. re: chowtraveler

                You won't be disappointed, the pastrami there is fantastic. I highly recommend the pastrami cheesesteak.

                1. re: gina

                  Too late, gina, we've already been to Phila and returned. And unfortunately never did get to any of the deli's. Full report to follow on a new thread in the next few days.

                  But I have to ask: Pastrami cheesesteak? Is this a joke? Does it resemble a Reuben?

                  1. re: chowtraveler

                    Definitely not a joke! It's lots of warm pastrami inside a hoagie roll, covered in melted cheese. Best to put at least half of it aside to take home, otherwise you'll be hurtin' after you inadvertently eat the whole thing.