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Desperately Seeking Pastrami

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chowtraveler Nov 12, 2012 12:58 PM

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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    barryg RE: chowtraveler Nov 12, 2012 01:02 PM

    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
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      cwdonald RE: barryg Nov 12, 2012 01:04 PM

      Here is a good thread that discusses both Herschel's and Famous 4th. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/864424

      1. re: cwdonald
        bluehensfan RE: cwdonald Nov 12, 2012 02:31 PM

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

        1. re: cwdonald
          Delucacheesemonger RE: cwdonald Nov 12, 2012 11:47 PM

          l reiterate here what l said there.

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        arepo RE: chowtraveler Nov 12, 2012 07:46 PM

        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
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          barryg RE: arepo Nov 12, 2012 08:02 PM

          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
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            barryg RE: barryg Nov 13, 2012 11:30 AM

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

          2. re: arepo
            Bacchus101 RE: arepo Nov 13, 2012 11:15 AM

            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. monkeyrotica RE: chowtraveler Nov 13, 2012 11:26 AM

            Famous Fourth hands down.

             
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              chowtraveler RE: chowtraveler Nov 13, 2012 05:45 PM

              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
                gina RE: chowtraveler Nov 16, 2012 06:56 PM

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

                1. re: gina
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                  chowtraveler RE: gina Nov 18, 2012 08:24 AM

                  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
                    gina RE: chowtraveler Nov 19, 2012 06:58 PM

                    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.

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