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Pastrami Queen, 78th and Lex.

So I've passed by this place for months and months, and finally decided to stop in yesterday and try it. (To go). Place has a great retro look of the old Kosher-style delis that are few and far between these days. Staff very nice and helpful.

Got the pro forma pastrami on rye with russian dressing. Tore into it less than an hour later at home. WONDERFUL!!! Moist, thicker-cut meat, almost a pound of it (enough for 2) lots of pickles, and served on an absolutely GREAT NY Jewish rye bread.

So, much to my Doctor's chagrin, looks like this can become a regular stop when I pass by. Pastrami is my favorite, I never checked out if the turkey was real, right off the bone, or a processed version (yuk). Also want to try the soups.

A real throwback, nice to have it uptown, no need to trek down to Katz's which I think this place gives a run for their money. Pastrami sandwich was superb, almost perfect.

Anyone else made this nice discovery?

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  1. Thanks for the report. I pass Pastrami Queen every day on my way to work. Now that I don't have Sarge's, I'll check out Pastrami Queen.

    1. Gotta get up there and check it out. It's 40 blocks North of me but closer than Katz's.
      I am missing Sarge's more thant I would have expected.

      1. Good to hear about this place, must check it out, but may I ask:

        The menu says pastrami is $29.95 a pound. Do you really think they stuff the $14.95 sandwich with "almost a pound" of pastrami? That would certainly be the way to go if they do...or were you just in a pastrami stupor, and unable, therefore, to make an objective judgement?...lol

        2 Replies
        1. re: gavspen

          I didn't weigh the sandwich, but it's pretty close to a pound, just judging by my hand. Also a half a sandwich is a meal. $30 bucks a pound is pretty steep, that's in the smoked salmon price region... Guess a sandwich is a much better value!

          Bread is great, btw, still savoring that as well!

          1. re: lemarais

            lemarais, thanks for the info.
            FYI: We just returned from Le Marais. What a fabulous neighborhood!!

        2. I made the mistake of having a corned beef sandwich at Pastrami Queen. It was terrible, but I hear the pastrami is very good.

          1. Glad you found this place. Very underrated, IMO. I'm not in that area often, and when I am, it's difficult to resist the siren call of that pastrami. Definitely among the best in the city, at least for kosher (the only kind I can vouch for, I'm afraid). Not cheap, to be sure, but as an occasional splurge, I think it's worth it.

            1. I've been to Pastrami Queen and I would not recommend it. Just your average deli...nothing special at all. There is no way it compares to Sarge's or Katz's.

              And lemarais, when you say you ordered your pastrami sandwich with russian dressing, you lost all credibility.

              5 Replies
              1. re: mikegre

                Agree that the Russian dressing stopped me in my tracks, so to speak.

                Any comments on how this place compares with the original in Queens? It is not actually Kosher, is it?

                1. re: erica

                  The original Pastrami King on Queens Blvd across from the courthouse made their own pastrami and it was unique. Probably the best pastrami I have ever eaten in my life. It tasted like no other pastrami you have ever had.

                  As far as comparing Pastrami King with Pastrami Queen, there is no comparison. None whatsoever. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

                  1. re: mikegre

                    Was this the same store that had a branch a few decades back in midtown Manhattan in the basement of a large building. Called Pastrami King and IMHO, it was the bomb. l was devastated when it closed. Have tried them all including Pastrami Queen, Katz's, Sarge's and nothing close yet, good but not close.

                    1. re: mikegre

                      I grew up in Queens during the 60/70's. We used to go there every other week or so. When you sat down you'd get a plate of mini knishes gratis. Also had the late Boro Pres Donald Manes try and hijack my take out order, showed him who was the boss.

                  2. re: mikegre

                    FYI: Sarge's had a bad fire just after Thanksgiving. They are rebuilding. Murray Hillers are making the trek to Katz's while we patiently wait.

                  3. Really? Russian dressing offends some? Growing up, at the most "traditional" of Jewish delis in Queens, (and there were a dozen of them then) cole slaw and Russian dressing were the prototypical way of eating a pastrami sandwich.

                    So to the snobs out there, "lost all credibility" should be changed to "I don't like my pastrami with Russian, I prefer mustard."

                    Coincidentally just had a pastrami sandwich (takeout) from PQ yesterday, and it was awesome. Just the right spicing, great texture, just the right amount of fat. Also discover that if you use the magic words "Dino size" when you order, they will give you 25% more meat on the sandwich, gratis.

                    Love Pastrami Queen!

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: lemarais

                      I had an issue when I read that too!!
                      Pastrami on rye, mustard on the bottom, cole slaw and Russian dressing on the top. Heavenly!!!
                      Now, if I heard that someone put mayo on a pastrami sammich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      1. re: Motosport

                        what do you think russian dressing is?

                          1. re: Motosport

                            "Russian" dressing on roast beef, very good, but on pastrami or corned beef????

                          2. re: tex.s.toast

                            Pow... (ketchup n MAY-O-NAISE)

                            and while I am being pedantic intentionally... no one loses cred (with me) for using Russian... to each their own. I prefer my cole slaw in a bowl on the side, not in my sammie, ketchup on my fires and no mayo anywhere...

                          3. re: Motosport

                            I get the whole coleslar thing.. I've had some pastrami with it... but Russian doesn't work for me. I will have to try this Pastrami Queen and see about it. I do have vague memories of a Pastrami King or Queen from about 25 years ago on the UES and liking it... but I was young and dumb then...

                            1. re: dyrewolf

                              I used to work with a Chinese guy who always ordered his pastrami sandwich with lettuce and tomato. Made me nauseous watching him eat.

                              1. re: pbjluver

                                That's funny. I used to work with a Korean guy that used to eat his pastrami with mayonnaise. Also turned my stomach.

                                1. re: mikegre

                                  I don't get why pastrami with mayo is disgusting but with Russian dressing is ok?????

                        1. Ok, so it's a matter of preference. But "losing all credibility"? That's over the top. As I've said, at Pastrami King, Ben's on the Blvd, Sandy's Deli, the 3 delis on 108 street, Boulevard Deli, etc.

                          All of them featured a pastrami sandwich with cole slaw and russian dressing. Most folks loved it that way. I did and still do.

                          So if you like yours with mustard, great. But losing cred, nah. Russian dressing is a very traditional way of eating with a pastrami sandwich from the old days in NY when these delis proliferated.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: lemarais

                            Ok, ok, ok....I'm sorry and I take it back. I'm even considering trying it myself.

                            By the way, has anyone ever tried a turkey sandwich with russian dressing,, cole slaw and chopped liver? Awesome!

                            1. re: mikegre

                              Sounds interesting, but the turkey HAS to be real, off the bone. Nothing processed. on a roll, or in a strange non-turkey shape. VERY hard to find that these days. Don't know if PQ has real non processed turkey. I know Fairway deli counter has it.

                              1. re: mikegre

                                Turkey, russion and coleslaw is awesome.... you lost me at chopped liver (which I happen to like.. just not in that combo) Fairway has good fresh off the bone turkey and Fresh Direct's off the bone turkey is excellent too And surprisingly...TJ's (which I genrally hate for anything but some dry goods) has the Columbus label prepackaged roasted turkey ... best of the breed... (the sliced deli meat breed that is.. the fresh turkey above is much better)

                            2. A Sandwich a Day writes on Pastrami Queen this week:


                              1. Just ate here.

                                Very average sandwich. Machine cut. Not enough spice. Needed more time in the water, almost but not tender enough.

                                Not a fan of the rye bread they use either.

                                Just nothing special.

                                Would not return.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: sushiman

                                  NYtimes article by Sheraton in 2012 mentions that they do hand slicing upon request...might be good to keep in mind.
                                  I've not been to the Manhattan PQ, but want to try, soon.


                                  A friend has just told me that alll these deli meats come from the same supplier (National Deli, based in Miami).


                                  Can this be true? Do NY delis no longer cure their own pastrami and corned beef?

                                  Anyone know about suppliers to the delis??

                                  1. re: sushiman

                                    Guess that's what makes horse races. I love the place, have eaten pastrami from there 4 times in the last 3 months. (It's a treat for me).

                                    I think the pastrami is moist, tender, just the right fat content, and the rye bread is awesome.

                                    There's nothing awful about machine cut, hand is nicer, but Katz generally had a monopoly on that.

                                    The Serious Eats blurb loved the sandwich as well, it seems to indicate there that PQ does cure their own pastrami.

                                    1. re: lemarais

                                      I would like to know the source of their deli meats--just curious if all these delis buy from the same supplier as I asked in my post above..imagine if that were the case? I've heard rumor (from someone in the business, so to speak) that each deli can order their own, distinct cure, but that all come from one or two of the same supply houses....

                                  2. We finally went to Pastrami Queen late Friday evening. We ordered the pastrami fatty and hand cut. It was amazing.
                                    My last sammich @ Katz's was excellent but a bit more fatty.
                                    Nt the ambience of Katz's but a bit more convenient to home.
                                    We also had a home made potato knish and cole slaw.
                                    We'll be back!!