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NYC/LA pastrami battle - the three kings

OK, let me please preface this by saying all three of these spots are f'ing awesome. The real winner, me. All sampled in last 10 days

Langers -- you know the drill. Thick sliced pastrami piled an inch and half or so on crusty rye. I like mine with swiss and cold kraut on side to pile on. To me this has always been the standard. No place has better rye. But I heard of a few contenders in NYC.

Katz's -- downtown....frankly, this meat and sandwich architecture is similar to langers. I tipped the carver, asked for extra fatty -- all the things the fine NYC hounds recommended. Sampled the meat first too...wow. Similar beefy richness as langers meat if you ask me, and thickly sliced and juicy. to me the bread a bit too thickly sliced, maybe 50percent thicker than langers, and not as crusty or wide, but this is really nitpicking....my opinion, a very similar sandwich to langers. that's a good thing. similar amount of meat -- very ample. Side dish of griddled natural casing dog with kraut-- very nice! im kicking myself for not buying a hard salami to take home

this brings me to my next stop...another nearly century old spot walking distance from Times Sq., the carnegie deli. ample isn't accurate here. there's more succulent pastrami in half a sandwich here than a whole one at the other spots...maybe 6 inches of meat (you can't print that!) price about the same, 18 or 20 bucks i think...more thinly sliced, more of that black stuff on the sides...super f'ing juicy, this thing steamed up the bread and melted what was literally 6 slices of swiss cheese on it...this spot seemed to be a notch below katz/langers from the hounds i surveyed, but i actually liked it best. yes size matters. but this meat was awesome too...so soft and juicy and delicious. pickles here (full and half sour better than langers and katz).

as i said, all these spots are amazing, but if i had to pick one spot to get a pastrami sandwich it would be the carnegie deli. you don't need to eat for a while and even half a sandwich can do a hungry hound...of course i didn't stop there.... however, if were downtown near katz's i would go there instead of carnegie. the meat is maybe a bit "beefier" and less "pastrami-y" if that makes any sense, and is outstanding. obviously if in LA, langers is our king.

footnote: russ and daughters and barney greengrass blow our barney greengrass away for selection of fish, better bagels, latkes and more...also 100 year old(ish) places proudly run by familes like (i think) the 3 pastrami kings above)

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  1. Posted tongue in cheek.....
    OK, ok, we'll let NY and LA battle all they want...FOR SECOND PLACE!
    Sorry to bust your utopian bubble, but the best sandwich can be found in Montreal, at Schwartz.
    The Montreal Smoked Meat!
    Not only that, but it ain't gonna set you back $18-$20: the best sandwich in the world can be had for less than $7 bucks. Howsabout THAT?
    Robert Sietsama, Gourmet magazine contributor, says "I love Katz’s pastrami more than life itself, and I’ve eaten literally hundreds of these pastrami sandwiches, but I still found Schwartz’s marginally better.”


    Now if someone'll finally admit that Montreal's bagels are better than New Yorks' bread doghnuts....

    6 Replies
    1. re: porker

      next time im in the arctic circle ill try it!

      above also tongue in cheek.

      sounds great to me, id love to try that on for size!

      1. re: jessejames

        honestly when you said "three kings" I thought you did a langers v katz v montreal battle.

        hopefully next time ;)

        1. re: ns1

          id love too -- can't do it all...somehow i managed to fit in about 6 hotdogs and two pastrami sandwiches when i was there for a weekend with a wedding, rehearsal dinner and brunch tho!

          oh, the cheesecake at juniors...both marble and regular...moist and dense and not dry in any way...best ive ever had

          1. re: jessejames

            Montreal, Arctic Circle, is only a 6 hour drive from NYC (train is >12 hours, but thats another story...)

              1. re: jessejames

                Fun video.
                Their 2 year plan is to open restaurants in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, then Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, and finally in France.

    2. Nice rundown. I actually prefer Carnegie the least.

      Pastrami to pastrami, I think it's very close between Katz's and Langer's with a slight nod to Katz's. Probably biased by the memories it brings back for me.

      Of course if we throw bread and slaw into it, yes, Langer's sandwich is better.

      Take any swings at sushi in NYC?

      27 Replies
      1. re: Porthos

        i wish....closest i got was the smoked sable and lox (or whatever some of you guys wanna call it!)

        id love to check those spots out and the italian joints too....nyc is such an eaters town...sometimes i think NOLA is tops but maybe it's there.

        my consolation prize for missing those will be lunch at shunjis!

        1. re: jessejames

          We've moved a discussion of NOLA recommendations to the New Orleans board, at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/919701

        2. re: Porthos

          srsly man, that Katz rye is terribad.

          1. re: ns1

            no one has better bread than langers

            even labels bread better than katz/carnegie...but, that carnegie bread gets steamy and soggy and you can make little pastrami 'sushi roll bites' cuz you can just eat the sandwich the regular way!

              1. re: Porthos

                hey man i agree! when you have six inches and a lb and a half of meat at carnegie who needs the fucking bread!

                1. re: jessejames

                  We used to have Carnegie Deli here in Los Angeles ... well, Beverly Hills. It was not so successful.

                  What I did have was good although I did not try the pastrami.

                  My first encounter, I was with a couple of friends working late. When the sandwiches arrived, they each came in a LARGE brown paper grocery bag. For a reason.

                  1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                    I didn't know that. There's on in Vegas but not the same. Still ok.

                    Their sandwiches are HUGE. But so good I finish them. But easily two meals unlike the local ones at least for this hound. The bagel and cream cheese there has an inch or so of cream cheese. Even the Swiss in the pastrami sandwich was more cheese than our delis use meat. But so good. I'm imagining borat right now!

                    Not the best but still good in bh area for me are Nate n Als, the nosh ( same pastrami as langers) and labels on pico. I remember stage deli in cc too.

                    I guess I'm ready for breakfast!

                    1. re: jessejames

                      I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that the Beverly Hills Carnegie Deli failed because their "excess" was counter to the BH maven's quest for "thin".

                      Do you think there was another reason?

                        1. re: jessejames

                          300 No. Beverly Dr.
                          Beverly & Dayton

                          These folks have various ideas about why it closed

                          the New York Times had another

                      1. re: jessejames

                        There was also a very large Stage Deli at the Century City Mall for may years in the 80's.
                        "January 8, 1988 | CHARLES PERRY
                        "Too much glass," said one of my deli mavens, waving his arm. Too much glass? "Look at all the windows. This isn't a deli. You could get a tan in here." Great. This is why I'd asked the mavens to join me at the Stage Deli. I'm a Valley boy, I couldn't possibly know all the fine points. Myself, I was just glad we got in with less than a 45-minute wait. As the only real restaurant yet open in the new Century City Marketplace, the Stage Deli has been packed every time I've been by.

                        1. re: wienermobile

                          The Stage in CC was terrific in its day; Carnegie, on the other hand, was always a head-scratcher out here as it got so much so wrong.

                          1. re: wienermobile

                            Ha! I remember that deli. And they're right-- Barney Greengrass, Goldblatts, Stage... none of them felt like delis. Nate N' Als, Canters, Art's, Brent's, Langer's all feel like proper delis (with varying degrees of food quality.) If a deli doesn't feel like a deli, a significant part of the charm and experience is lost. It doesn't matter if the food is identical to equivalent in NYC. Without the sassy waitresses, the grunge, the customers from all walks of life, the brown colors, there's something about the experience that just doesn't feel, well, kosher.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              I love the atmosphere of a good deli too Mr. T. But in my hood I'll take Greenblatts over Cantors every damn time. You sound like the kind of guy that has kosher hard salamis hanging in your kitchen.

                              1. re: jessejames

                                We usually had 2-3 hanging from the top of our kitchen from Zabar's.

                                1. re: polldeldiablo

                                  so good

                                  that spot is a free sample abuser's mecca!

                        2. re: SilverlakeGirl

                          Carnegie closed August 26, 1994. There were many reasons for the deli’s closure but the big three probably went something like this…

                          Nate ‘n’ Al’s, a long-established local tradition, was right down the street.
                          The food at the Carnegie cost more than the food at Nate ‘n’ Al’s.
                          The food at the Carnegie wasn’t as good as the food at Nate ‘n’ Al’s.

                          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                            I just saw mention of the Carnegie in LA. I mentioned elsewhere on this thread that I happened to work for Marvin Davis at the time he brough the Carnegi to Beverly Hills, and how it closed after a handful of years.

                            I recall it just never being managed correctly, and if the truth be told, big deli sandwiches in the heart of Beverly Hills in the "you can't be too thin or too rich" era just was not a good combination.

                        3. re: Porthos

                          ...which is why I usually say katzs and langers pastrami are equal enough, but Langers has a sandwich that is miles better.

                        4. re: ns1

                          Call me crazy but I've always ordered my Katz's sandwiches - either brisket or pastrami - on the club roll.

                            1. re: JeMange

                              The right call for brisket but, pastrami on rye. Come on... ;>)

                          1. re: Porthos


                            I'm with you. I think Langer's and Katz's are pretty close. I think Langer' is a little spicier and Katz's is a little fattier, but they're both damned good. Katz's definitely comes up short with the rye.

                            Carnegie is a notch below if one doesn't consider size. All of them make good-sized sandwiches that are plenty so the benefit to carnegie is that one can share or take part home. But the meat just isn't as falvorful to me.

                            I would love to try Shwartz's, but they can't ship to the U.S.

                            1. re: john gonzales

                              I like that for such a huge sandwich Carnegie not too salty. I don't think you could double maybe triple the size of katz or langers and handle it at once. I'd like to try shwartzes too

                            2. re: Porthos

                              Had Langer's and Katz's in the last year. I'm a native NYer and I think that Langer's is much better.

                            3. What about 2nd Ave? Good service, good pickles. Still, you're right, Carnegie overstuff is big.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: benk

                                Love 2nd Ave. Haven't been since they moved though.

                                Matzo ball soup was awesome but between that and the sandwich, I'm done for the day.

                              2. "The real winner, me." You said it, I'm green with envy.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JAB

                                  Picking out deli foods to sample was a way to really feast in NYC without getting killed financially too. I had some of the best meats and smoked fish i ever tried and tons of other sides/drinks and good service and atmosphere and no bill (for 2) exceeded $75 including everything, even at barney greengrass. I also really appreciate the advice from all the hounds here and there -- especiallly in Katz's - i think that bit about tipping the carver a buck and asking for extra fatty and then getting to try a slice first was great. As Bobbi Fleckman (from Tap) says in NY, "money talks, bullshit walks" - and i did see some substantially slimmer sandwiches on other tables! I hope to get out to coney island next time to try the original nathans but just couldn't fit that in this time. i'm considering calling Katz's and having them ship out one of those hard salami's too. The carver gave me a snip of that -- it was awesome.

                                2. I always like Carnegie deli the best......

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                    granted it was in midtown manhattan, but judging by the line on 7th avenue, in the rain, lots of other folks agree (and there were a zillion other delis within a few blocks).

                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                      Me too. But I have not been in about 15 years.

                                    2. I have never been to Langer's, but have been to both Katz's and the Carnegie several times over the past decade.

                                      My experience is the pastrami at Katz's is way more flavorful than at the Carnegie. Yes, the sandwiches at the Carngie are huge, but I will only order corned beef there in the future.

                                      1. The best pastrami, and I have been to them all, is at Brent's Deli in Northridge, LA, Hands down. No contest. Surprised?

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: dsfashl

                                          Just updating this. I went to Brent's today. Great pastrami. In the vein of Carnegie if you ask me. They have every right to claim the crown in LA.

                                          1. re: jessejames

                                            I assume the Parthenia location not Westlake Village? I gotta go back.

                                            I had a not so good pastrami from them -- dry and too lean and another time the corned beef was so completely trimmed of fat it was dry.

                                            I don't like my sandwiches too fatty but these meats are meant to have some fat.

                                            1. re: gr8pimpin

                                              Parthenia. Was juicy and somewhat fatty but I do like it if fat tender and just melts in mouth with meat as this did. I've just had it once but quite nice for me. Succulent. Not salty. Clove flavor and more flavor on crust of meat than the competition.

                                                1. re: gr8pimpin

                                                  My pleasure! I need to increase my sample size but great first impression.

                                        2. Since you've revived the thread, I'm adding a pic of Langer's #19 from earlier this week. =)

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: OCAnn

                                            Thanks for posting the #19 - my wife's favorite - no drama or dogma. The pastrami taliban are probably curling their toes and shaking their fists at your post. You go girl!

                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                              Enjoy It any and all ways. Taliban wisdom would be get a plain pastrami first time at Brent's but dammit a Reuben is also a fine way to enjoy and appreciate the meat of the gods. Enjoy 19 and all the rest. I once had the one with cream cheese and tomato at langers and you know what it was delicious.

                                          2. The quest for understanding continues with the 44 today at langers, pastrami nippy cheese kraut griddled rye. Sort of a reuben. Meat was juicy and fully satisfying if somewhat leaner than I usually like. Cheese on bread both inside slices. Ample kraut. Just had the vaunted black reuben at Brent's (same but Swiss) and thought time to try this out at langers. It's nice to mix it up sometimes. Wondering if pumpernickel available for next time. Brent's v langers on this hounds scorecard for Reuben battle.

                                            Bread: langers. Crunchy crust soft and large interior. Brent's still nice crust likely double baked. No Katzing around.

                                            Pastrami: Well both were really fantastic. Brent's def fattier and more flavorful. But I like langers more mild flavor too. Slight nod this sandwich to Brent's. There was a lot more of it too. Both machine sliced (which doesn't bother me at all) langers a bit thicker cut.

                                            Cheese: just a nip slip I'm probably more into the Swiss than the langers standard issue on 44 which waitress called their pastrami brisket. In any event, Brent.

                                            Kraut: Brent's was griddled and drier. Langers juicier and more abundant. Brents made for a less wet sandwich. I think Brent understands the balance of a Reuben better but hey langers is just hitting it out of the park with their breaking the rules Reuben.

                                            Winner: me. Both great sandwiches. I am surprised how much I liked Brent's. I like how langers has it's own twist on the Reuben w the 44. So good. I think I need to study up before coming to any conclusions.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: jessejames

                                              I truly admire your passion for pastrami!!

                                              1. re: gr8pimpin

                                                Thanks pimpmaster. Just keepin it real by bringing home 2 lbs from langers too. Til the next episode. Glad so many other hounds enjoy pastrami too.

                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                  JJ, have you had the rueben at Katz? It is pretty epic and actually helps give their bread texture. Not to mention their amazing russian dressing.

                                                  1. re: A5 KOBE

                                                    Nope but id be more than happy to. Sounds like a good idea. But this hound stays away from mayotard and it's cousins like Russian dressing and 1000 island.

                                                    1. re: A5 KOBE

                                                      Pastrami Reuben on pumpernickel from canters. Great bread decent sandwich. Service actually great. And gratuitous shot of Chinese cookie for tonyc

                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                        That's right dog. Be the boss of that pastrami every time!

                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                          when you're out on the town with a lovely lady, of course that's just fantastic, but oh the excitement when you get home and begin to undress...George Costanza time....that's the fun of unwrapping a langers velo-sealed one lb pack at home, and being able to ravage that in privacy, heck even snap a few shots, pictorials as some call them. No bread needed. And, you can plainly see why this is pmoy pastrami. not exactly pompeo posar of pastrami here but still sexi-time explosion.

                                                    2. re: jessejames

                                                      damn dude, i think this is my new go to @ Langer's. good thing you can sub the swiss in for the nippy.

                                                      1. re: TonyC

                                                        definitely. I'm going to do that next time. the 43 (I think) is the same as 44 but corned beef, swiss and kraut. between corned beef and pastrami, i'll take pastrami everytime!

                                                    3. You are a hero.

                                                      I too would list Langer's first, with Katz's coming in a very close second. I have not had the pastrami at Carnegie Deli, but I had some other sandwich there which was more amazing for its portion size than the actual food, but I do recall it still being excellent.

                                                      Side note: eons ago I worked for Marvin Davis, a multibillionaire oil and gas/real estate developer magnet, who owned the Fox Plaza (aka "Die Hard building") in Century City where we worked. He was an ex-New Yorker, and was such a fan of the Carnegie Deli (and eating in general) that he opened one up in Beverly Hills, paid the head cooks in NY absurd money to come out here, and had water brought in from NY for the bagels.

                                                      It wasn't a success and closed down after a few years, but every week he'd have a Ginormous spread brought in for everyone, and it had everything from lox, bagels, sandwiches, pastrami, tongue, pickles, rugula. But oh I remember the smoked sturgeon. My God, the smoked sturgeon! Pretty nice having your own private Carnegie deli.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: EarlyBird

                                                        I appreciate that EB. The real heros -- well in this case sandwiches -- are thankfully in abundance in LA and NYC. I also put Langers and Katz at the top of the heap, but I think they have some company on the podium. I don't think I'm ready for some formal PAA rankings, but I certainly see Carnegie, Brents and Greenblatts in the top tier at least so far as NY/LA are concerned. I like the long time traditions at all of these delis too. I hear Sarge's in NYC is on the comeback trail and the Pastrami Queen, but I'm just not an upper east side kind of dude re the latter...but certainly not above a test drive.

                                                        Davises, Carnegies, they both have a lot more cash than me!

                                                      2. My gf and I went to Langers today about an hour before they closed. As we were happily munching on our #19s, we were discussing this thread. How can posters properly compare the three places (plus Brents) without doing a proper taste test, i.e., at the same time. One could reasonably compare a Brents Vs Langers by getting both sandwiches on the same day by two different people and meeting someplace to comparison test. However, a comparison versus places in New York is relying on memory instead of what's in front of you. I don't know about you, but my experiences can be influenced by a number of factors including which side of the bed I woke up on or outside factors like service.

                                                        That said, this thread has been very enjoyable to read, and I admire your quest for the top pastrami!

                                                        Side note: I would volunteer for said taste tests. ;-)

                                                        25 Replies
                                                        1. re: granadafan

                                                          Here's an a article of how some folks did a ny la challenge.


                                                          Here's another cool one. And man doesn't that Katz pastrami look awesome.


                                                          I think I need a few more sandwiches before i come to any conclusions. Don't want to rush justice. Get my drift?

                                                          Glad you enjoyed langers. I never get tired of it.

                                                          1. re: granadafan

                                                            The unfortunate problem with a taste test comparison is due to the location of Brent's, one of the sandwiches(more than likely it'll be Brent's) will be half an hour old. Now I do wonder why there has never been a pastrami festival in Los Angeles, that would be the PERFECT way to decide.

                                                            1. re: polldeldiablo

                                                              I'm not seeing any problems P, just a lot of good pastrami! And if you can hold onto a Brent's pastrami sandwich for a half hour without eating it you should be DQ'd as a judge for lack of qualification. Each pastrami has its own natural habitat and a home away from home aka my stomach....here's one of my favorites but you gotta hit the road for this gem...


                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                Nostalgia and pastrami aside, one of the things I like most about Carnegie is the feel of the place. As much as I love Brent's and Langer's, they both give me the feel of a diner and not of a jewish deli.

                                                                1. re: polldeldiablo

                                                                  I really do like it too, like the opening scene of Broadway Danny Rose. If those pastramis could talk?

                                                                  1. re: jessejames

                                                                    Real life scenes from Broadway Danny Rose actually happen monthly at a gathering of Stand Up Comedians from the 70's, 80's, & 90's held at Solly's Sherman Oaks…..Let me tell you my Danny Rose story…..

                                                                      1. re: jessejames

                                                                        ...Well Danny Rose was really down... but his luck but was on the verge of changing, though, when he signed Lou Canova — a lounge singer who was big in the ‘50s and in the midst of a comeback….

                                                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                                                          what a coincidence when Miltie's in the audience...

                                                                      2. re: wienermobile

                                                                        Unfortunately Solly's might be the worst/wurst deli ive ever eaten in...2 bites of awful grizzle on a pastrami sandwich was more than enough to exile them from my culinary ecosystem!

                                                                        1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                          Not surprised - Solly's is owned by Jerry's Deli

                                                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                                                            Solly's used to be great before the evil JFD empire bought them and like all their delis ran them into the ground. They had one in woodland hills and it was great. Shame.

                                                                              1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                                Anything left of the friars club? Isn't there still a facade in bh?

                                                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                                                  It's still on Little Santa Monica Blvd but has been empty and closed for years. As a kid we used to go for Sunday Brunch and it seemed like Milton Berle always lived there.

                                                                                    1. re: jessejames

                                                                                      from the web "In late January 2011 the building was demolished, despite objections from the Los Angeles Conservancy." Is this correct?

                                                                                    2. re: wienermobile

                                                                                      some friars club laughs....

                                                                                      Phil Silvers once told a story about standing next to Berle at a urinal, glancing down, and quipping, "You'd better feed that thing, or it's liable to turn on you!"

                                                                                      At a memorial service for Berle at the Friars' Club, Freddie Roman solemnly announced, "On May 1st and May 2nd, his penis will be buried."

                                                                                      in an impromptu contest Jackie Gleason said, "go ahead, Milton, just take out enough to win"

                                                                                      1. re: jessejames

                                                                                        Not to "ahem" step on your story but that reminds me of a Buck Henry tale (screenplay writer for The Graduate, etc.) when he was at the infamous sex club, Plato's Retreat (where he was a member - ha ha - and regular) in NY.

                                                                                        The story goes that some black guy with a full 12" was basically causing "shrinkage" in all the other guys there one night. Buck Henry, upon spying the "awesome appendage" went up to the guy and said "Say, you don't happen to know where I can get one of those in white, do you?"

                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                          Love it. Kind of like the guy in the urinal area noting the tattoo on his neighbor and said my girlfriends name is Wendy too. No man mine says welcome to Jamaica have a great day !

                                                                                          1. re: jessejames

                                                                                            I had to think too hard to parse the punchline, so as a courtesy, I've called in MTPP™ (Mr Taster's Punctuation Patrol™):

                                                                                            "No, man. Mine says, 'Welcome to Jamaica, mon. Have a great day!'"

                                                                                            (I assume you accidentally left out "mon", because it fits stylistically with the joke, and where else would the 'n' in 'Wendy' come from?)

                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                              patrol all you like - thanks. I didn't really consciously chose to omit the "mon" -- but, as you can surmise, some of the letters got "cinched" up and covered as the signage was not in its fully unfurled position. anyway I hope you still laughed

                                                                  2. re: granadafan

                                                                    >> However, a comparison versus places in New York is relying on memory instead of what's in front of you.

                                                                    First of all, if you're going to compare sandwiches, you have to have an apples-to-apples methodology. That means pastrami, bread, maybe a smidge of deli mustard. Forget comparing Langer's #19 with anyone else's sandwich, unless you're really looking to compare the schmaltz/milchig treif components. (why would you want to compare deli #1's processed supermarket cheese with deli #2's processed supermarket cheese? Are you really trying to discover the nuanced differences between the ratio of mayo:ketchup:relish? Isn't the true reason for the comparison all about the pastrami and the bread?)

                                                                    Additionally, all of that gloppy, fatty nonsense coats your tongue and blunts the flavor of some truly terrific pastrami. Russian dressing, cole slaw and swiss cheese is to pastrami sandiwiches what latex condoms are to sex.

                                                                    So, with that in mind, here's my as-close-to-side-by-side-and-apples-to-apples-as-is-possible comparison of Langer's to Katz's, from 2005:


                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                      Mr. T - nice report. I just love the pastrami at Katz. I can certainly appreciate and enjoy my pastrami with my choice of toppings, ie swiss or horseradish, just like you can with yours, mustard, which to me is too pungeant and barfy tasting. but more to your point, try a take out pack from langers, and unveil that pastrami in its naked glory at home. No latex or bread required.

                                                                      Also, I know you hate gimmicks, but I've got no problems with machine sliced pastrami like at langers recently, brents, or Carnegie and seems the hand slicing bit can be just that. I'm sure you disagree but just saying....you can get the to-go from langers handsliced, but then it's already steamed and then cools off and then I think you lose some of the juiciness...just get the laboratory wrapped presliced and follow their instructions and that is some juicy juicy pastrami.

                                                                  3. Have to add this comment...for those who love the Langers "crinkle cut" fries: ive never had worse! They taste as obviously frozen and bought by the ton from some industrial supplier...completely ruins the exquisite pastrami experience...that mountain of a potato knish aint much better!

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                      Frozen bought elsewhere doesn't necessarily equal bad. I doubt Big Jo makes their own fries but they fry them really well.

                                                                      1. re: lapizzamaven


                                                                        that shit's disgusting. whenever I see people order the pastrami fries it makes me cringe.

                                                                        1. re: TonyC

                                                                          id still take a potato pancake and slap that in the middle of a pastrami sandwich with a bit of apple sauce for good measure instead...

                                                                      2. I've been to Langer's, Katz, Carnegie, Stage, and Wexler's. In my opinion, the #19 at Langer's is by far the best. For the comments that say the pastrami is mediocre from Langer's, I disagree. It was tasty and tender. Wexler's was amazingly most and tasty and beat out all the rest, but the bread was lacking and the slaw was meh.


                                                                        In order of my preference. Your mileage may vary.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: buttdrunk

                                                                          I appreciate your breadth of experience. However, I'm confused by your qualifying the #19 as the your favorite sandwich.

                                                                          Are you saying you preferred the #19 over a comparable sandwich at Katz's? (i.e. at Katz's, did you request Russian dressing, cole slaw and Swiss cheese? If so, for how long after making the request did the counterman sneer/snigger? :) I kid, but the point is real. The #19 is really more of a Langer's-specific thing. How do you do an apples-to-apples comparison of the quality of the pastrami (the real point of the sandwich, that all the time and care goes into making) with all that mayo coating your tastebuds?

                                                                          Or did you try traditional pastrami on rye sandwiches at each of these places in order to do an accurate side-by-side evaluation of the quality of the pastrami itself?

                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                            "(i.e. at Katz's, did you request Russian dressing, cole slaw and Swiss cheese? If so, for how long after making the request did the counterman sneer/snigger? ")

                                                                            Just tell that Katz counterman that you'd like a pastrami Rueben, and ask him to hold the sauerkraut, and there you have it...