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Mar 22, 2014 12:25 AM

Where can I purchase a good quality pastrami?

I went to Whole Foods today thinking it would be a good bet for purchasing a high quality pastrami to make sandwiches at home. Other than turkey pastrami, I didn't see any there, much to my surprise. Any suggestions for stores that carry pastrami like you might find in a Jewish deli on the mainland? I'm looking for something that is as good or better than Vienna Beef pastrami.

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  1. Safeway believe it or not...deli section.

    Other option is Costco in HK has NY Pastrami sliced like in the picture.

    1. Sad to say, but you won't. The best you are going to find will be boars head or one of the supermarket alternatives. Sandwiches are outside Hawaii's otherwise diverse culinary traditions. Or as a friend used to like to say "no rice?, it's not a meal."

      1. You might try R Field at Foodland Beretania.

        1. nyc for the best pastrami sandwiches.

          we finally have boar's head, which is the standard in ny delis.

          foodland or safeway, i forget which. give them a call and let us know!

          9 Replies
          1. re: indelibledotink

            Boar's Head products are sold at Foodland

            1. re: honu2

              Oooh, thanks indelibledotink and honu2 for letting me know. Boar's Head will be good enough for my purposes.

              1. re: Quince

                You might want to try Safeway's Pastrami which we prefer much more than Boar's Heads version which seems way too lean..

                1. re: russkar

                  Thank you, maybe I will try that one first, as Safeway is the closest supermarket to me.

            2. re: indelibledotink

              Correction: NY doesn't have the best Pastrami which was determined after Langer's in LA kicked it's ass 10 yrs ago in the James Beard Completion as best Deli Pastrami in the USA.
              Katz & 2nd ave deli are a thing of the past....

              1. re: russkar

                3. Langer's
                704 S Alvarado St
                Los Angeles, CA 90057
                (213) 483-8050
                Categories: Delis, Sandwiches, Bakeries
                Neighborhood: Westlake
                5.0 star rating 8/2/2010
                Few places live up to the hype surrounding them. Langer's is definitely not a disappointment. Most food critics rate Langer's better then Katz's pastrami in NY, so I had to give it a try. Best pastrami bar none. Thick hand cut with a nice peppery flavor and not overly salty. The meat is so tender it just falls apart. The rye bread has a chewy crust and super soft inside which pairs amazingly well. I think that I ate mine in about 45 seconds. They may not pile it high like some other deli but what a difference. Everyone I turned on to this place was immediately addicted. Even better, they are right at the metrorail exit on MacArthur Park.

                Best Thing - pastrami reuben

                1. re: russkar

                  reuben sammitches are always the bomb.

                  i still hold that nyc has the best widely available pastrami and most other deli sandwiches compared to specialty, upscale places, although langers LA may be 'the best.' depending which neighborhood you are in, decent sandwiches abound in nyc.

                  1. re: indelibledotink

                    There is nothing wrong with NYC Pastrami but I have to admit I love seeing my NY friends "take a knee" when they finally visit Langer's. They are always blown away. Katz is always on par though. Langer's has the advantage of twice baked Rye which gives it the edge overall, besides killer Pastrami and the James Beard Award, only Deli to ever win it...ever....

                    1. re: russkar

                      ha - russkar, this is a debate among myself a couple of friends too. After having both, the bread is obviously a "no contest" to langers....but i honestly like the pastrami better at Katz's. I get to eat them very rarely, but the "highs" experienced by the luscious historic pastramis at both joints were higher with katz's. for me. i'll NEVER understand why they stick with that subpar rye bread at katz's though, especially given the resources they have in NYC. clearly, they want their meat to be the star, but i think that totally misses the point of it being a sandwich of 2 major elements - bread and filling. oh well.

                      We don't have anything close to on par with those guys here in hawaii....which is kind of crazy bc folks love it here yet i think most people have never really had transcendent pastrami. I think having killer pastrami was an original mission of the whole ox, but they seemed to very quickly drop this mission once they hit their stride (before mcgee left). I make a pretty damn good one though, its in my blood....maybe i'll open a proper deli for y'all one day ;)

            3. Whole Foods has the best smoked brisket-hands down imo!!! Pastrami taste and texture would be very close.Only a few Whole Foods I've encountered (I live in NYC) have a smoker like the one in Hawaii at Kahala.

              3 Replies
              1. re: UES Mayor

                Thanks for that suggestion, that sounds worth trying.

                  1. re: indelibledotink

                    I never look at price for food. If I want it I just get it. BUT I won't pay more than 25 cents for a banana in NYC!!!