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Moody's 1st Impressions

After reading all the rave reviews, particularly about the Pastrami (as I recall many compared it very favorably to Katz's deli in the LES), I have been looking forward to their store made cured meats for about 3 months! Yesterday, I finally made it in. I ordered the Pastrami sandwich (named "The Katz") and the Banh Mi. While waiting, I was given a taste of one of their house cured salami's and the small taste that I had was absolutely delicious. I have eaten at Katz's deli numerous times and it is my favorite pastrami sandwich of all time! Unfortunately, I was badly disappointed in the "The Katz" from Moody's. I found it to be overly salty and despite the salt, nowhere near as rich and flavorful as the real thing. I also much prefer the banh mi at the Super 88 food court to the one at Moody's. To me the one at Moody's did not taste anywhere near any version of a banh mi that I have ever had and I just did not enjoy the way the flavors came (or didn't come together). The flavors of a traditional banh mi with the combination of grilled meat, mayo, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber, jalapeno, etc, just seems to be perfect in every way. I will return to try some of their other charcuterie and house made sausages but not their pastrami or banh mi.

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  1. i completely agree. Salt is a problem there. Too heavy.

    1. I had zero issue with the salt in my Moody's pastrami sandwich. However, as much as I like Sam LaGrassa's pastrami, I always find myself parched for hours after eating their pastrami. bakerboyz, have you had LaGrassa's pastrami? did you find it salty? Pastrami in general can be salty for those not used to it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gordough

        I have not had Sam LaGrassa's but I generally never have a problem with salt in my food. I have had Katz's pastrami sandwich probably 15x and I do not find it to be overly salty and it is packed with flavor even cold the next day. When the server cuts a few thick, warm pieces at the counter for you (as is their tradition), you really get a delicious meaty flavor without the bread and mustard. My problem wasn't just the saltiness with Moody's but overall not a great flavor.

      2. All a matter of taste. Personally love both the Tuscan & Genoa Salami. Spouse thinks the Tuscan is a bit salty, but I think it's fine. The njuda is my latest addiction, and yes, I don't even bother putting it on bread or a cracker, just cut off pieces and eat it by itself. Again I don't find that salty, but the mild version does have a nice kick to it.

        1. Very interesting - this could be a matter of quality control. The thing that I absolutely loved about the Moody's pastrami was that to me it was almost under salted. Granted, I bought a whole package, so I cut it up myself, and didn't put any condiments on it except for a little mustard. I though the spice was quite subtle, too. I may have to grab another one.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nsenada

            I don't think quality control is an issue. I've had Moody's pastrami on close to a dozen occasions and it's been pretty consistent. I think it's a matter of personal preference and different style. I've never had Katz's, but from what I understand it's warm, tender and juicy. Moody's is shaved or thin-sliced and good either hot or cold. I personally love it.

            1. re: bear

              Right, but one big reason why I liked the Moody's pastrami so much was that it was less salty than La Grassa's, Katz, etc.

          2. i am eating moody's pastrami right now. :) don't think it's overly salty and i might like a bit more spice on the outside.

            we picked up genoa salami too, which might be some of the best salami i have ever had. the pastrami is good, but is not rocking my world and, at the price, i gotta say this is not something that will be in our regular rotation.

            we get local kick-ass bahn mi for $4.50 so we were not splurging on them at moody's.

            we also got 2 packs of sausage, so i will report back on those.

            i don't get sticker shock often, but jeebus.

            11 Replies
            1. re: hotoynoodle

              As I understand it, that sticker shock is hard to avoid if you're doing proper deli, which is why it's dying across the country. I really like the pastrami, but it's the corned beef that blows my mind. All the cured meats and sausages I've had have been outstanding, too: sopressatta, Tuscan salami, lomo, brats, liverwurst. They seem no pricier than, say, Formaggio.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                when I'm in NY, I stock up at Salumeria Biellese for Italian salamis, lardo, etc. and these run between 14 and 19 a pound depending on what I buy. I haven't ordered from Batali's so I can't comment on quality though I've heard good things and I think the prices are similar. Haven't gotten to Moody's but prices in that range are what you have to expect to pay for artisanal, small batch excellence. When I want inexpensive and good quality (not at the Salumeria Biellese level) I go to Bazaar or Baza or Russo. Formaggio is certainly in the same price range as the Salumeria, if not higher. So if Moody's is making a superb product, the comparison of price and product should be to the same or similar quality small providers.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  we're getting organic, pastured pork from shaw farms in dracut now. the sausage is $4.99 pp vs. $9.99 at moody's.

                  i appreciate the expense of quality-sourced meats, but the only other thing charcuterie really needs is time, so stuff at $40+ pp seemed quite over the top, sorry.

                  again, if the flavors had been life-changing, i'd feel differently. in comparison, i've gotten a certain jamon from formaggio where the pigs ate mostly left-over grape must from wine production. i dream about the stuff. it was $25ish pp, and i'd gladly pay it anytime.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Just curious, hoytoy, which of the meats are $40? That is pretty over-the-top.

                    1. re: bear

                      Most doesn't go anywhere near that. There's one, the lomo, at around $50/lb, and it reminds me of high-quality jamon iberico; I did not feel ripped off by that, either. I hope enough other folks see the broader value at Moody's.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        I feel its appropriate, I just cant afford it.

                        The first time they said " $98.75" , I said " Excuse me?" it didnt seem possible, but a quick perusal of my purchases put them in the right.

                        I have been back for a sandwich but have gone back to Russos (where I am more anyway) for my sandwich stuff.

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          i was being slightly hyperbolic. there were 2 meats at $40+. most were in the mid-$20s.

                          but for those comparing moody's to formaggio? doesn't formaggio purchase and sell, whereas moody's makes their own, thereby eliminating the middleman?

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            What you are doing there is comparing a local producer sourcing local animals vs. a retailer of largely imported salumi, charcuterie and salume. I have no idea how artisanal some of Formaggio's suppliers are -- some of them could be industrial-scale producers with much lower production costs -- but yours is not an apples-to-apples comparison. In any event, distribution costs are only one factor in pricing. For the consumer, it comes down to his/her perception of value.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                              maybe it's apples to crabapples. :)

                              as i said upthread, i am able to get organic, pastured, local pork, where i see the farmer and his critters regularly, for much less money than meats at moody's. the shaw farms sausage is 1/2 the price of moody's.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                Well, there's a lot to be said for a beautiful retail space where you can get stock, sides (I'm not a huge fan of most of the sides) cheeses and a terrific variety of charcuterie from hot dogs to their house prosciutto which I'm excited to try when it's ready. Also, they offer sandwiches and espresso and I'm not sure it's possible to compare overhead for sausage-making on a farm as opposed to cured meats that take a great deal of skill and have to be certified by the Dept. of Agriculture.

                                1. re: bear

                                  it's a lovely store and more power to them in their endeavor.

                                  a small, novice meat producer, like mark shaw, is jumping through all sorts of hoops btw, especially since blood farm (one of only two licensed slaughterers in the state) burned down.

                2. Also try their cookies and brownies, which are made by the wife of an employee and are sweet/salty and DELICIOUS.

                  1. Thanks to the MC Slim JB rec upthread I tried the Moody's corned beef this weekend and it might be the best thing I have ever put between two slices of bread. Seriously. Not for the fatphobe, what makes it great is the marbling, but holy cow! That corned beef is amazing. Also worthy of note is their chicken liver mousse, which may well be the best exemplar of that item I have ever had.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: GretchenS

                      I recently took home some bologna, hot soppressata, and genoa salami, all excellent. Quality bologna is a treat.

                      In taking over the wing place next door, they're increasing their seating, counter space, and kitchen space for eat-in prep. They're also planning on offering a short list of wines and beers.

                      A brand-new, much larger wholesale production facility nearby is aimed at supporting national distribution, so with luck, your local market will carry their cold cuts.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Unfortunately Waltham is giving them issues about expanding. More of the same bureacracy, similiar to when they had to remove the seating in the current space.