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MitchPastrami's Profile

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Best Pastrami Sandwich

It has been a little over two years since I posted my opinion and I thought it was time for an update. My tastes have not changed but I have had a chance to eat at all of the places I listed in my first posting on several occasions so as to give each and every place a fair chance.

My new and updated list is greatly abbreviated. There are really three places where it is worth spending your money and where you will consistently get a great pastrami sandwich. Two are in the new New York metro area and one is in Cherry Hill, NJ.

I believe that Katz's and Irving's in Livingston, NJ might have the same supplier. Both places have without question, what is the best pastrami in the New York area. It is tender, flavorful, hand cut, well seasoned and just about perfect. I am not a big fan of the Rockland Bakery rye that they use but that aside, there is no better pastrami anywhere.

I must give equal mention to the Kibitz Room in Cherry Hill, NJ, just outside of Philly. Their pastrami is very different form Katz's or Irving's but consistently excellent. It is worth the trip to taste this wonderful pastrami.

Also, the guys as Hobby's in Newark have a very nice pastrami. They are worth patronizing as it is a Newark institution.

With those three delis, you now have the listing of the top three pastrami places in the world.

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Rockland Bakery
94 Demarest Mill Rd W, Nanuet, NY 10954

Jul 09, 2010
MitchPastrami in Manhattan

Best Pastrami Sandwich

Thanks hotdoglover. I will defintely seek Mark out the next time I am there. I would be really curious to hear what he has to say about his preparation and why it differs from the others. Pastrami is something that is not easily prepared by the do-it-yourselfer. There is a series of books called Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur that has recipes that come very close to the original restaurant recipes but pastrami is just too difficult to even try at home. I am really glad you enjoyed it.

The next time I am in the city, I am going to try Bloom's and Delmonico's as one of the other folks suggested.

Aug 06, 2008
MitchPastrami in Manhattan

Best Pastrami Sandwich

My family and I went to Irving's last night and I must say that it was nothing short of outstanding. They clearly make their own pastrami. It was hand-cut, moist, tender and very flavorful. In all sincerity, it is far and away the best pastrami sandwich in the New York metropolitan area. While the operational model is similar to Katz's, that is where the similarities end. Irving's is really far superior to Katz's as well as all of its competitors. Katz's pastrami can often be tough and gristly. The seasoning on Katz's pastrami never compared with that of the Carnegie, Stage or Junior's. Irving's trumps them all.

While it is the new kid on the deli block, Irving's is reminiscent of the delis of days gone by in terms of decor and taste. We were greeted by a lovely lady who was obviously one of the owners. Throughout the evening, she checked on us to make sure we were happy and was very grateful not only for our patronage, but also for the compliments we paid to her at the end of the evening. The service was also excellent. The decor will take you back to your childhood deli days. This was not only my opinion, a devout pastrami eater for over 40 years, but also the opinion of my father who has been eating pastrami for close to 70 years.

Thank you to traderdube and Mr. Black for suggesting Irving's. You both hit the nail on the head. It is 47 miles from my home in Rockland County but well worth the trip.

As a new restaurant, I am sure that Irving's can benefit from the patronage of all those who love pastrami. So, take the trip to Livingston, New Jersey and visit Irving's. You will not regret it. I promise that this recommendation comes straight from the stomach and heart and that I am deriving no benefit whatsoever from making this endorsement.

By the way, the pickles and fries were pretty good too!

Jul 26, 2008
MitchPastrami in Manhattan

Swiss Chalet Chicken

Thank you my fellow Canadian. What you have done is very creative although I have found that the packaged sauces just don't measure up to the freshly brewed varieties. I have written to Swiss Chalet suggesting that they open a restaurant in the Metro NYC area. I would encourage any other Canadians living here craving this uniquely Canadian delicacy to do the same. If enough voices speak, they might actually do it!

Jun 21, 2008
MitchPastrami in Manhattan

Pastrami

Hey Woodburner:

I wholeheartedly agree that hand carved is the way to go. When the pastrami is machine sliced, it somehow loses a little of its moisture and tenderness. I know that the Carnegie uses a machine and that does detract slightly from the taste. However, I prefer as brisket that has a nice layer of fat on the outside that is heavily coated with black garlicky and peppery seasoning. The Carnegie's pastrami has a little more of that than Katz's. Katz's does deliver the complete package in terms of cut, however, I think it is missing either the garlic or coriander seasoning which give the Carnegie its extra zest.

Jun 15, 2008
MitchPastrami in Manhattan

Swiss Chalet Chicken

My love for pastrami is only matched by my passion for rotisserie bbq'd chicken accompanied by a hot tangy brown sauce. I know that are other Canadians in New York who must miss Swiss Chalet or Cote St. Luc BBQ as much as I do. While pastrami has quelled my cravings for smoked meat, there is nothing which I have found in the New York city area that comes close to Canadian style BBQ chicken. Has anyone found something similar in this great city?

Jun 15, 2008
MitchPastrami in Manhattan

Pastrami

I am still on the quest for the best pastrami sandwich in the New York City area. The first test to determining which deli has the best pastrami is to find which ones make their own pastrami. Not to denigrate Empire National which is very good, but delis often purchase their pastrami from a wholesaler and pass it off as their own. For those who care, Empire National's pastrami is much better than Hebrew National's. That said, my quest is to find a pastrami place that makes their own pastrami that is rich in spices and flavor, moist and tender. To date, I have to say that I have found that the two best pastrami sandwiches I have had are in Philadelphia. One is at a place called the Kibitz Room in Cherry Hill, NJ and the other in central Philadelphia called the Famous 4th Street Delicatessen. I find it ironic that to get the two most authentic and tasty pastrami sandwiches, you have to travel to Philadelphia. Insofar as New York is concerned, my rankings would be as follows:

1. Carnegie Deli (still consistently the best)
2. Stage Deli (on a good day it can be as good if not better than the Carnegie, but on a bad day, it tastes very processed)
3. Junior's on Flatbush or Grand Central Station (pretty good as they make their own and gives the top two a run for their money on occasion)
4. Sarge's (it is their own, it is very tender and moist, but there is not enough seasoning)
5. Katz's (it has all the right stuff, hand cut, well seasoned but something is just not there)

I am most curious about the Brooklyn Delis but heard that both Adelman's and Mill Basin use Empire National. I was wondering if anybody can confirm or deny this and whether there are any authentic pastrami places left in Brooklyn other than Junior's.

So, with all of that said, I would still like to find the best place that makes their own pastrami in the New York City greater area. I welcome feedback from all pastrami lovers across the land.

Jun 15, 2008
MitchPastrami in Manhattan

Best Pastrami Sandwich

I think that KRS has it right. I am still on the quest for the best pastrami sandwich in the New York City area. The first test to determining which deli has the best pastrami is to find which ones make their own pastrami. Not to denigrate Empire National which is very good, but delis often purchase their pastrami from a wholesaler and pass it off as their own. For those who care, Empire National's pastrami is much better than Hebrew National's. That said, my quest is to find a pastrami place that makes their own pastrami that is rich in spices and flavor, moist and tender. To date, I have to say that I have found that the two best pastrami sandwiches I have had are in Philadelphia. One is at a place called the Kibitz Room in Cherry Hill, NJ and the other in central Philadelphia called the Famous 4th Street Delicatessen. I find it ironic that to get the two most authentic and tasty pastrami sandwiches, you have to travel to Philadelphia. Insofar as New York is concerned, my rankings would be as follows:

1. Carnegie Deli (still consistently the best)
2. Stage Deli (on a good day it can be as good if not better than the Carnegie, but on a bad day, it tastes very processed)
3. Junior's on Flatbush or Grand Central Station (pretty good as they make their own and gives the top two a run for their money on occasion)
4. Sarge's (it is their own, it is very tender and moist, but there is not enough seasoning)
5. Katz's (it has all the right stuff, hand cut, well seasoned but something is just not there)

I am most curious about the Brooklyn Delis but heard that both Adelman's and Mill Basin use Empire National. I was wondering if anybody can confirm or deny this and whether there are any authentic pastrami places left in Brooklyn other than Junior's.

So, with all of that said, I would still like to find the best place that makes their own pastrami in the New York City greater area. I welcome feedback from all pastrami lovers across the land.

Jun 15, 2008
MitchPastrami in Manhattan