Lean and fatty alike are feasted on at Max & Benny's Restaurant & Deli
There's fierce debate among pastrami-lovers over how much fat is too much fat, but Max & Benny's settles all disputes by letting hungry diners choose for themselves. Opt for the leaner (dryer) version of the pastrami sandwich, a toothsome mix of belly and brisket cuts, or indulge in the knock-your-socks-off flavor of the full-fat pastrami. (Trust us and go with the fattier fare: Your belly will thank you, even if your waist line won't.) A smear of bright yellow mustard is all that separates this slightly spicy meat from two thick cuts of soft, parbaked rye bread.
Choose the size of your pastrami love at Finkl's World Famous Deli
What this no-frills deli lacks in personality it makes up for in pastrami: peppery, briny bits of super-thick meat layered between two hearty wedges of warm, caraway-studded rye. A fast slice of Swiss and an almost overwhelming amount of mustard set this sandwich apart. For those seeking an even heartier feast, they can opt for Finkl's double-stack that packs in twice as much taste, or pair the skinnier sammie with a cup of matzoh ball soup for a complete meal.
Purists need not venture to Ashkenaz Deli
Ok, let's clear up any confusion upfront: This is not a kosher deli. Need proof? The mouthwatering pastrami sandwich that draws diners from across the city comes slathered with cream cheese and chives. But if you’re seeking more delicious than diehard authentic, Ashkenaz is worth a visit. The pastrami, for all its cream-cheese heresy, is wonderfully flavorful, the chewy bits of fatty meat mixing with a creamy smidge of cheese and caraway-flecked bread. Want to stray even further from the tried-and-true? While we’d never go so far as turkey pastrami, there is a mighty popular one on the menu here.
Visit a lunchtime institution Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli
Considered by many to be the hands-down best Jewish deli in the city, Manny's is a lunchtime institution. If you can fight your way through the maddening crowds, you'll be rewarded with a pastrami sandwich that balances soft, flavorful rye bread with thick, briny slices of super-seasoned pastrami. Bonus: This cafeteria-style eatery is one of the few delis in the city that offers sit-down seating, so after you've polished off your first mammoth, messy sandwich, you can always sidle back up for another. For round two, try its legendary corned beef and a potato pancake.
An upscale upstart at Eleven City Diner
This sunny, spacious storefront loft may not exactly scream classic deli, but don't let the decor fool you: Eleven City Diner serves up one of the best pastrami sandwiches (and accompanying pickles) in the city. Thin-cut, peppery pastrami comes slathered with a thick squirt of bright yellow mustard, all piled atop old-school rye bread. The wonderfully fatty meat boasts an addictive hint of salty brine, while the bread is chewy yet soft. Top it all off with a creamy side of crispy coleslaw, and this loft has earned its diner moniker.
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