Hot Pastrami on Rye

12 Oct

When I was in college, I waited tables at New York Stage Deli in Century City (in Los Angeles). It was a super busy deli and I made some pretty decent tips as a student. It also set the standard for me, in terms of what a great deli should be. 

I remember serving up many bowls of hot, steaming Matzo Ball Soup, and some of the best Pastrami and Corn Beef on the West Coast, served with delicious, crunchy, garlicky spears of Dill Pickles. If you couldn’t decide whether to have Pastrami or Corn Beef, a classic Reuben (with both), topped with sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Russian dressing never disappointed! Most customers ordered their sandwiches on Rye bread. I never liked Rye bread until I had it there–I recall it had a tanginess like sourdough and the crust was always nice and chewy.

There was also cole slaw, Russian dressing, Beaver Sweet Hot Mustard or a grainy mustard to top the sandwiches (I love the Sweet Hot!). You can read more on Chowhound for details for some interesting debate about whether Russian dressing and Thousand Island dressing are the same. Unfortunately, that location didn’t stay in business (but you can still shop online or go to NYC!).

What brought me down this memory lane was a trip this summer to San Diego where I stumbled onto Tommy Pastrami. I ordered my Pastrami lean and To Go, then walked to the harbor where I sat in the warm sun and enjoyed a beautiful view. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was!

If you’re Downtown and craving some good pastrami, I recommend you give it a try. There are other locations in Orange County and Los Angeles.

What is your favorite deli?

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