Pastrami, where have you been all my life?

I once spent a full summer driving about North America on a quest for the best smoked meat and pastrami. In fact, I would not exist if it were not for Ben’s smoked meat – my parents courted in the rafters of the Montreal Forum, eating smoked meat sandwiches for lunch while watching the Rocket and the Pocket practice.

IMHO, by far the best smoked meat is from Schwartz’s in Montreal, while the best pastrami is from Moe Pancer’s in Toronto (but their smoked meat is a bit too salty).

If you don’t happen to visit either of these cities, keep your eye out for Lester’s smoked meat and pastrami in delis in the USA and Canada – although not in the same league as Schwartz’s or Moe Pancer’s, it’s quite good, and a lot better than most products out there.

BTW, for Canuks in the wilderness and a few markets in the US, the President’s Choice line now includes smoked meat – I don’t know who makes it, but it tastes like Lesters.

Because it probably is. There are only three places in the Montreal area that makes smoked meat : previously mentioned Schwarz’s, Quebec smokesd meat and some place in Mascouche that makes industrial smoked meat (probably Lester’s or Coorsh or something like that)

I lived in LA 12 years and never made it to Langer’s. Why? Because I am a stupidhead.

You know, what you might like is wein sauerkraut it is very mild, not overly sour/pickly. If you like sweet/sour, try red cabbage with apple

I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for that, aruvqan. thanks!

I have no idea how to make a joke out of this.

Something something it’s a wonder you’re here?

Yeah, you’d think a sentence that contains not only rocket and pocket but also smoked meat would be trivial to turn into a joke, right?

The deli capital? It’s L.A.

Thoity-Thoid, between Lexington and Thoid


However, KneadtoKnow, I urge you to take the plunge on the 'kraut on a Reuben. You’ll probably love it, like I did most of the different foods I’ve been able to try since leaving the limited food opportunities of a small town in the South for the international flavors of New York City.

THE RICHARD BROTHERS (hallowed be their name) ARE NO JOKE ! Please do not go there.

And The Hat gets a shout-out.

I really do have to drive in to Langer’s some day soon.

I read the blurb about his book. I’ll try to find the book and read it. But, he makes a few errors, at least to me, that makes him suspect.

When he says “If New York delis are as intimate and familiar as your bubbe’s kitchen, then Los Angeles delis, with their spacious banquettes, polite wait staff and abundant parking, are like younger, sexier spokesmodels for the deli world,” then that’s suspect right there. Polite wait staff in a Deli? He’s meshuggeneh. That’s half the experience. Again, to me. Probably not to you.

I’ve eaten in the West Coast versions–Nate and Al’s, Canter’s, Factor’s. All very good. Very authentic.

I’ve eaten in Carnegie, 2nd Ave. and a few others in NYC. Still the tops for me. I’ll be making a run to both cities late next year. I’ll report back. :slight_smile:

I got a rueben last week at a deli that I hadn’t been to before. I ordered it takeout and they asked if I wanted cole slaw, and I said sure, I love coleslaw! When I got it home, I realized that they meant coleslaw instead of kraut, not on the side. Ack! Not good. Reubens are corned beef/pastrami, kraut, swiss cheese and russian/thousand island dressing. Coleslaw belongs next to the sandwich, not on it.

Great. I’ve never had a Montreal smoked meat sandwich, now I must. :slight_smile:

Once you try Schwartz’s, you’ll be hooked for life, forever wondering if you should quit your job, sell your house, and move to The Main.

Went back to the same restaurant today for lunch and had the Rachel (pastrami with kraut).

Rachel and I got along very well, so the kraut thing is pretty much a non-issue for me now. :slight_smile:

This thread inspired me to go out Thursday night and get the makings for pastrami sandwiches; I haven’t tasted pastrami since I was a child. I had pastrami and swiss on rye, with coleslaw. It was delicious. . . . and it triggered my first ever migraine headache. :frowning:

Do nitrates in your food cause headaches? If so, stay away from most pastrami.

Bummer, Nightingale. Sorry to have contributed, howsoever indirectly, to the suffering. :frowning: