Sunday, May 5, 2013

Paristrami

Hello all. Pastrami blog has been on a hiatus recently. What have I been doing? One thing I have been doing is traveling the world.




Back in December/January I went to the most visited city in the world - Paris, France. I know what you're thinking, pastrami? In Paris? Does it Exist? And if so, how could you eat pastrami in the culinary experience that is Paris? Well I was there for three weeks, so I also tried all the local delicacies such as morteau sausage and my favorite dish of all - tartiflette. I stayed with my girlfriend's family, who live close to Bastille Metro stop and I assure you I ate plenty of French food.


Tartiflette

Paris actually has a large Jewish population, especially in my favorite neighborhood in Paris - Le Marais.  However most of the Jewish restaurants are Sephardic Jewish, not Ashkenazi Jewish meaning they serve Middle Eastern fare, such as falafel and shawarma, not bagels and pastrami sandwiches. I got to try one of the most famous falafel sandwiches at a place called L'as du Fallafel. It was well priced, for Paris at about 6 euros. The flavor was only outmatched by the size of the sandwich. I stood in the corner with a napkin and ate it up quickly while many tourists looked at me slurping my falafels up. It was pretty awesome!

As for Paristrami - I made it to three places. The first Paristrami was a place called Chez Antoine, La Maison de Charcuterie. Charcuterie is the French way of preserving meat, for those that do not know. It's funny to me that one of the most known delis in Montreal, Schwartz's, claims to have Charcuterie Herbaique, but that's what pastrami is - Hebrew charcuterie!

When I entered Chez Antoine I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. There was a large pastrami uncut, smoked, steaming on a large plate. It was a beautiful sight and I spoke with the worker for a bit who wanted me to come back for a sandwich, but sadly I didn't. We bought a big piece of pastrami to serve with dinner that night.






The pastrami was too tough - Quel Dommage! It had the look and the smell, but it needed to be steamed for much longer to achieve the perfect pastrami texture. This was a bit of a fail, sadly.



The next place I got to try was a bit of a mistake, but I was happy to find this place open. France isn't really my place for breakfast as most people eat a pastry in the morning. I found Morry's Bagels while wandering around my area one morning. I got a bagel with pastrami and cheese to quell my early morning hunger. The pastrami was OK - it was much more tender than my last experience, but it wasn't that great as far as the flavor. It was passable, if I were to review it as a normal breakfast and not take in to account the grade of the pastrami - it was very good. The bagel was fresh and they put a nice mustard with tangy pickles (cornichons) with some pretty good meat. The pastrami did not have a large fat on the outside of the brine - however it had the right color. Pretty good.







The last place I tried was the best pastrami in Paris! A place called Maison David, right in the middle of the Jewish Marais Neighborhood. The first time I came to Maison David was right around night time. As I walked in, I told the owner I was a friend of David Sax, the writer of Save the Deli. Name-dropping worked out pretty well as I was treated to many different free samples as I ordered a pastrami sandwich.

Maison David


Pickled Flesh - Say what? 


 Smoked Perfection.


Pastrami Sandwich  from Maison David - Magnifique!

The pickled flesh was very interesting and tasty. It was salty and the a little bit more like corned beef in texture when compared to pastrami - smoother, yet I wasn't sure what to make of the red skin on the outside. It went down pretty easy! My sandwich came on a roll with eggplant - more Sephartic style, but this pastrami was the real deal. It was super soft with a superb smoky flavor unmatched to the other pastrami I tried in Paris. Hands down the best, no questions about it. It should be though as it's pretty pricey for the amount you get, once again I must point out it's Paris, where everything is super expensive. I left that night super satisfied but I wasn't done yet.

I came back to Maison David on New Years eve during the day to buy some pastrami for the family to try. I was greeted by a glass of champagne and more free samples. What a nice guy the owner is! Standing in the Marais on New Years while drinking some champagne felt really good. Here I was in a foreign country, yet I am so well treated and received - it's a great feeling. We had the pastrami for an appetizer at the house during our last dinner together and everyone agreed it was the bomb. It steamed up just as well as it was served in the store, tremendous flavor with a melty, soft texture. Lovely!

If I were to get super technical about the pastrami - compare the pictures of the Maison David pastrami versus the pastrami of two other locations you can see there is a smoother texture. This is because it has been smoked and steamed long enough for the fat to connect all the juicy meat together properly for a smoked pastrami. The other two subjects have a lot of visible lines which to me normally means not smoked enough - and although you do want some texture to be visible, you need the pastrami to be super soft to be the most enjoyable.

I have more posts saved up. I just have to get them out on paper. I have my radar set on Shorty Goldstein's, the new Jewish Deli in San Francisco, but I still need to post other sandwiches I have tried for your viewing pleasure. Hope everyone enjoyed reading Paristrami as much as I did writing it. I can't wait to go back to Paris - I still have more pastrami places to try as well as many other French dishes to try.

Until next time - keep on pastramifying life!



Friday, October 5, 2012

1058 Hoagie, La Pastrami

Happy October pastrami fans!

We have one of the most exciting weekends in the Bay Area coming up.

My friend Billy sums it all up for us here:
"So things going on this weekend include but are not limited too: Fleet week, Oktoberfest, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, North Beach parade, Castro street fair, A's playoff game, Giants playoff game, Madonna Concert, 49er's game, Beer Olympics, and the World Cup Yacht Race...it's making me thursty"
If you're in SF this weekend you've won, as October is truly the best time to be in the Bay Area. The weather heats up a bit and we get the Blue Angels zoom-zooming over the Bay. Check out the video.


This post I'm featuring 1058 Hoagie - the new Italian place from the same owner as the Deli Board.



The sandwiches from 1058 can best be described in one word : Large. Damn these thing are like torpedoes. They're so big I haven't been able to finish a large sized one in one sitting and I think my jaw would probably hurt after all that chewing if I did anyway. I mean it's the size of a 2-liter bottle of soda!



I came in yesterday to try the pastrami hoagie. It was very good - the sesame seed roll with that Romanian pastrami were fabulous - but I think the real treat and difference from the DB was the sauce. It was a garlicky Italian deli sauce that will rival some other sauces I know around town (Ike's, Lucca's). It's similar and I hope to see more of it at 1058!

 Pastrami Hoagie - 1058

1058 Hoagie is open M-F during lunch hours stop by and tell Adam I sent you and he'll hook your sandwich up fat, but it's not like any extra is needed! :-)

The second place I'd like to discuss is La Pastrami. This is way overdue for me - I should have reviewed this place right when they opened, but it took me some time to get to it.

La Pastrami is a food truck that sells everything with pastrami. They have an original sandwich which is more like a french dip from the Hat in LA, but they also have grilled pastrami sandwiches like a Reuben at a Jewish deli. If that wasn't enough, they have pastrami fries, pastrami tacos, and I've even seen pastrami adobo on the menu. Impressive.

So, why the name La pastrami? It's because their flagship sandwich is a pastrami on a french roll with with yellow mustard and pickles. It's an homage to the pastrami French dip of Los Angeles - Johnny's Pastrami or The Hat - both are LA institutions.


La Pastrami - Grilled sandiwch


 OK now for the review of the pastrami. I ordered the pastrami melt which came on rye bread with jack cheese and coleslaw. The pastrami was salty but the brine (peppery edge) was non existent which resulted in ham-bacon-like pastrami. Salty, not peppery.

Was it a bad sandwich? No - it was A-OK. Was it a great pastrami sandwich? No - it was mediocre pastrami on some OK bread.

 Delicious Pastrami Fries!

The salt+pepper fries were delicious, as were the pastrami fries. It's fast food pastrami though and that doesn't necessarily tickle my pickle as much a good Jewish deli pastrami sandwich. Try the fries!

Enjoy the weekend and I have lots of pastrami to talk about. I know I've been slow to post lately, but I've been compiling material. Ciao!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Machine Deli, Show Dogs

Hey there pastrami fans! I've been away for awhile, but I have an awesome pastrami post for you.

Machine Deli opened up in August on Market and 6th street. They have coffee, which is cool. Of course for me, I'm way more interested in their pastrami!

The pastrami from Machine deli is made at Foreign Cinema. It is also used by their neighbors, Show Dogs. Show Dogs is a hot dog place primarily, but they have awesome burgers and sandwiches.

Interesting they would have two different pastrami sandwiches next to each other on Market and 6th street in San Francisco. And they say SF isn't a deli town? I was privileged enough to get to try both sandwiches side by side. Let's review.

The Machine Deli sandwich came with a toasted rye bread with lemony flavored sauce. It was served with a sweeter pickle and some chips. I really liked the sweetness of the pastrami mixing with the sauce. The pickle accented it perfectly as well.

 Machine Deli Sandwich

The Show Dogs sandwich was grilled which did something to the pastrami and bread to make the sandwich noticeably different. The fat from the pastrami rendered out a bit when it was on the grill which made the bread so delicious and rich was flavor. The pastrami itself lost some of the sweetness of the brine on that sandwich - but it didn't matter because the sandwich as a whole was delicious. This pastrami is definitely better not grilled - when by itself. On a sandwich the grilling made it superb.

Show Dogs Sandwich

I found out the pastrami is made from the navel cut. When inspecting the pastrami - it had a nice brine on the outside and the color was perfect. Something about the texture was a bit different than I'm used to for navel cuts. It had some ripples in the meat which was fatty goodness, actually. I think the pastrami on the Machine deli sandwich taster better because all the fat was still in it. However, the Show Dogs sandwich was tasty because the fat rendered out into the sandwich from being grilled

So in review - the Machine deli sandwich was toasted and sweeter. The Show Dogs sandwich was grilled and more savory Reuben style. I say try them both!

Machine Deli Pastrami - Up Close



Friday, June 15, 2012

Langer's 65th, Paulie Pastrami, Morty's Deli, Teddy.O Makes the Menu, Machine Deli Pop-up

Hey there pastrami fans. I have a big post for you today. I hope you're game.



First order of business is to pay homage to the greatest deli in the world - Langer's Deli in Los Angeles. Langer's is celebrating their 65th anniversary by giving away free #19 sandwiches today and tomorrow. The crowds are expected to be large and in charge, but for that pastrami it may be worth it to take the red line over and get yourself one. No take outs, dine in only.

Langer's is very close to my heart - as it was a place my grandpa took me when I was a child and a place where my family still goes today. I want to personally thank the Langer family for consistently making the best pastrami sandwich in the whole world (and if you think there is better please let me know where in the comment section).




I stumbled upon something great recently. There is going to be a show called "Paulie Pastrami: King of Illegal Meats". It looks freaking awesome! Like a Sopranos gangster show, but centered around a guy that sells pastrami in New Jersey. I see a guest cameo coming up as the West Coast pastrami Kingpin. Perhaps not, but I can dream. Check out the trailer video - hopefully you'll be as enthused as I was.


Awesomeness! I can't wait to see the first episode.

 Photo credit to Vegansaurus.com

I had been meaning to try Morty's Delicatessen at Golden Gate and Hyde for some time. It has always popped up on my yelp search as a good place to get a Reuben, however I've never been able to make it to the place because it's M-F and not in my work neighborhood. They recently extended their hours till 9 PM and they do catering and delivery - so no excuses anymore. Morty's advertises having an East Coast with West Coast style and it shows on their menu as they have meaty options as well as vegan options. I have to say, Morty's Reuben was the best Reuben I've had for less than ten dollars.



The pastrami did have a slight hot dog flavor to it, but very slight. The bread was a very good grilled rye and the sauerkraut and cheese were above average. I would say the sum of all the parts for $7.75 with tax is exceptional. Most Reubens of this caliber cost you two to ten dollars more and this quality at this price is hard to find in my experience. This was what a neighborhood sandwich shop should turn out though. Solid sandwiches at a good value. I support Morty's and I think you should give it a try next time your in the 'Loin.




Guess who's on the menu at Deli Board? Me! The Teddy.O sandwich is so popular that it made the daily menu for Deli Board. It's really an honor to have a sandwich named after me in SF. I think it further establishes me as the Pastrami King of the Bay Area as well - giving me ammo to shoot down my doubters. It's really funny when I tell people I'm the Pastrami King. I guess it's not something to be necessarily taken seriously, however I know lots of information about pastrami and delis. A sandwich named after me lends credence to the fact I could now be called an established deli food blogger around these parts. Anyone know of any other West Coast Deli food websites? I'd love to know and interact with them. Comments are always welcomed in the comment section for other deli websites to check out.

My last bit of business for this blog entry is to strike up awareness for a new Deli coming to the Mid-Market area in SF. Machine Deli will be opening close to Show Dogs at Market and 6th. However, they held a pop-up service of their sandwich at Lazlo's bar in the Mission (the bar next to Foreign Cinema) while their location is being renovated. I will cover both the Machine Deli and the Show Dogs Reuben in my next post. I still have more research to do about both of these Reubens which I did already try.  See this post. I'm always excited to see a new deli coming around town - especially a place with house-cured pastrami like machine deli is going to have. Stay tuned, pictures coming.

Please e-mail me at pastramiking@gmail.com - I love hearing from fans and bloggers. @pastramiking is my twitter, but it's linked to my Facebook page which you can add yourself to by clicking "like" at the top of my page. Thank you for reading and keep pastramifying life.




Monday, May 21, 2012

The Teddy.O, South Lake Tahoe, More Goodies

Hey there pastrami fans. I've been on a vacation from blogging mostly because life has been pleasantly crazy. I met a wonderful lady and moved from Pacifica, making my triumphant return to the city of San Francisco. I sold my car and walk to work. Life has changed.

Lots of things have happened in the Deli scene since then and I've been wanting to report, but it seems I've always been looking at apartments, moving, buying new furniture or just wanting to play video games because I'm so damn tired. Great news, things have finally settled down! I'm ready to get back into writing.

To start things off - I'd like to show you a nice video that my dad made for me and my blog. It's a dedication to my grandpa who really influenced my love of deli, as well as a short retrospective of the blog. Please enjoy.

video


The Deli Board named a sandwich after me a few months ago called the Teddy.O! I have a sandwich named after me - just writing that brings smiles to my face. The Teddy.O is a special Romanian pastrami, coleslaw, 1000 island on either rye bread or a caraway seeded roll - depending upon availability of rye bread.



That is a picture of me and Adam when I tried the first Teddy.O sandwich back in February as well as an up close shot of my sandwich. The sandwich is available as a special about every week or so - the last time it was available May 15th, but you just have to check the Board for availability.

To unwind after my move I made a small trip to South Lake Tahoe California by the Nevada Border. If you haven't ever been to SLT - it's a cool mountain town on the California side followed by 3 Casinos on the Nevada Border with pretty views of Lake Tahoe. There was a more than decent Reuben Sandwich in Town at Macduff's Pub.


The rye bread on the sandwich was pretty good, but it is hard to tell about the rye when it's toasted. The corned beef was house cured, home made and was juicy and delicious. Very good corned beef, I was impressed. They also had a killer bread pudding that they put directly into a fire oven - which makes it oh so toasty good when served to you. I highly recommend Macduff's for that Reuben fix in South Lake Tahoe.

Speaking of Reuben fixes.....


While I do no advocate going to Arby's for your Reuben fix...I did appreciate the commercial.


Other happenings: I received a nice e-mail from a lady named Megan and she had a nice meaty website to check out http://frugaldad.com/beef/ - it has information about beef and what different parts of the cow correspond with certain cuts of meat. Pastrami should either be navel or brisket/chest and Corned beef is almost exclusively the brisket/chest cut.. I thought the site was nice so I linked it.

I noticed in my new neighborhood there is a restaurant called Jablow's Meats. I actually met the owner at the deli board, but I am intrigued to try his pastrami. The place is only open on Wednesdays. It will be a mission to go.

Wise Son's Deli opened their permanent location on 24th street by Folsom and I have yet to go. I feel bad, because I was right on top of them opening their pop-up and I just haven't had the time to come by yet. I will make it back to Wise Son's, home of the best rye bread in San Francisco. I've heard they can get really busy at times....so let's hope for a good experience.


Please e-mail me at Pastramiking@gmail.com. I really like getting some of the cool random e-mails you guys send me...keep it up! My twitter is @pastramiking and I need to get on it more...but it's really just linked to my Facebook fan page. Thanks for reading!


Friday, January 13, 2012

National Pastrami Day 2012 - Miller's East In San Rafael

National Pastrami day is here! January 14th is the date started originally by Togo's several years ago. This year Togo's is actually offering sandwiches to someone for a whole year in a contest known as  the "Pastrami Challenge". Someone will win the contest by eating one of their two and half foot long sandwiches filled with over a pound of pastrami. Whoa!



I've been celebrating the holiday for the past 3 years and I plan to go to The Refuge tomorrow for the holiday. I know it's a busy weekend and the 49ers play tomorrow, but please find some time this weekend to honor the national holiday. While you're enjoying your pastrami reflect on past, present and future pastrami sandwiches And what they mean to you. To me it means good food with family + friends and always reminds me of my grandpa at Langer's.

I was lucky enough to try the new Miller's East Coast Deli in San Rafael this past Tuesday. They were only open to friends and family as they opened a little too early and were unable to quell the demand of the North bay pastrami urge and had to shut down for some fine-tuning. The official reopen will be this Saturday, just in time for National Pastrami Day.


We showed up around 6:30 for our dinner and  Robby Morgenstein, owner of Miller's, also came by to say hi. For appetizers we got the stuff cabbage roll and well as two Empire sodas - one cream flavored and one cola flavored.

Cabbage Roll
 Sodas

The cabbage roll was very flavorful and I enjoyed the meat and rice on the inside of the stuffed roll. My girl said the tomatoes may have been canned, but that didn't seem to bother me. The cream soda was just OK, but the Cola was a real winner and I would recommend it to anyone who comes in the restaurant. Cel-ray or Black Cheery Dr. Brown sodas are also excellent, but you should give the Empire Cola a chance.

I got a corned beef and pastrami sandwich and my lady did the same but got it Reuben style toasted with sauerkraut. I actually liked her sandwich better.

My Sandwich

Reuben with Corned Beef and Pastrami

I could tell they were working some things out in the kitchen as they weren't sure they could do a half pastrami/half corned beef Reuben and they had to confirm the cooks could do that. They'll be better in a few weeks as far as knowing the menu and serving the food, however the taste is excellent and tastes similar to that of the Miller's East Coast on Polk. I recommend trying this place soon, but perhaps wait a few weeks for the initial buzz of the first Jewish Deli in the North Bay to calm down before expecting to get your sandwich in under 10 minutes. It'll be busy at the start and I hope they are more prepared for the pastrami demand for their reopening. More business is good, we're "Saving the Deli" in the Bay Area.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jim's Burgers, Tommy's Pastrami, Reuben Balls, Miller's New Location

Happy New Year from the Pastrami King!


This installment of the Pastrami blog I tried to find the best pastrami sandwich in the Central Coast of California. With suggestions from yelp, I tried a place called Jim's Burgers in Santa Maria, CA.

Jim's Pastrami

The owner of Jim's is a gruff, rough around the edges. He tried to charge us an extra 50 cents for mayonnaise which is ridiculous when I'm already ordering a sandwich with fries and a drink, but it is his business. He sliced the pastrami with a machine slicer and brought it to our table. My company had recently been to the Refuge in San Carlos, as well as Miller's East in SF and this was the first time she had tried some fast food pastrami. She was disappointed, as was I. The machine-sliced pastrami was the same kind of LA fast food pastrami they serve at The Hat or Johnny's Pastrami (which I reviewed in my old LA post), but this was not taken care of as much and it was drier and less flavorful than the previously mentioned LA fast-food pastrami joints.

 Tommy's Pastrami

On the flip side of the fast food pastrami section - I went to the Tommy's Pastrami in Hemet, California. Although it was the same lower quality fast food pastrami, it was much better because they took proper care of the meat. It had it's own steam locker and when you ordered the pastrami the worker would take the pastrami from the steamer and then grill it for a small amount of time before serving it. The result was a delicately soft pastrami that still tasted like hot dogs, but at least they got the texture right! I wouldn't recommend either Jim's pastrami or Tommy's pastrami to a Jewish deli fan - however I think it has it's place.

Reuben Balls

Deli Board made these beauties and called them "Reuben Balls". They featured corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and some other stuff. It was like a Reuben egg roll. Check the Deli Board menu daily as they have been having them from time to time as well as other awesome specials.

Miller's East Coast Deli is set to open up their San Rafael location this week and I hope the Marin area is ready for that rye goodness. Please go visit the new location that will feature the always lovely Sy Ginsburg pastrami from Michigan. They're truly one of my favorite delis in the city and I wish them all the best with their new location.
Le Smoked Meat

This picture was sent to me from a yelper who has been making his own smoked meat. Thanks Jordan for the awesome photos. I would love to try a small piece of it next time!


National Pastrami Day is January 14th. Mark your calendars and make your plans to have pastrami sometime that weekend - as I know sometimes it's hard to get to your pastrami spots on Sunday. Make sure when having your sandwich you remember the past pastrami sandwiches as well as the future pastrami sandwiches and what this holiday truly means to you. To me - it means smoky, spicy, meaty goodness. What does it mean to you? Leave a comment and let me know :)