Friday, March 10, 2006

In search of...pastrami

Pity me, for it's been almost a year and I haven't found a good pastrami sandwich here in my adopted state.

To clarify, I'm not a New Yorker, so I'm not a corner-deli-cold-pastrami-on-rye-with-mustard kinda guy. Sure, there are some authentic-feeling deli's in the metro area (I say "authentic-feeling" cuz any New Yorker reading this will argue that the only "authentic" deli's are in NYC -- the same ones that say that pizza places outside of NYC claiming to serve "New York style pizza" are frauds since you need to use NYC water to make authentic NY style crust.)

I'm a So Cal native, so I like my pastrami steaming hot from dripping stainless steel troughs, piled high and fatty on a french roll, dipped in some au jus, with a miniscule dab of spicy brown mustard and kosher dill pickle slices lining the bun.

Open faced, open mouth, iron stomach, pass the freakin' Tums.

Where I grew up there were two greasy joints that served it up the way of the So Cal pastrami samurai...

The Hat - $6.49 for pastrami that is both extra lean and fatty at the same time, then dipped in au jus to become heaven on a bun. For extra punishment, try the double-cheese-pastrami burger. Yep, it's viciously that good.

Top's - $6.29 for a pastrami torpedo worthy of a Tim Burton themed, gluttony induced nightmare. Feeling suicidal? Try the chili-cheese fries (half order only, since a full order will feed all the Katrina hungry for a year). Just don't the let chili-cheese cool off, or you'll need to rent a jackhammer from Home Depot at $50-a-day to get to the fries underneath.

I google'd "pastrami oklahoma" and came upon this fellow's website. He's a paper pusher at OU and in his profile professes to be on the search for "a quality pastrami sandwich in the metro area."

I emailed him and he wrote right back."Not yet, but hope springs eternal!"Nice sentiment, but it still leaves my gullets predilection for pastramic paradise sadly vacant.

6 comments:

gawfer said...

Dear fellow Pastrami lover,

Just ate at the Hat last week, the one located in Lake Forest, just down the street from the ol' 9-5 I currently occupy. Still the same, but they now park a paramedic unit in the lot for those frequent heart attacks that occur after indulgence. Still the same, about 1 1/2" of fat dripping meat piled upon a soaked french roll. Ordered some onion rings to ride on the side. Great value 'cause I had 3 additional meals from the left overs.

OKDad said...

You're a bad man, a very, very bad man.

Second question, how do you eat their pastrami dip while riding your bike on the 10 Freeway?

gawfer said...

Don't take the 10.

I relish every moment I spend sharing the commuter lane of the .... you guessed it, the 91. ARGGG!!!! Haven't mastered the pastrami dip ride yet. Don't want to waste any of that fat laden meat. Oh, the joy. I need an alka-seltzer now.

Ed said...

No Pastrami? Ultimate sadness. We here in Phoenix are also at a loss for the cured meat confection. There are no real good deli's here, not like LA or NY. I miss a good pastrami sandwich from Jerry's Famous Deli, Art's or Mort's. I like the fact that they pour on 8 pounds of meat on to two slices of bread and when they ask you if there is anything else that they can get you, you wish that you could reply another loaf of bread please and 6 friends to share this with. If I do find a place that does have pastrami I will spare you by not telling you that I have hit the cure meat motherload, however I will silently think of you as I enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, The Hat, That was one of the better places I could find in the O.C... It seems I move around every year or so for work (to non-pastrami accessible areas). I've fortunately had good luck w/mail ordering. I found russaks.com . They cure the pastrami themselves and ship right to you (whole) - I love the fatty navel pastrami. Blooms deli ships it too- very good (but much more expensive per pound)

OKDad said...

russaks.com, naval pastrami.
Buy Now button. Owned.
I'm drooling already.
Thanks for that.