Monday, September 14, 2009
Chick 'N Coop, Moishe's Pippic, The Refuge
Football started this week. College Football isn't my thing, it's been in swing two weeks now. I find the games sloppy, even the USC Ohio St. game. I just see the college games and it makes me anxious to see the professional competition. Watching Adrian Peterson tear apart the Cleveland D kinda looked like college though, he was tearing people apart like a rag dolls. Monday Night Football just ended and of course, the Raiders disappointed. I'm used to them blowing it so it was actually surprising to see them go up late, but in the end they always find a way to blow it.
Updating an earlier article the new small section in the Bay Bridge infamously known as the S-curve has already caused traffic jams and accidents. They hope traffic will settle once people get used to the curve, although speeds will be reduced on the bridge for the next...oh 3-4 years. I drove across the bridge Sunday night in that crazy rainfall, I survived! I'm hoping the new bridge will be a new Regional/National monument once completed. The current Bay Bridge is rather dull, Grey, and unappealing. The stayed cabled design will not be unique, but I don't think I've seen a bridge like that of this magnitude. I visited Boston before they finished the Zakim Bridge, which is also a cable-stay bridge and traffic was pretty crazy. Now it's Boston's city's newer engineering marvel, the same will be for the San Francisco Bay Area and with the new Bay Bridge.
Enough messing around and lets get to the pastrami. I stayed busy this past week and had three different pastrami sandwiches to feature on this blog entry. The first one, the Chick n' coop, isn't such a traditional pastrami sandwich, but still holds a close place in my heart because it's close to my house and I've eaten there many times. It's the most geographically desirable pastrami and it's under celebrated because of the tendency to order chicken at the Chick n' coop. Really, the best thing to order on the menu is the corned beef or the pastrami, whichever you prefer. The first time I took my roommate there under after hyping it up she tried her chicken and complained it was dry. She took a small sliver of my pastrami and exclaimed "I'm getting that next time!" The scene at Langer's with my grandfather jumped back in my mind and i responded back "Well you'd be a fool NOT to get the pastrami." The pastrami is hand cut in front of you and they make the cuts very thick. The reason this is not a traditional pastrami sandwich is they do no have crispy rye, which is a big sin...you must settle for a soft roll or a dutch crunch roll. The finished product does not disappoint though.
As you can see in the 2nd picture, I add coleslaw to the sandwich to get that extra kick and to make it seem a little more true to the Jewish style pastrami sandwiches. This is key advice, take it and order a side of coleslaw, you'll thank me. At the Chick N' Coop a pastrami, coleslaw, and a diet coke costs about 8$ which is quite a value for how much tasty cured meat you get in your sandwich. They have several locations, one on Taraval, one in Daly city, and one in the Excelsior....all of them are the same in that they are frequented by cops and old folks. This is a quiet place, you won't have to worry too much about parking or dealing with crying kids. Just pay for your food and leave your trey when your done, no muss, no fuss. Sometimes that's exactly what you're looking for, and the coop is my go to when I feel like this.
The next sandwich I had was on Friday afternoon. My friend sent me an e-mail to my office early in the morning asking if I would like to go to Moishe's Pippic to take advantage of his brisket special. I replied with a "YES! Get me out of the office for a bit, please!" To my friend's dismay, Mr. Pippic ran out of brisket but promised to have double next week....ooo fail! My friend gave him a little hard time, but understood. I have a picture of him smiling with his corned beef on a kaiser roll, he didn't seem to upset with his sandwich. I ordered my favorite, the New Yorker: Pastrami, rye bread, coleslaw, and Russian Sauce.
The first time I came here he offered me mustard to which I exclaimed "I'm Polish, I only like the Russian dressing!" to which he reminded me "It's neva too late to converyt." That had me laughing. This place is a serious Jewish style deli. Along with the Vienna products Hot Dogs and Pastrami, he serves latkes, knishes, and matzo ball soup.
Moishe's Pippic is a place that my friend and I go to and have conversations about what's going on in life. This trip we talked about fantasy football and him definitely adopting a new dog by the end of the week. It's a place I really enjoy and it always sets up my weekend very nicely when I go there on Fridays. So far, Moishe's Pippic is my 3rd favorite pastrami sandwich in the city, and that's not very bad at all! Miller's East and my new love - Max's Opera Cafe top it because they have thicker, tastier pastrami. The next spot I review might top them all though. It's not in the City, it's in San Carlos, CA!!!!
I fared the traffic Saturday afternoon to go to The Refuge from my house in Pacifica.The first time I had a sandwich from here someone brought it to me and they only got it with mustard, while you all know I like it with Russian dressing. The distance kept me from going for awhile, but it was well worth the 20 minute drive. I got the pastrami sandwich with Russian dressing, coleslaw on rye bread of course. The pastrami was large thick pieces. Compared to Moishe's Pippic this pastrami was much thicker and tastier - advantage Refuge.
The place advertises pastrami on the outside along with a charcutrie and Belgian beers. Most people in here are eating pastrami sandwiches or Reuben with a large glass of Leffe or Chimay....very nice beer. I had the pot de creme of chocolate for dessert as well and it was very rich and thick, a good pot de creme. I do not have a picture of the pot de creme because I ate it so fast, sorry guys. Instead enjoy more pictures of the beautiful sandwich.
I also noticed they have a sandwich called the toasted #19. They don't have numbers on anything else, the reason they call this the toasted #19 is the flagship pastrami at Langer's (my most favorite deli of all time) is named the #19. It comes just how the Refuge does it pastrami, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and coleslaw but Langer's doesn't toast the bread, you have to get a Reuben for that.
Now that I've had it fresh from the source I can honestly vouch as Pastrami King of the Bay that this pastrami is as good, if not better than any pastrami around. They say on the menu it's house made from the navel cut of the beef like it's supposed to be. The chef/preparer of the pastrami does an excellent job and the thick cuts are perfect sized. http://www.refugesc.co...
You can read about the meat maker there, but basically he learned from French meat curers and incorporated his Jewish cuisine experience to make his own pastrami. Merci bien pour le pastrami, monsieur!
Is it possible the best pastrami sandwich comes from a small gastropub in San Carlos, CA??? Yes, it very well might be true! I think you could equal but not better.