Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Phantom of the Deli - The Bay's Dutch Crunch

How goes it pastrami fans? I've been busy - with school and personal growth. Went on a diet for a little bit - gave up the rye bread and soda for a month and lost some weight. I'm hiding my face - a la Phantom of the Opera, until I feel ready to reveal the new me.The pastrami I have been enjoying has been a dinner plate with brown rice and veggies. The spots to get a pastrami plate in the Bay - Tommy's Joynt on Van Ness, Brennan's in Berkeley, and of course the Chicken coop - all locations...all these places hand slice their lovely, smoky pastrami right in front of you!

Did anyone catch the Food Wars episode on pastrami? They took the challenge to New York to put the 2nd Ave Deli vs Katz's Deli to find out which one would win a taste challenge to be deemed the best pastrami in NYC. Check out the teaser on youtube. My good friend and pastrami brother David Sax made a nice cameo as he declared the war between 2nd Ave and Katz's would be an epic battle of two heavyweights. Sax also had a great article on San Francisco Deli food where he proclaimed "The city is on the fringes of deli greatness." Read the article here. It leads into an article from the Jweekly - a SF Bay Area Jewish magazine - with a nice story on the owners of Pearl's kitchen, which is a new food cart that serves corned beef/pastrami. The next event where they will be serving their meats will be June 26th at an event called Outside in #5...there are going to be many food vendors at the event from 6-11 - read about it on SF Weekly or RSVP on Facebook here.

I'd really like to give also give some props to my newest NYC blogger friend Brian Hoffman of Eat This - New York. Brian has been working really hard trying out all the corned beef and pastrami combo sandwiches in New York, while also taking on other foot categories such as pizza...although I have a sneaking suspicion his real true love is the smoked, cured meats. Check out his video where he went to Carnegie Deli and Katz's deli and also his great blog here.

My last topic - Dutch crunch. What is Dutch crunch? Dutch crunch is a type of bread made with sesame seed oil and rice paste that cracks while baking leaving a distinctive markings on the bread. It was first made in Holland, but it was called something different - tijgerbrood and in the UK - tiger's bread. If you're from San Francisco...odds are you've had a sandwich with Dutch crunch or you've at least been offered it as an option. I wonder how Tiger's bread in Holland stacks up to the Dutch crunch here in SF? This bread is selectively available in LA (I originally thought it didn't exist)'s not available in NYC...It's something truly unique to the Bay Area, something we've taken and expanded upon. It's so widely available that deli men ask you in passé "Would you like sourdough or Dutch crunch." and people don't even blink...they don't even think "Hey, that's weird. I've never seen this bread outside of SF." A pastrami on Dutch crunch? Only if you live in the Bay.