(Photo Credit Mark McCormick of howiGit's blog)
It's final. Carmelo Anthony has gone to big lights of Broadway...Madison Square Garden...The Knicks. Before the season started, NYC was completely crazy over LeBron James and his possibility of signing with the Knicks. In an attempt to lure LeBron to New York, the Carnegie Deli named a sandwich after him in hopes it would let Lebron know they really, really wanted him in a Knick uniform. I featured it in the bottom this previous blog post and it was also featured in Save the Deli - here. LeBron chose South Beach and New York responded by signing Amar'e Stoudemire to quell the appetite of New York fans. That wasn't enough though, as the Knicks made big moves acquiring Carmelo Anthony, as well as former NBA Finals MVP Chancey Billups. Of course, as soon as Carmelo landed in the Big Apple....Guess what happened? The Carnegie Deli named a sandwich in honor of Carmelo...as he is now the true ruler of basketball in New York (sorry Amar'e, but I do love the apostrophe in your name). TMZ was the first to break the story.
Feast your eyes on the Carmelo sandwich. Talk about stretching it out. It has loads of Corned Beef, Pastrami, Salami, Bacon, Tomato, and of course Russian Dressing. That's just insane....good luck to anyone who would dare order it. Alright...let's get out of NYC...as it's a bit frozen this time of year.
Let's go to a place where the NBA sadly no longer exists - Seattle. This is a view from Kerry Park in Queen Anne. It was remarkably clear - as you could see Mount Rainer in the distance.
We went straight from SeaTac Airport to Roxy's Diner in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. I ordered the pastrami hash with poached eggs and my friend got the challah French toast. The pastrami hash was excellent - a tremendously hardy breakfast with the bagel, potatoes, eggs, and pastrami. I loaded all the ingredients on half bagels and then punctured my eggs to let the yolk saturate the whole bagel...perfect. I highly recommend Roxy's Diner at any time of the day. The servers are cool and cute and the people the patrons are often lively and interesting...plus they have the coolest web address...they got www.pastramisandwich.com - lucky guys.
I Love NYC Deli - Pike's Kiosk
My next pastrami stop off was at Pikes Market to revisit the I Love NYC Deli kiosk... I can't say it was as good as it was last time. My pastrami could have been a bit warmer and the knishes were so dry he just have me one to sample for free. It was alright, but what's going on with the quality control? I don't think the owner, Jon, bothers with his kiosk anymore - it's all about the deli location on Roosevelt Street. My sandwich was OK...maybe it was later in the day (it was about 1 PM...not even quite 2). I suppose my question is why have two locations if one is going to suffer quality wise?
Inside of Pike's down below the I love NYC Deli stand there was the Pike's Place Bakery - where I found the elusive poppy seed flavored rugulas. They also offered a "homemade pastrami" which I found out is actually supplied from Market House Meats - a corned beef staple in Seattle. I asked for a small sample of their pastrami and the man obliged as I just bought some rugulas from him. I didn't want to take out my camera for one slice at a crowded bakery so I will do my best to describe what it looked and tasted like. It was almost without a brine, no black crust on the outside - so it looked like corned beef, but a slightly deeper red color. It tasted a little salty, yet very delicate for pastrami without much spice..with a thinner slice that made it extremely feathery, light weight. I'll do my best to make it to Market House Meats next visit - but I believe they're only open on weekdays, so it might be more of a challenge.
For my next stop, my posse went to Broadway and Pike for a surprise at the HoneyHole. To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from a place named the "HoneyHole", but I was encouraged when reading about their pastrami which comes from Painted Hills Natural Beef ~ from the hills of Oregon, an organically grown beef.
The sandwich was named the Corleone and it came on a demi-baguette with mustard and sauerkraut. I added Russian/Thousand on the side. I'm going to make a bold proclamation here - the Painted Hills pastrami at the HoneyHole is the best pastrami in Seattle. It's hand-sliced with large cuts of spicy, robust, extremely flavorful pastrami. I'm talking way more flavor than my sandwich at I Love NYC deli yesterday (their pastrami is flown in from NYC and this is local). My friend was super impressed and said he'd never had a pastrami sandwich that good...and I'd have to agree it was most excellent. It cracks my top 5 list...perhaps..definitely in my top 10. The price was excellent too - the sandwich was only 9$, which is incredible for the quality of the meat. I wasn't all that impressed with the bread and other ingredients - it was the meat that made this sandwich. Check out the HoneyHole next time your around Pike and Broadway in Seattle - they're open pretty late.
Back to the Bay: Wise Son's and Calabria Bros
Do you prefer an Italian Deli or a Jewish deli? I prefer a Jewish Deli, of course but it is up to debate. The Calabria Bros sandwich shop opened about six months ago has a special on Mondays - a hot pastrami. The hot pastrami special was more like a Chicago hot beef sandwich with that chopped up, not as spicy pastrami - more fast food, hot dog smelling than I prefer. It was...edible, but I would suggest sticking to the prosciutto or the mortadella with fresh mozzarella. They have loads of imported meats from Italy that are super salty (some are too much for me). Ask the guys for some help or a taste and they'll help you pick your sandwich meat. Give them a try when your feeling a different sort of salted meat (yes I love pork, bacon, and hot coppa).
My last sandwich is a not a pastrami sandwich, but rather a brisket sandwich from Wise Sons Deli pop-up inside Jackie's Cafe on Valencia (boy, that's a mouthful). This is the braised brisket on a sea salted challah roll with a homemade slaw and pickles. The braised brisket was awesome and the challah roll was probably the best challah bread I've ever tried. Homemade slaw A+ and the pickles were a bit different, sweeter and more cucumber-like than most. I keep on missing the weeks they have pastrami - hopefully it will work out soon. Thanks for the great brisket Wise Sons and I'll be back for pastrami soon.
Thanks for reading my post and please "like" my facebook fan page - I started it about two weeks ago. Twitter @Pastramiking. E-mail is Pastramiking@gmail.com and I love hearing from people from all over the world - so shoot me a letter and I might just respond in my next blog post. Please leave a comment if you liked the post. Also, if you would like to see what I eat besides pastrami check out my yelp stuff at pastramiking.yelp.com