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.
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.
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.
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 :)