1125 Lexington Ave # 2
New York, NY 10075-0429
Web Site: http://www.pastramiqueen.com
You’re definitely know you’re not getting Asian-Fusion cuisine when you see a sign like this.
The old school New York Jewish Deli is going extinct. We have perhaps less than a dozen notable places in Manhattan, let alone the five boroughs that conform to the classic Jewish Deli archetype where you can get a good Pastrami or Corned Beef sandwich, and I may even have to downgrade that dozen to less than a handful, including Katz’s, 2nd Avenue Deli (which re-opened in 2008 in a new location) , Carnegie, The Stage, Sarge’s and Junior’s (which has really focused on its cheesecake business now more than anything else, although they do a great burger). All of those landmark delis are either downtown or in Midtown. Other fine examples, like Liebman’s in the Bronx, are lesser known but are part of the city’s restaurant culture that is in rapid decline.
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Pastrami Queen, on the upper east side of Manhattan, is one of the few remaining hold outs of classic Jewish Deli tradition. Pastrami Queen is also under Kosher supervision, but it is not “Glatt” like Liebman’s in the Bronx. The only other well-known deli that has actual Kosher status in Manhattan is 2nd Avenue.
Hebrew, Cholesterol-rich delights abound at Pastrami Queen. Do NOT tell your cardiologist you are going here.
Now THAT is what I call Knishes.
Le Carte De Sandwiches. Yes, Pastrami is now so expensive it should be traded on commodity desks.
Empire National Hard Salamis drying.
Sweet Kugels with raisins and cherries. Not light cuisine by any stretch of the imagination.
Stuffed Cabbage, with a very sweet tomato sauce flavored with oranges. The cabbage has a very dense meatball inside. Typically you see stuffed cabbage with a meat and rice mixture, but this one is all meat.
A kasha knish made out of cooked buckwheat groats mixed with some potato and caramelized onions, and probably chicken fat. And a very fine example I might add.
A pastrami and brisket combo platter. Pastrami Queen uses Hebrew National pastrami, but it’s steamed in-house and both I and my dining companion, who I would consider the ultimate expert on the subject of Jewish Delis, thought it was very good. Not at the Katz’s level, but definitely worth coming for if you’re in the area. The brisket was surprisingly tender and juicy even though it was sliced thinly.
Orwasher’s Handmade Bread
308 East 78th Street, New York, New York 10075
Web Site: http://www.orwasherbakery.com
If you order a Pastrami Sandwich on Rye at Pastrami Queen, you will be served bread that comes from this bakery only a few blocks away, Orwasher’s.
This is an absolutely massive Jewish Rye. The one served at Pastrami Queen for sandwiches is smaller, but by all means, if you want to construct the most massive pastrami sandwich in the world, this would be the bread to do it on. It is also one of the most moist and flavorful rye breads I have ever had.
Orwasher’s also has really good Pumpernickel and Whole Grain breads as well. Orwasher’s also carries a selection of cheeses from Artisanal, one of the best cheese purveyors in NYC.