Sick of Turkey? Try Berger’s Pastrami Sandwich: Apparently It’s New York’s Best
If any of you happened to host a Thanksgiving Dinner at your house last week, I’m willing to bet money you had a shit-ton of leftovers, and you’re getting sick of turkey. I know I am. I thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight Berger’s. It’s flown under the radar of Midtown Lunch for years — probably because it can easily fall into the category of generic deli.
A few weeks ago, I was in the mood for pastrami. I hadn’t had pastrami in Midtown since I tried Marky Ramone’s Cruisin’ Kitchen back in June, so I went to Yelp and searched for pastrami in the area near my office. What popped up was “Berger’s”, which boasts New York’s best pastrami sandwich. Of course, I haven’t tried every pastrami sandwich in New York City, but I assumed Katz’s (which I also haven’t gotten around to trying) is heralded as the best.
According to Berger’s, this is not so.
Although I always doubt any restaurant in NYC that touts it’s (insert food item here) is the best, I always figure if they make this outrageous claim they at least need to have a decent (insert food item here). So, I made my way to Berger’s, a deli that’s been around for 60 years… and a place I’ve walked by many times without noticing. I was really looking forward to stuffing my face with salted meat.
Here’s what I found out: Berger’s serves up a nice, big pastrami sandwich with a ton of meat, but because it’s nearly $10 it’s right on the brink of no longer being a Midtown Lunch. When I walked in, I was greeted by very friendly folks making sandwiches, and I ordered a pastrami with mustard and pickles.
They sliced up pickles they normally put on the side of sandwiches and slapped it on fresh rye bread. The pastrami was generously piled on and warm, which was somewhat odd juxtaposed with the coldish, soft slices of bread. The mustard and pickles gave just the right amount of acidity to balance the salty pastrami and the rye flavor. The sandwich came with a pickle spear and some boring coleslaw on the side.
Was this the best pastrami sandwich I’ve ever had? No — my favorite pastrami is served up at a chain called The Hat that has locations in the Los Angeles area. Is it the best I’ve had in New York City? I have to say, yes. So far it is. But I haven’t exactly gone out and done a scientific study on it yet. I have a feeling that Midtown Lunchers will like this sandwich, but might be upset with it’s price — even though it’s a pretty big sandwich, it came out to be about $9.50 with tax. I’m sure there are better deals to be had.
Midtown Lunchers, does anyone know of a better deal on pastrami sandwiches in Midtown? There are so many delis gracing our presence, I’m sure there’s a joint that serves up a delicious pastrami for less. Any ideas?
Berger’s, 2 East 39th Street, (212) 719-4173