[Pigging by Bob Martinez: April 6, 2011]
Following yesterday's photo-essay on Mile End published yesterday, here's Bob Martinez taking a deeper dive into the pastrami at David's House of Brisket. All words and photos by Bob.
I have had a pastrami monkey on my back for the last month. Longings for pastrami would suddenly come over me at random times. In the morning. Riding on the subway. In the middle of meetings. Late at night, the monkey would whisper in my ear. It was too much to fight and so I began to try to tempt Deb into joining me on an expedition to David’s. Luckily, it didn’t take much.
One of the counter men was amused by this.
“You want a picture? I’ll give you a good one.” And so he did.
These guys are proud of their product, as well they should be.
They go through a lot of briskets - they’re stashed all over the place. We watched our new friend making trips to the back of the store to refill the steamer in back of the counter. Business was brisk - he made a couple of trips while we were there.
You would think that a sandwich this big would be difficult to eat. Do not be fooled. It goes down effortlessly. The pastrami is tender and fully flavored. Looking at the meat, it doesn’t appear to be particularly fatty. Appearances can be deceiving – the mouthfeel was velvety smooth and the spicing was pronounced without being overdone.
I took a short break between halves and then tucked in again. Sometimes anticipated experiences can be a bit of a letdown. Not this time – it was every bit as good as I expected.
Deb remarked that the bread at David’s is a bit better than at Katz’s which she referred to as “gummy.” I think she’s right. The David’s bread is nowhere near as good as the Orwasher’s rye used at Mile End but I can live with that. ME makes a great sandwich but I like the one at David’s a bit more.
Those of you with healthy appetites should note that while both David’s and Mile End sell sandwiches for $9, the one at ME has about 7 oz. of smoked meat. David’s edition is more like 12 or 14 oz. That seems like it would be too much but it’s not. It’s surprisingly easy to finish. David’s also sells a large pastrami sandwich for $12. My guess is that they probably deliver it to the counter with a forklift.
I am going to find excuses to visit David’s about every 6 weeks. I would go more often but as a Lipitor user that probably wouldn’t be a good idea.