The Best Pastrami Sandwich In NYC | Best Of The Best

The Best Pastrami Sandwich In NYC | Best Of The Best

Alana Yzola: Hey, everyone, I’m Alana. Herrine Ro: And I’m Herrine. Alana: And today, we are
traveling around New York City to find the best Both: pastrami sandwich. Herrine: I love, love, love,
love, love pastrami sandwiches. There are pastrami sandwiches
basically sold everywhere throughout the city.
Alana: True. Herrine: They are found in
bodegas, mom-and-pop stores, and just giant restaurants
that have been around for over a century. Alana: Yeah, and we narrowed it down to the four major spots you should hit, and, being from New York, I’ve heard of some of these places. Herrine: And some of these
places we basically picked out off of just good, old-fashioned
internet research, and that’s about it.
Alana: Cross-referenced it. Herrine: Yeah. That’s about it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Alana: All right. Well, I am starving. Let’s go. Herrine: Our first stop is Harry & Ida’s. Alana: Located in the East Village, it’s a sandwich counter and general store best known for its modern
take on the pastrami sandwich. Customer: For the best pastrami sandwich, come to f—ing Harry & Ida’s. Oh, I said f—. Will Horowitz: So, Harry and
Ida is my great grandparents, and they had a delicatessen up
in Harlem about 70 years ago, and me and my sister,
Julie, opened this place about five years ago,
just to keep it alive. So, the traditional pastrami in New York is a beef brisket, and it’s
seasoned with coriander, garlic, sometimes a
little bit of allspice, and plenty of black pepper and salt. If you want to get really traditional, then you hand-slice it and throw
it over a rye with mustard. But we don’t do anything like that. I’d say our pastrami is definitely
a little bit more unique. For one, we’re one of the
only places in New York that still smokes it by hand ourselves, and we’re using the fattier
part of the backbone. It’s like a more marbled steak. And it looks like our ingredients are a little bit different. We have things like fish sauce in it, to all sorts of other crazy spices that you wouldn’t typically find. For me, I wanted to change up the bread. I grew up with it, I’ve had it before. But we wanted it to be
something different. We put on a pretty generous
amount of anchovy mustard and a buttermilk-fermented cucumber slaw with toasted rye berry. And a huge amount of fresh dill on top. You’re getting a lot of the old flavors, but it definitely comes in a totally, totally different form. The toughest part is to get
traditionalists and purists to actually try the sandwich. Because people get very offended that we don’t have rye bread
or traditional mustard on it. But always, without question,
once we get someone to try it, they’re hooked for life. Alana: Oh, my gosh! Herrine: OK, first things first. Let’s try the pastrami by itself. Alana: Pastrami by itself. Got it. Herrine: That marbling. Alana: Ooh. Herrine: And thickness. Alana: OK. Herrine: Shall we? Alana: Yep! Alana: OK. Herrine: I don’t think
I’ve ever been this happy, in a very long time. Alana: I have to say, like, first bite reminds me
more of, like, a steak or, like, a dinner than, like, what I think of, like, you
know, thinly sliced pastrami. This is more like a meal. Herrine: I’m more curious about the bread. Alana: Yeah. Herrine: And before this gets
any colder, let’s take a bite. Alana: All right! Herrine: Mm. It’s so good. Alana: Oh, my God, this is it! What is this, cucumber? Herrine: You should
swallow before you talk. Alana: Oh, my God! Sorry! Herrine: The pastrami
is so thick and so fatty that the dill and the pickled cucumber cuts through that richness. Alana: You killed that, you
ate it faster than I did. Herrine: Mm-hmm! Alana: You weren’t lying. Our second stop is Katz’s Deli. A New York City staple and arguably the most famous
pastrami spot we’re visiting. Customer: It’s the best. It’s the best pastrami ever, anywhere. I think what makes
Katz’s pastrami the best is the way they cut their meat. It’s the cutters. They have the magic. It’s the very best. Jake Dell: If New Orleans has beignets, New York has pastrami. Herrine: This is Jake Dell. He is the fifth-generation
owner at Katz’s Deli. Jake: And if you’re
talking about pastrami, there’s no better place than Katz’s Deli. It’s not just me, but our customers think that we have the best pastrami
sandwich in the world, because we cure it ourselves,
we smoke it ourselves. It’s done the old-fashioned way. We’ve never changed the
recipe here at Katz’s. It’s the same flavors that
you would have had in 1888. When you first come in, you get a ticket. That’s your everything. So, if you don’t have a
ticket, we put you to work. And maybe 30 years
later, we let you leave. Jake: Then, you go down the line and start figuring out what you want. It’s cafeteria style. Alana: Twenty-two, nah! Herrine: You can pay for this. Wow, that’s steep! Jake: Then, you go to the cutters. When you get to the front of that line, you better know what you want, because we’ll yell at you a little bit. Herrine: Pastrami on rye. Alana: Pastrami on rye. I don’t like being yelled at. The pastrami on rye! Herrine: Yell at her! We were told you would yell. Jake: The cutter’s gonna give you a nice taste of that pastrami. Get you excited for the real thing. Alana: Free samples! This is like Costco. Herrine: You can’t compare
this place with Costco! Jake: There’s only one real
way to eat a pastrami sandwich, in my opinion, and that is on rye with a little bit of mustard. That’s all you need. Alana: Oh, God, all right. Herrine: All right, that way. Alana: All right. How
do we even find a seat? Herrine: This was probably,
like, the first place I’ve had a pastrami sandwich, like, ever, and now it’s one of my favorite foods. Alana: Really? Herrine: So, what about you? Alana: I’ve never been here. My parents have been here. Herrine: But you’re from Long Island. Alana: OK! I know. I don’t get out much! Let’s see if it lives up to the hype. Herrine: Cheers.
Alana: Cheers! It just oozes juice. Herrine: While I like
my pastrami very thin, I appreciate the thick slabs here, because it just has that
extra hearty mouth feel. Alana: Right. I want to try this with the mustard. Herrine: What? That was cute! As Alana struggles, I shall teach you how it’s done. Alana: Go for it. Girl, you just, like, that
was, like, some snake moves! Did you ever see, like, a snake? Herrine: I am so happy right now. Alana: This is gonna
be pretty hard to beat. Alana: Our third stop is David’s Brisket House in Brooklyn. It was once a Jewish-owned and now, it’s owned and operated by a Muslim family. Riyadh Gazali: To be honest
with you, the reaction is, they always say it’s a five
star, it’s better than Katz’s. Customer: People always
talk about David’s Brisket. “You have to go try the pastrami!” It lives up to its billing. Riyadh: There’s a review on Yelp. It’s a Jewish guy, he came in here, and he said the same thing. He was very skeptical about the food, but then he wrote a big review, saying he wishes his mom
never catch him doing this. It’s like a taboo. We split it in two processes. We do it in a steam, on at 350 degrees, and then after we finish
cooking it, we let it stay, turn off the heat and keep it in there. I mean, it is time-consuming,
but it’s worth the while. My personal opinion is when you cut it with a slicing machine, it tastes a lot better. It holds its juice in it. But when you cut it thick, it just doesn’t taste sandwich-like. It tastes more like a meal. Both: Three, two, one! Mm. Alana: So, when I first took a bite of the pastrami by itself, again, the seasoning stood out, but I didn’t think it was, you know, as juicy as the ones we’ve had before. But in the sandwich form, all the juices that were on the meat keep
getting caught within each other. Herrine: I agree. It’s like, you know those,
like, stone waterfalls? Alana: Yeah! Yeah, so, like, if the juice is the water, and the stones are the meat, it’s just, like, all up in there. All in the crevices. Herrine: Yeah! We are such great food reviewers! I feel like the pastrami here has a lot more of,
like, a seasoning taste. I don’t think the meat here is as, like, tender.
Alana: Right. Herrine: But you’re still
getting that very hearty, fatty, marbled taste every
time you take a bite. I could probably do with… more pastrami. Alana: Our last stop is 2nd
Ave Deli in Murray Hill. The Kosher restaurant has
been family-owned since 1954 and is known for its Jewish deli classics and modern menu items. Customer: So, 2nd Ave Deli is
surely my favorite restaurant in the area. It’s a good deli to get anything. This would be my last meal if I ever had a last
meal that I had to order. Jack Lebewohl: We came up what we consider is the right recipe, and we think we have the
best pastrami in the world. The secret is the spicing, and in the preparation and the steaming, just, it’s a combination
of many different factors, and getting it just right. We slice it so fine. It just tastes better. Whoever does the slicing
has to know what he’s doing. Herrine: Like, literally,
you can see through it. Employee: Yeah, you can see through! See? The thinner the slice is
like the melt in the mouth. Jack: People come in here, and they can’t eat just a little bit. And we know that. And that’s why we make it super thick. Herrine: I’m coming in
here a little biased. Alana: OK. Because I come here at least once a month. Alana: Once a month, Herrine? Herrine: When I look for
a great pastrami sandwich, I want that rye bread
to be super-duper plush, I want that meat to be fatty,
juicy and well marbled, and have, like, the exterior seasoning to just, like, really shine
through through each bite. And I get that here every time. It is consistent. Alana: Well, I kinda want to try it now. Herrine: You’re gonna have a bite of this and just be like, “This is it!” Alana: Jeez! OK. So good! Mm! OK, the seasonings aren’t just
flavoring the meat for me, like you were saying, they were, like, adding that
crunch and that texture. Herrine: They steam the pastrami here for a longer time than other places because it, like, just makes
it even more juicy and moist. Try it with the mustard now. Alana: OK. Is there any meat left in this? You smeared the whole thing with mustard! Herrine: Just the top part! Alana: Fine, I suppose. All right. Mm. OK. Herrine: This is a sandwich for the gods! Doesn’t get any better than that. Alana: No, OK. Straight up, the sandwich was, like, 9.5. Mustard made it, like, easy 12. Herrine: It’s the moment
you’ve been waiting for! Alana: Oh, my God, all right. This was really hard. I think it was probably, like,
one of the hardest episodes that we’ve shot so far. Herrine: I am so sick of pastrami! I am so sick of pastrami! Alana: Let’s decide
which one was the best. Herrine: All righty, I already have mine. Alana: I already know what it’s gonna be. Herrine: I already know
she’s gonna be wrong. Alana: One, two, three! Herrine: I knew it. I’m disappointed. Alana: You’re so predictable! Herrine: I’m sorry, what? Alana: So, why do you think
that 2nd Ave Deli is the best? Herrine: Why do I know that
2nd Ave Deli is the best? Alana: I said what I said. Herrine: 2nd Ave Deli always has, always will be my
favorite pastrami sandwich in New York City. It’s consistent. It’s good every time. I love the thinness of the pastrami. I think the layering
of it just really makes for a very satisfying mouth feel. It still sticks to its roots of, like, just that classic,
iconic pastrami sandwich. What about you? Why did you pick Harry & Ida’s? Alana: Well, I’m glad that you admitted that 2nd Ave Deli is and has always been your favorite deli. So you admit, you’re biased a little bit. Herrine: No, I came in with an open mind! Alana: That’s good. Ah, no, like, thinking about
it, what you said makes sense. You know, the meat is cut
super thin, it is very juicy, it is very seasoned. I definitely see why you made that choice. However, for me, it’s
2019, and I think it’s time to sort of, you know, modernize
the pastrami sandwich. I personally love the
seasoning on Harry & Ida’s. Herrine: I agree with you. Alana: It was flavorful. The meat itself so juicy and marbled. Herrine: It literally tasted like brisket. Alana: Oh, my god! It was just melt in your mouth! And then, the bread itself. I personally, you know, after tasting all of the pastrami sandwiches, I don’t think I’m a big,
huge fan of rye bread. Herrine: You’re pitting
against a new sandwich, Alana: With its, like, Herrine: with, like, a perfect
Alana: the staple. Herrine: OG sandwich. OK, so, Alana, do you concede? Do you want to debate more? Someone’s gotta give. Alana: All right, all right. For this one time. But I guess, for this one
time, I’ll have to concede. Herrine: Y’all, there
are more episodes here. I just want a tally.
Alana: I’ll concede! Herrine: That’s twice now. Alana: Whatever! I guess I gotta give it to 2nd Ave Deli. Herrine: It’s 2nd Ave Deli. Alana: All right, guys! Herrine: You heard it here first. Alana: You agree with Herrine over here, or do you think that Harry & Ida’s deserve the No. 1 spot? Herrine: Or was it one of
the two places we visited that didn’t make our boards? Alana: Or a completely other place that we didn’t even hear of? Herrine: Let us know in
the comment section below. Bye! Alana: See you!

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100 Replies to “The Best Pastrami Sandwich In NYC | Best Of The Best”

  1. You like what you like ,Me I want a sandwich from each place flown out to ca for me .now that would be a little taste of the good life ,but I notice one resteraunt had a hugh crowd of people compare to other places ,had very few people and that one.reteraunt was bigger inside and it's the one you see in Harry met Sally

  2. Langers’s Deli is #1 , beats anything NYC has to offer. Come to LA ,7th and Alvarado ! Not only is the meat better but the rye bread is fire !

  3. 22.45 for a sandwich at Katz is a disgrace to NYC, it's only for tourist or the rich, struggling New Yorkers can never eat there, NYC supports Katz, but NYC people can't afford to eat there, kiss my ass Katz and l'm a native New Yorker born and raised.

  4. Toasties’ “House Combo
    Grilled Pastrami With Corned Beef, Melted Swiss Cheese, Coleslaw & Russian Dressing.” Katz wasn’t memorable to me; haven’t tried 2nd yet

  5. I don’t like that ole girl always concedes or that anyone does. Stick to your guns. If you liked it Harry and Ida’s more, you liked it more. Personally, I hate rye bread too, so if I still ate meat, I would pick Harry & Ida’s too.

  6. The Black girl has the best figure, she is not fat, but has some meat on her. The Asian girl is so thin it makes her not so attractive.

  7. New York costumer service is the worst in the World ! They lost the art of taking care of a costumer just because they believe they have big heads !

  8. $17 & $22 usd sandwich off the hopp?! That's insane. Those sandwiches better rub your shoulders and feet too.

  9. I'm Australian and my family went to katz deli and it was really good. But it is a lot bigger then you would think, when I say bigger I don't just mean big in size but hard to finish. It's also really expensive, $40 each sandwich. Not much but meat, but great quality.

  10. Hey insider how about you make a video about how Herrine maintains her body weight and shape after all the food

  11. I respect the guy from Harry and Ida's for trying something new. Having started out in New York I find it sad that the Carnegie is no longer an option. So it had to be Katz's or 2nd Ave. They are institutions and they looked amazing but $22.45 for a sandwich? Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!!!

  12. 2nd ave's meat looks far too overdone and waaaaay too fatty for me. It almost looks like really cheap bacon. Obviously 2nd ave gets great reviews…maybe it's just the lighting or something.

  13. I would never recognize the first place as a pastrami sandwich. Is looks incredible but personally I don't know if I would call it a pastrami.

  14. Yuck. You need a balance. way too much meat. Gimme topside british beef anyday. real meat! Some of that bread just looks cheap and nasty.

  15. David's Brisket House. " owned by a Muslim family". Why is that even needed needed in the description ? Pretty racist if you ask me.

  16. "Good old fashioned internet research"……LOL. "Fashioned," yes…."old"? If you grew up before internet…'re considered old.

  17. I 🥰🥰😍😍 Katz's but, but the size of the sandwiches got smaller since Carnegie Deli closed. And the price has increased. 🤔🤔🤔

  18. The #19 sandwich @ Langer's Deli on Alvarado Street in LA = Hands down the best pastrami sandwich in the entire 50 States of America

  19. My friend is born and raised in NYC and he said that Katz deli is way overrated. There are much better places Katz is a tourist restaurant that helps tourists thinks they are actually eating real food average everyday new yorkers eat. They even do the typical angry new Yorker trope.

  20. I must say U.S. IS EXPENSIVE…..unreasonable….also I feel that ppl have tendency to waste lot of edible food ….just like that…that's kind of snobbish

  21. Also I have seen so many videos on kats but feel that they have a somewhat arrogance in their treatment…I mean…who charge their customers on losing an exit ticket…insane…i find it offensive…

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