Sandwich #185–“Craving New York” Pastrami and Provolone on Rye

By 300 Sandwiches

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pastramiprovoI had never been to Katz’s Delicatessen before this week. What a wonderful world of meat.

Katz’s Deli is an institution in New York, having been serving customers since 1888. When you are craving a classic New York pastrami sandwich on rye, this is where you come. I have walked by the oversized deli on Houston Street many times since E used to live close by. But I hadn’t had a strong enough hankering for pastrami until precisely 5:48 PM the other day, an itch that could only be scratched at Katz’s.

I walked in after work, and the old school deli is packed. A security guard (yes, at a deli) asked what I needed (dining in or takeout?), handed me a ticket and directed me to the appropriate line. I weaved through rows of tables and diners carrying heavily-stacked pastrami on rye sandwiches, and approached the middle of the counter. A teddy bear looking guy sliced off a pound of warm pastrami and packaged it up for me. Then, he shaved off two more slices and placed them on a plate. “Try some,” he says. I did. World ROCKED.

It took all of the might in my bones to not tear through the bag and eat the entire pound of pastrami on the subway. But the meat made it home in tact, still warm when I unwrapped it. I made E a small sammie with provolone cheese and mayonnaise kicked it up with horseradish and honey mustard as an appetizer before he finished cooking dinner (duck breast with parsnip puree). I warmed it all in a skillet so the cheese melted, and served it up.

“This tastes like New York,” he said. The sandwich quickly disappeared. “This is one of your best ones.”

In a day, we managed to polish off that entire pound of pastrami. But we did share some with company. (Ok, maybe a slice or two). We probably gained a few pounds each from those sammies. But they were worth every bite, and every extra Cross Fit and yoga session we had to take to burn off those bites. I’ll make lighter fare in the next coming days. Hope E doesn’t mind lettuce wraps again.

4-5 slices pastrami
2 slices rye bread
4 slices provolone cheese
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 tablespoons horseradish
black pepper to taste

Mix mayonnaise, honey mustard, horseradish and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside. For the sandwich, smooth on the spicy mayonnaise, then layer on provolone cheese and meat. Top with other slice. Melt a small pat of butter in a warm skillet, then place sandwich in skillet to warm, flipping once. Remove from heat when cheese is melted, slice in half, and serve.

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