pastrami sandwiches

pastrami sandwiches

Angela, college roommate circa 2001 has just moved into the city for a multiyear stint in med school. While I’ve steadfastly stayed put in one place since graduation, she has been quite the nomad, moving to a new country every once a year. And while I was the one in need of acclimatization many summers ago upon my arrival in Chicago for the now extended western experience, I am returning her the favor, and inducting her into the New York way of life.

Hence, it was serendipity that led us to walk past the 2nd Avenue Deli, now in its 33rd St location just as we were hungry. Lunch in a kosher deli, not to mention one of the most celebrated and storied in the city is as quintessentially New York as it gets. The no-nonsense attitudes of the middle-aged servers, the plates of pickles, slaw and deep fried curls of chicken skin that show up on your table as you read through the menu, and the huge moist matzo ball in a simple bowl of chicken broth all scream old school, and those recipes have probably not changed in a while. Also unchanging is the size of that pastrami sandwich, a pile of peppery smoked meat separating 2 slices of soft rye, perhaps too soft to carry the weight of all that meat. A slather of mustard and some ketchup in my sandwich, and I am a very happy girl. Happy too that Angela’s back in my neighborhood and that I have another partner in crime for my next food outings!

2nd Avenue Deli

162 E33rd St (Bet Lexington & 3rd Aves)

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