Save the Deli

Jeff Weinstein: Why Pastrami Is Always More Than Pastrami

I got back from vacation last night (it was great, thank you), to an email from Jeff Weinstein, the former Village Voice restaurant critic and New York eating legend. Like most great Jewish foodies in New York, the rebirth of the 2nd Ave Deli got him thinking and writing. His story, “Why Pastrami Is Always More than Pastrami“, in Arts Journal is a witty and wicket writeup that’s less of a review and more of an essay:

I may have had better pastrami in my life, but sitting there I knew that I had crossed the snowy Himalayas and entered a serene, changeless realm where rating didn’t matter. The breastlike softness of the bread as it chews into luxurious fat and the smoky, peppery, irreducible tang of transformed flesh … and then the whole awakened, Mahler-like, by a clarion mustard …
The pleasures of one’s life are supposed to vary, to reflect and refine the protean person you are at each peak, significant time. But the pleasure of pastrami does exactly the opposite, forcing the older you, the older me, to acknowledge we are exactly the same ravenous, curious, sensuous beings we were at our first restaurant table, and will be until the final flecks of yellow and red are wiped from our lips.


One Response to “Jeff Weinstein: Why Pastrami Is Always More Than Pastrami”

  1. J.H. Thompson Says:

    I wonder what I would ask Mahler if I had the chance to travel back in time and meet him in person.

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