Save the Deli

Me and Perlow down by Pastrami Queen

Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet up with a longtime virtual friend in this deli crazy world, and have a nosh. Jason Perlow is an extremely well known food blogger from New Jersey, and was an early supporter of Save the Deli. His blog, Off the Broiler, is massive, and the man can eat!

We met at Pastrami Queen, an excellent little kosher deli on the Upper East Side, so that Jason could interview me for his site about the book. You’ll see the interview (actually podcast) come October, but I want to share with you the joys of our meal, as written by Jason himself in Off the Broiler.

Writes Perlow:

The old school New York Jewish Deli is going extinct. We have perhaps less than a dozen notable places in Manhattan, let alone the five boroughs that conform to the classic Jewish Deli archetype where you can get a good Pastrami or Corned Beef sandwich, and I may even have to downgrade that dozen to less than a handful, including Katz’s, 2nd Avenue Deli (which re-opened in 2008 in a new location) , Carnegie, The Stage, Sarge’s and Junior’s (which has really focused on its cheesecake business now more than anything else, although they do a great burger). All of those landmark delis are either downtown or in Midtown. Other fine examples, like Liebman’s in the Bronx, are lesser known but are part of the city’s restaurant culture that is in rapid decline.

Pastrami Queen, on the upper east side of Manhattan, is one of the few remaining hold outs of classic Jewish Deli tradition. Pastrami Queen is also under Kosher supervision, but it is not “Glatt” like Liebman’s in the Bronx. The only other well-known deli that has actual Kosher status in Manhattan is 2nd Avenue.

You can read the rest of Perlow’s review here.

How was the meal? Quite excellent. Though it has barely ten seats, and is a pretty sleepy place, Pastrami Queen is a gem of kosher delis in New York, and especially Manhattan. They cut the meat thick, steam it perfectly, and serve it on the best rye bread in the city (from Orwasher’s). It’s solid. The strudel is killer, the cabbage roll dense (a bit too sweet for me) and the knishes are like clouds wrapped in dough.

I will say this. Perlow is passionate. A true lover of deli and real ethnic food, who genuinely fears for the future of this. He’s a kindred spirit and a world class fresser, and I urge you to get over to his blog and check every single post out. You’ll eat like a king just by reading.

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Me, by Perlow

9 Responses to “Me and Perlow down by Pastrami Queen”

  1. Plays With Food Says:

    I knew it was you! I knew it was you! Cool!!

  2. julia s Says:

    Looks like a great lunch place for Oct. 18th!

  3. Moshe Feder Says:

    I never miss a chance to eat at PQ which, luckily for me, islocated not far from a friend I like to visit who also enjoys eating there.

    I’ve been a fan since it was Pastrami King on Queens Boulevard and much larger. Long may it flourish!

  4. jan van goyen Says:

    Jeff got the most reviews ever for Pastrami Queen/Boca. I only went once because it is quite a distance but the pastrami was very very good. Not an over stuffed sandwich but I was full
    http://jeffeats.com/2008/09/12/pastrami-queen-boca-raton/

    The Pastrami Queen in Boca Raton….They are relatives of the owners in NYC. Who all trace back to the late great Pastrami King of Queens, NYC. Which was a larger place and hummed for quite a few years. PK is now out at Merrick Long Island. The menu now includes traife. Back in the day there was no traife in delis that served kosher style food. No disgusting Ruben sandwiches at Katz’s which they now have. No BLTs and no shrimp salads

    The unsung hero at Katz’s is the big fat plump spicy garlicky skin popping knockwurst with lots of kraut on the side. Skip the knoblewurst

  5. jvg Says:

    Pastrami Queen of Boca is pretty good too!

  6. Mark Says:

    David………What was the knish filled with? It looks GREAT!

  7. Booklyn Says:

    Are either of you old enough to remember when Pastrami Queen was Pastrami King near the courthouses in Queens and really smoked its own pastrami?

    How about the REAL Pastrami King in Williamsburgh, which died in the late 1970s? Nothing since has even remotely compared.

  8. Craig Says:

    Agreed that Pastrami King in Williamsburg, owned by the Kaplan family, was the best. They opened the one on Queens Blvd in the 60′s, but its quality had declined sorely by the time it closed in the late 90′s/early 00′s.

    Sorry, Jan van Goyen, but Katz’s was never kosher and has always served things like cheeseburgers. Henry’s was kosher, 3 doors down from Katz’s, and infinitely better.

  9. adam Says:

    my grandfather was jack kaplan who owned pastrami king williamsburg and kew gardens
    i still think he served the best

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