Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Jersey Pastrami Tour

My friend Micah and I like to call ourselves the Kreplach Brothers. Micah often visits his mom in northern New Jersey and when he's there I go down to avail myself of shopping and eating opportunities not found in Dutchess County. Since we've enjoyed a few pastrami sandwiches in our time, he had the idea of a comparison tour -- let's split sandwiches at four locations and decide which is best. Seemed reasonable to me!

Stop #1 was the wonderfully-named Nosher Rye in Allendale. We had been there recently and thought the pastrami very good. We got four sandwiches to go. One for Micah's mom, two for her nice neighbors as a father's day present and one for Micah and me to split. Micah had pre-selected Dr. Brown's cream soda. One of the pickle slices on the plate is from a batch of 3/4-sours I just made and it was pretty good; nearly as sour as the sour pickle from the deli.

Stop #2 was Harold's Superette in Paramus. Since this was strictly take-out, we ate in a nearby park. This pastrami had a very mild cure, and tasted more like slightly spiced corned beef. Which is essentially what it was. Enjoyable, but not a truly satisfying pastrami flavor.

Stop #3 was the Kosher Nosh in Glen Rock. This is where we met our Waterloo. They had a soup and half sandwich special, and once Micah told me the mushroom barley soup was good I couldn't resist. As well they have a free salad bar. The pickle, tomato, health salad and potato salad were all very good. And the soup was indeed excellent. We chose Dr. Brown's black cherry here for variety's sake.

By the time we finished all that, had our third soda each, and the third half sandwich, we were done. We had planned a fourth stop at Harold's Deli in Lyndhurst, but it was not to be. Even the Kreplach Brothers have their limits! The pastrami here was almost as mild as that from Harold's Superette. Enjoyable, but not strident enough for us. So the winner as far as pastrami was concerned was clearly the Nosher Rye.

We then worked off the calories with some shopping, including the wonderful Corrado's and a 3-pound seeded rye from Rockland Bakery. At $4.75 I feel I've stolen something when I shop there.

All in all, New Jersey isn't as bad as I thought it was growing up in the Bronx.

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