Skip to main content

In Search Of ...

A taste (and I mean, just a taste) of sublime, tender, juicy pastrami prepared by Chef de Cuisine J.P. Carmona as an amuse at the Iron Chef dinner at Manresa Restaurant a couple of months ago fired up my pastrami craving. Otherwise, I have found to date no place on the West Coast, in either Northern or Southern California, that matches the platonic ideal of the pastrami from Katz's Deli in Manhattan (although The Refuge in San Carlos probably comes closest, notwithstanding the mildly spongy texture and slight cinnamony flavor).

I have generally been so impressed with the artisan sandwiches and salads created by the crew at Kitchenette, a little catering outpost on the edge of San Francisco in an area that looks like a cleaned-up version of Thunderdome, that I purposely manufactured a reason to be in the City on the day they posted pastrami on the menu. Yet even Kitchenette's pastrami disappointed. Too chewy, too peppery, with the necessary interspersed fat layers gristly instead of melty.

I gave up and ordered pastrami from Katz's on line (more feasible than begging a Michelin two-star restaurant to make me a sandwich). It suffered a bit in transit, and probably the first and only time I would pay over $20 for a sandwich, but it assuaged my craving for the time being short of actually flying to New York. I am not quite that crazy yet.

Other cravings that all seem to require travel, some farther than others: ramen, burger, pizza, fried chicken.


Popular posts from this blog

Ambivalent About Momofuku

First, am I the only person who thinks "Momofuku" does not mean Lucky Peach or refer to the name of some obscure ramen person from Japan but actually means "Mother F_ker"?

That seems particularly obvious with the name of the latest chicken sandwich spinoff, FUKU.  Seriously has no one noticed, or is he now so powerful that no one acknowledges, that David Chang is flipping off all of Manhattan?

Having said that, I must say I have had so much bad pork belly in many restaurants that I have to respect the fact that he can maintain a certain level of quality despite having opened one chain outpost after another.  Not even Danny Meyer can claim that with the horribly inconsistent Shake Shacks in Washington DC.

Soul sucking, maybe.  That City Center Momofuku is very corporate, albeit quite convenient (and certainly better than the Boulud DBGB that opened nearby).

However, the Momofuku Ramen did lose something in the chain process.  The broth tasted like someone dumped a c…

Places I've Eaten in the San Francisco Bay Area

Places I've Eaten in Philadelphia

Places I would go back to eat

Geno's Steaks
Pat's King of Steaks

I am not really certain whether there is such thing as a "great cheesesteak," but in the battle of the two famous cheesesteak stands (only compared "wit-out, cheese whiz" combination), Pat's has better meat and bread, relatively speaking. Geno's roll has a spongier texture, and its cheese whiz was a bit watery (they also have the strangest tasting fries I have ever tried, like they were made from fake potatoes?).