Hot pastrami, yeah / Pastrami caliente, sí

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

The 2nd Avenue Deli is not on 2nd Avenue. It’s between 3rd Avenue and Lexington on E 33rd Street. The deli opened in 1954 on 2nd Avenue at the corner of E 10th Street in the East Village. It moved to its 33rd Street location in 2007. Thankfully, my cousin Evie’s family (have I mentioned how much I adore them?) really know their way around. And her son-in-law, Allan, has parking Karma. The street view of the restaurant was taken from our parking spot.

Typical of New York Delis, the sandwiches were enormous. In the past I would have ordered a triple-decker, but I chose a “normal ” sandwich — and I ended up eating that with a knife and fork (and only eating one slice of bread).

I ordered pastrami on rye. Allan then ordered half pastrami and half turkey. That sounded delicious, so I changed my order. As I ate, however, I realized I had received half pastrami and half chopped liver (per the menu, Jewish paté). Fortunately, I love that combination. Allan told me when we walked in that he hates chopped liver. So, just as fortunate, his sandwich was correctly delivered.

I had Dr. Brown’s cream soda, an old favorite of mine. Allan had Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda (often called Dr. Brown’s celery soda). It’s actually made from celery seed. Allan gave me a sip and I loved it. More of a kick than ginger ale.

The best part, well maybe not the best part: We were served chupitos (after-dinner shots in the Spanish style). These were a version of chocolate egg cream, a mixture of seltzer (soda water) and chocolate syrup. The version I grew up with included milk, but that wouldn’t be kosher with our meat-filled meal; meat and dairy are never mixed.

No eggs are harmed in the making of an egg cream and there are a variety of origin stories. My favorite is according to food historian Andrew Smith: “During the 1880s, a popular specialty was made with chocolate syrup, cream, and raw eggs mixed into soda water. In poorer neighborhoods, a less expensive version of this treat was created, called the Egg Cream (made without the eggs or cream).”

Click the thumbnails for more pastrami.


El 2nd Avenue Deli no está en 2nd Avenue. Está entre 3rd Avenue y Lexington en E 33rd Street. La tienda de delicatessen abrió en 1954 en 2nd Avenue en el barrio de East Village. Se mudó a su ubicación en 33rd Street en 2007. Afortunadamente, la familia de mi prima Evie (¿he mencionado cuánto los adoro?) realmente conocen la ciudad. Y su yerno, Allan, tiene estacionamiento Karma. La vista desde la calle del restaurante fue tomada desde nuestro lugar de estacionamiento.

Típicos de New York Delis, los sándwiches eran enormes. En el pasado, habría pedido un sándwich de tres pisos, pero elegí un sándwich “normal”, y terminé comiéndolo con cuchillo y tenedor (y solo comí una rebanada de pan).

Pedí pastrami con pan de centeno. Allan luego pidió medio pastrami y medio pavo. Eso sonaba delicioso, así que cambié mi orden. Mientras comía, sin embargo, me di cuenta de que había recibido mitad pastrami y mitad hígado picado (según el menú, paté judío). Afortunadamente, me encanta esa combinación. Allan me había dicho cuando entramos que odia el hígado picado. Entonces, con la misma suerte, su sándwich fue entregado correctamente.

Tomé el refresco de crema del Dr. Brown, uno de mis viejos favoritos. Allan tomó refresco Cel-Ray de Dr. Brown (a menudo llamado refresco de apio). En realidad está hecho de semilla de apio. Allan me dio un sorbo y me encantó. Más una patada que el ginger ale.

La mejor parte, bueno tal vez no la mejor parte: Nos sirvieron chupitos. Se trataba de cremas de huevo con chocolate, una mezcla de seltzer (agua de soda) y jarabe de chocolate. (La versión con la que crecí incluía leche, pero eso no sería kosher con nuestra comida llena de carne; la carne y los lácteos nunca se mezclan).

No se dañan los huevos en la elaboración de un egg cream y hay una variedad de historias de origen. Mi favorito es según el historiador de alimentos Andrew Smith: “Durante la década de 1880, se hacía una especialidad popular con jarabe de chocolate, crema y huevos crudos mezclados con agua con gas. En los barrios más pobres, se creó una versión menos costosa de esta golosina, llamada Crema de huevo (hecha sin huevos ni crema)”.

Haz clic en las miniaturas para más pastrami.

• Fried potato knish perfection.
• Un knish de patata, un relleno cubierto de una masa, frita. Perfección.
• Evie and granddaughter, Brooke, hamming (pastrami-ing) it up for the camera. Just looking at those faces makes me happy. Evie is the eldest of the 16 cousins in my generation.
• Evie y su nieta, Brooke, haciéndolo para la cámara. Solo mirar esas caras me hace feliz. Evie es la mayor de los 16 primos de mi generación.
• I was tempted to order the Instant Heart Attack.
• Tuve la tentación de pedir el Instant Heart Attack [Infarto Instantáneo]: Un sándwich que consta de dos panqueques grandes de papas con su elección de carne en conserva, pastrami, pavo, o salami.
• Chocolate egg cream, but no egg and no cream, so chocolate soda.
• Crema de huevo y chocolate, pero sin crema y sin huevo, entonces refresco de chocolate.


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

46 thoughts on “Hot pastrami, yeah / Pastrami caliente, sí”

  1. I love a good traditional Jewish deli! We had a couple of great ones in Winnipeg but Edmonton is bereft of any, so for 24 years now I have been in the desert, so to speak. My go-to sandwich is corned beef on rye with hot mustard and a big dill pickle on the side. Yum! The prices on that menu give me pause, however. Everything’s so expensive now!

  2. Looks wonderful. We went to “Bens” in the garment district one evening, I had smoked salmon and sweet potato salad, it was just perfect,

      1. wickedhamster:
        Sweet potato salad sounds good. I’ve never had it.

  3. Ahhhhh, your travels are always such fun for us!
    Mitchell, I have a Spain question, about words for the levels in a building. In France, there is a word for the entry level floor/ground floor (le rez de chaussée), and then the word étage is used for each upper floor. So, the 1st étage is actually the 2nd floor from the ground, and so on. In Spain, do they use la planta baja for the ground floor? And then, my real question is whether the first floor above that, is considered the first piso, or the 2nd? (And, of course, are these the terms used in Spain, anyway? or are they more Latin America terms?) Thanks!

    1. Judy C:
      The standard here is the ground floor is zero or planta baja. The next floor up is primero. We live on tercero, which in your area would probably be considered the fourth floor. Our floor and apartment number are written as 3˚A (3rd A). Interestingly, the co-op I grew up in in Brooklyn counted the same way. The ground floor was called the Lobby (or ground floor). We lived on 16, which was really 17 floors up. It confused a lot of visitors looking for apartments on the first floor. Also, people commonly say planta for each floor. However, the floors are referred to in the masculine, tercero, primero, cuarto, so I assume the unsaid word is piso — but piso is the most commonly used word for apartment as well. Clear as mud?

  4. Does Uber Eats deliver to New Mexico? Haven’t found any decent pastrami here. (Sad face emoji)

    1. Frank:
      Yeah, welcome to NYC. However, my mother would have made four meals out of one sandwich.

  5. It’s 7:28 AM and I’d like a pastrami on rye please.
    Oh, and a knish!

    There is nothing like Jewish deli food.

  6. That was a fun – and delicious! – outing for all of you. It’s been at least 3 decades since I have been in a proper New York-style deli, I think it must have been Katz’s in Atlanta. Not kosher, though.

    1. Wilma:
      I can’t remember the last time I had been in a NY Deli. I wasn’t disappointed. We had talked of going to Katz’s but my cousins said it would be mobbed on a Saturday and seating is much tighter and less comfortable. 2nd Avenue Deli is Kosher, but open Saturdays (which is NOT very Kosher… As a result, apparently, ultra-orthodox will not eat there).

  7. OMG! That pastrami sandwich! Brings back memories……at the Carnegie Deli.
    Looks and sounds like the perfect people to dine with.

    1. Jim:
      I had corned beef the last time I was at the Carnegie Deli… around 1990!

    1. Jennifer:
      Yep. Prices were steep all over NYC, but in this kind of place, you get enough food for four meals. So you take home a doggy bag and it all evens out.

    1. Sassybear:
      I had been pining over pastrami for a while. I wasn’t disappointed.

    1. TexasTrailerParkTrash:
      Yeah, restaurant prices in NYC were not for the faint of heart. At least you get enough food in this place to take home for three more meals.

  8. With portions like that, you might as well go in and ask for a whole cow. Sliced.

    I’d never pay that much for a sandwich, no matter how lovely the venue… Jx

    1. Jon:
      If your hotel has a refrigerator, you’d have three more meals with the leftovers. That softens the blow.

  9. I’ve never developed a taste for pastrami, no need to start now. That potato thingy looks good, though. There is no kind of sammich worth those prices!

    1. Deedles:
      Oh, the knish. Perfection. As for the prices, four people could share one triple-decker sandwich. And it was all so good. Besides, Allan and Ellen treated!

  10. I used to live on E. 29th Street, just a few blocks from the 2nd Avenue Deli’s “new” location. I remember when the deli moved there from the East Village. Its patrons were scandalized.

    1. Steve:
      What a neighborhood! I hope you enjoyed those years. Did you know the founder of the deli was murdered in 1996 during a robbery at the original location? They apparently moved due to a rent increase and a dispute over back rent.

      1. I didn’t know about the murder — or if I did, I’ve forgotten — but yes, I do recall the kerfuffle over the rent. (In New York, it’s always about the rent!)

      2. Steve:
        I remember so many of those rent fights. I paid $200/month for my studio apartment in Brooklyn. I could pick it up now for $1,700.

    1. Agnes:
      NYC prices always shock me at first (well, and at last, too). I know a popular diner where you can get a fairly ordinary 3-egg breakfast for $26.95. At least the deli serves enough for three or four people — not that I shared. (Besides Allan and Ellen treated.)

  11. Ah, knishes! On my second visit to NYC as a high-schooler, a friend and I wandered into a deli on or near Times Square. I asked the guy, “what’s a kuh-nish?” He answered, “I dunno. But I can tell you what a knish is.” And so he did. I had one.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I wonder how many times that guy was asked that kuh-nish question. All the time I lived in Brooklyn, there was a guy who walked the beaches of Coney Island and Brighton selling “Shatzkins hot patatah knishes, heeyah. Ice cold coke, heeyah.” My father said the same guy was there when he was a kid. They were SO good.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I would never paid extra for tongue. I think it should be included (usually).

  12. No! Wait! I got it backwards. I asked, “what’s a nish?” and he said, “I dunno, but I can tell you what a knish is.” Jeez. The old brain has its moments. That wasn’t one of them.

  13. I love chop liver, and look at the menu with all these wonderful dishes. You are so lucky. Pastrami and chop liver, I wish I could get that. Time for me to go visit my sister Sophie in NYC.

    1. Larry:
      Yes, I think it’s time. As my trip approached, I started craving pastrami. I wasn’t disappointed.

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