The other day my dad and I stumbled upon P.J. Bernstein's delicatessen, on 71st and 3rd.
In a nutshell, they have the best pastrami in New York. The owner told me himself, after I complimented him. He was griping about their obscure stature on the deli scene (in a kindhearted way), and I sure as hell understand why.
The tongue sandwich was also divine. The bread was uniformly perfect. The chicken barley soup was tremendous. But that pastrami has no peer.
It was almost like eating authentic southern barbeque-- tender and moist, very smoky, and just the right amount of spicy "zing" to it. Lean but not too lean.
The sandwiches are not huge. Hugeness, I suppose, is a gimmick. What mattered most was the taste.
I was initially worried about the place because they serve bacon and sausage, and someone at a nearby table was eating a tuna melt. But fear not; whatever one needs to do to make a buck (this is the East side, not the West)...