Before today, my favorite corned beef sandwich was the Brooklyn style at Victor’s Restaurant in Hollywood. It’s piled high with sliced corned beef, with about an inch of meat at the center, and has coleslaw and Russian dressing in the sandwich. It’s served on fresh rye bread. The flavor and texture combination harken back to the Langer’s #19, but with corned beef instead of pastrami. Yum.
But there’s a corned beef contender in the neighborhood: The Bowery.
It weighs in with corned beef that’s not thin sliced; but rather with a single lean half-inch thick slice, it’s a different experience. Like a steak versus sliced roast beef. There’s actually less fat on the Bowery version, despite it being a single piece. Somehow the version at Victors ends up with fatty pieces. Surprisingly given the thick slice, the Bowery version is quite tender and is not a problem to eat.
It comes with similar Russian dressing, but on top you get sauerkraut, as compared to cole slaw on the Victor’s version. The other difference is that the Bowery version adds bread and butter pickle slices, and there’s a slight spiciness to it. And it’s served on grilled, deliciously sour bread.
It’s not a true comparison, as they’re not the same sandwich. I still put the Victor's version way up on the list, but my next corned beef sandwich will be the version from The Bowery.
Oh, regarding side orders, the cabbage slaw alongside the Bowery sandwich was difficult to eat as it was hand cut and the dressing was too sweet for my taste. You can get either the cole slaw or potato salad as a side at Victor’s. Both are excellent, imho.