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California

Norton's - Santa Barbara

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Norton's - Santa Barbara

JT | Apr 20, 2005 09:14 AM

This postage stamp sized restaurant in SB is making a pretty good sandwich. There's about 5 seats at a counter, and maybe 5 or 6 tables along the far wall. The menu is pretty limited, with corned beef and pastrami the star players, served in various permutations - reuben, french roll, dip, etc

I had the traditional - corned beef on rye. The first thing is, the meat isn't steamed, it's grilled, so I deduct a point or two for that. But with that said, these folks have figured out a way to use the grill as a cooking device without totally screwing up the meat, as most other places do. The secret appears to be a quick grilling, not enough time for the fat to render out completely, so the meat stays moist. The grill man also sprays the crap out of the grill with Vegaline before he puts the thinly sliced meat on. The sandwich was piled fairly high with meat - I'd say about 1/2 of what one would get at Katz's or 2nd Ave Deli in NYC. The meat was tasty - not too chewey or dry, like grilled corned beef or pastrami can be. All in all, this was a good sandwich, though a bit pricey at 8 bucks.

There's one guy that takes the order and your money - he appears to be the owner. There's another guy - the grill man - seems to be a NYer, but in that annoying overcompensating way that transplanted NYers behave when they first get to CA (and I should know - having moved out here from the Bronx after 25 years) - lots of wisecracks and flirting with every beautiful girl that came in the place. I'm sure he'll simmer down after he's been here awhile. They all do.

Overall, if you're in the mood for a pastrami or corned beef sandwich, and don't want to drive to LA or fly to NYC - Norton's could be your choice on the Central Coast.

JT

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