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Miller’s East Coast West Delicatessen, San Francisco

Melanie Wong | Oct 5, 200404:18 AM

My dad said, “I want a corned beef sandwich. With mustard and real rye bread.” As newlyweds, my parents lived in Boyle Heights when Canter’s was still located there and they know something about Jewish deli food. I took this request as an opportunity to return to East Coast West. I’d tried a pastrami sandwich the first month it was open – only so-so and the portion so small (g) – and had stayed away for three years.

We ordered two hot sandwiches to go: pastrami in the smaller Baltimore cut ($6.99) and corned beef in the larger California cut ($8.99). The bigger one was more than enough for my mom and dad to split for lunch. Yet, I think the smaller Baltimore cut might be the better deal, big enough to lend a satisfying heft and height to sink your teeth without feeling gluttonous.

The rye was different than they were expecting but at least it tasted like rye and was nice and fresh. The corned beef was moist and not too lean and had character besides just saltiness.

The pastrami was much better than the earlier run. A rim of fat around the edge and while it could have been more marbled, still had reasonable fat distribution. Shaved thin, the meat was tender and unctuous to the bite and not tough and stringy. The cure was on the mild side.

Neither is an earth-shattering example of type, but more than good enough to satisfy the urge the next time it comes up. I’d order either one again. The Katz’s pastrami used at The Grove is better, but the sandwich making skills there are faulty.

The people behind the counter spaced out –-- best to check your order before leaving the premises. I had ordered one cole slaw and one potato salad, but got two slaws (which wasn’t that good any way). I asked for utensils and one lonely fork was packed for a two-sandwich order. The pickles that are supposed to come with the sandwiches were missing. And, luckily, I grabbed some extra napkins from the stack beside the register as there was only one in the bag. Sheesh, any sandwich built for fressers should call for more than one napkin!

1725 Polk St.
San Francisco


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