I am still on the quest for the best pastrami sandwich in the New York City area. The first test to determining which deli has the best pastrami is to find which ones make their own pastrami. Not to denigrate Empire National which is very good, but delis often purchase their pastrami from a wholesaler and pass it off as their own. For those who care, Empire National's pastrami is much better than Hebrew National's. That said, my quest is to find a pastrami place that makes their own pastrami that is rich in spices and flavor, moist and tender. To date, I have to say that I have found that the two best pastrami sandwiches I have had are in Philadelphia. One is at a place called the Kibitz Room in Cherry Hill, NJ and the other in central Philadelphia called the Famous 4th Street Delicatessen. I find it ironic that to get the two most authentic and tasty pastrami sandwiches, you have to travel to Philadelphia. Insofar as New York is concerned, my rankings would be as follows:
1. Carnegie Deli (still consistently the best)
2. Stage Deli (on a good day it can be as good if not better than the Carnegie, but on a bad day, it tastes very processed)
3. Junior's on Flatbush or Grand Central Station (pretty good as they make their own and gives the top two a run for their money on occasion)
4. Sarge's (it is their own, it is very tender and moist, but there is not enough seasoning)
5. Katz's (it has all the right stuff, hand cut, well seasoned but something is just not there)
I am most curious about the Brooklyn Delis but heard that both Adelman's and Mill Basin use Empire National. I was wondering if anybody can confirm or deny this and whether there are any authentic pastrami places left in Brooklyn other than Junior's.
So, with all of that said, I would still like to find the best place that makes their own pastrami in the New York City greater area. I welcome feedback from all pastrami lovers across the land.