Pastrami, Glorious Pastrami


"To die from…"
Hilarious - good one Midlife. Still have to have Tommy’s at least once in a while though. You can’t live forever, and visits to Tommy’s assures that!


This week’s – it’s smoked brisket after all, the weekly variances are noticeable – Ugly Drum’s pastrami (pictured: $20 worth) is probably the best pastrami in America. It is, removing the ho-hum rye from the equation, far superior to Langer’s, and resembles La Barbacue more so than Katz. And I’m ok with that.

Now they just have to serve a giant half sour to cut the lusciousness.


Is this from Ugly Drum at Smorgasburg?


Ugh Langer’s isn’t even open on Sunday so you can’t have ugly drum pastrami on Langer’s rye.


damn you can just see the sexy dripping off of it


Question: I had Ugly Drum when they served it at Mendocino Farms a while back and was not blown away. How is this different? Hand carved to order?
Photo LA Magazine


Is Langer’s rye = Bea’s in the SFV?


I agree. Ate one @ Smorgasburg yesterday and thought it was very good. Super succulent and tender with nice smoke. Perhaps a little light on the black pepper, but none the less, excellent pastrami. The sourdough bread was good. A little toasting/2nd bake would totally make it over the top good, but I liked how the softness absorbed all the rendered fat.

ETA: I was surprised by the lack of line for their stand.


Langer’s rye is from Fred’s Bakery, but they finish baking them on site and then keep them in warming drawers. You can buy a loaf to take home and it’s nowhere near as good.

For the record, I think the #19 degrades a perfect sandwich by adding crappy cheese and average-at-best coleslaw.


Thanks - I now recall that info. For some reason I associate Bea’s with Langer’s.

I know many here decry anything that strays away from pastrami on rye with brown mustard. My trips to Langer’s are maybe 3-4x/year, so whether it’s a #19 or not, I will enjoy it - pure or bastardised.


IIRC Langer’s has supposedly flipped flopped vendors a few times through the years. Your memory isn’t totally off.

Ex) Bea’s reference


An old thread on Chowhounds mentioned that Langer’s got their bread from Bea’s. That is probably the source of your association.


I could swear das ubergeek - maybe others - mentioned this. Thanks.


It was ozhead,
I have been getting rye at Bea’s ever since as my homemade rye hasn’t reached Bea’s quality yet.


You’re making me look bad. :wink: Bea’s corn rye is a favorite. The last time I was there, they had one left. The woman behind me was so disappointed that I grabbed it - she seemed truly distraught. I asked the helper to give it to her instead. The woman responded as if I had just found her long lost beloved dog.


Anyone who bakes bread - especially approaching this kind of quality - is amazing in my book.


Most bread is easy. You just have to be patient. My French bread is better than anything I can buy, but rye is a complex operation involving both sourdough and yeast. I am still working on it.
Bread is a lot easier to make than pastrami.

That was noble of you to let her have the last loaf. The corn rye is my favorite as well.


NICE BREAD!!! Looks simple enough to me - not!


just from looking at the LA Mag photo, you can see it’s completely a d’frent product. Mendo’s version of ugly drum is clearly some kinda “modern” take on the #19 – which I despise – with the cheese, the purple slaw, etc. Also, just from the pastrami alone, it seems a very d’frent product.

Perhaps it’s done in bigger batches, perhaps it’s brought in from the central commissary, perhaps they’ve (UD) just gotten better. Who knows.

For the Smorgasburg setup, I was told they smoke the brisket, then refrigerate, and then bring out brisket after brisket into the onsite steaming setup. It’s then hand sliced and immediately served; just like at Langer’s/Katz, etc. It all works, because there’s just: pastrami, mustard, and the vessel.


It’s gotta be this. I made a point of trying the Mendo Farms sandwich without all the fixings and was still disappointed. The meat was rubbery and looked nothing like the deep-red deliciousness in your photo.