Archive for the 'Deli' Category

Page 2 of 6

Langer’s Delicatessen Restaurant – Los Angeles (Westlake)

Langer's Delicatessen Restaurant - Los Angeles

After lunching on two not-so-memorable sandwiches at Bay Cities and The Spice Table, I finally struck sandwich gold at Langer’s Delicatessen. Located across from MacArthur Park on the cusp of Koreatown, Langer’s has been smoking, steaming, and hand-slicing their world famous pastrami for over sixty years.

The Astronomer and I were inspired to make our way here after sampling the amazing smoked meat sandwiches at Schwartz’s in Montréal. While smoked meat and pastrami aren’t exactly the same beast, we were curious to see how the two compared and whether one was superior to the other.

Langer's Delicatessen Restaurant - Los Angeles

Joining us for lunch were our friends and fellow Langer’s newbies Lien and Diana. We were seated at a table fit for four in Joan’s jurisdiction. Even though we only understood every other word she hushed, we all agreed that Joan was hands-down the greatest waitress ever.

Langer's Delicatessen Restaurant - Los Angeles

All three of my dining companions ordered the unadorned hot pastrami sandwich ($12.95). Diana opted for an “extra lean” version that cost an additional $3.25. The sandwiches were served with two spears of dill pickles on the side.

Continue reading ‘Langer’s Delicatessen Restaurant – Los Angeles (Westlake)’

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

After spending Sunday afternoon watching “The Never Ending Story” with 80 diehard Weezer fans, I stepped out of the theater feeling positively hungry. It turns out that fantastical stories populated by a cast of strange characters bring on the pangs like you wouldn’t believe.

I remembered seeing Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery when we exited off the highway and couldn’t think of a better time than the present to finally experience “The Godmother.” Cue the singing angels…

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

The hype surrounding The Godmother is nothing short of tremendous. Its legion of passionate fans endure long lines, nightmarish parking, and gruff customer service for the pleasure found between two slices of hefty Italian bread.

When The Astronomer and I arrived at the market slash deli sometime past four o’clock, we made our way through the sizable crowd  hovering around the counter to grab a numbered ticket. One Godmother sandwich with “the works” was in my hands within fifteen minutes.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

All of the picnic tables along the L-shaped patio were occupied, so The Astronomer and I dug in on our feet over a slab of concrete railing.

Continue reading ‘Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)’

Schwartz’s Montréal Hebrew Delicatessen – Montréal

Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen -  Montréal

Besides poutine, the thing to eat while in Montréal is smoked meat. There are a handful of purveyors around town, but Schwartz’s Montréal Hebrew Delicatessen is the most well known and highly regarded.

The restaurant was opened in 1928 by a Jewish immigrant from Romania named Reuben Schwartz. The smoked meat is prepared using a secret blend of herbs and spices and marinated for ten days. Schwartz’s has employed the same recipe and techniques for over 80 years and takes great pride in serving a preservative-free product.

Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen -  Montréal

The Astronomer and I, along with our friends Nina, Linda, and Dan, made our way here for lunch on our first full day in the city. Even though we arrived well past lunchtime, there was still quite a lengthy line outside the restaurant. After waiting for about 30 minutes, we were finally ushered in.

Schwartz's Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen -  Montréal

Due to the restaurant’s limited space and immense popularity, smaller parties are usually seated with strangers along the long narrow tables that occupy the room. Our group was large enough this afternoon to merit our own domain.

Continue reading ‘Schwartz’s Montréal Hebrew Delicatessen – Montréal’

Lee’s Sandwiches – Alhambra

Lee’s Sandwiches wants to bring banh mi to the masses and in the process, redefine the concept of fast-food. All franchised locations are outfitted with Krispy Kreme-esque fluorescent signs, automated ordering systems, and full-color bilingual menus. With 37 operations in California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and a handful of international locations, for better or worse, Lee’s Sandwiches is the face of fast-food Vietnamese cuisine. This ain’t no Mom and Pop shop op.

Prior to my recent trip to The Aloha State, I swung by Lee’s Sandwiches in Alhambra to pick up some banh mi for my in-flight dinner. The store’s interior reminded me a bit of the air-con street food shops in Vietnam, but slightly less polished.

Ordering took longer than usual due to the bilingual menu—it was boggling to see photos of banh mi accompanied by English descriptors. The menu featured Vietnamese text as well, but the font was so small that squinting was required. Even though “banh mi dac biet” and “combination” are one in the same, the Vietnamese name is more familiar, and thus makes more sense.

While automated ordering systems and fluorescent signs add nice touches of modernity to Lee’s Sandwiches, the innovation that impressed me the most were the wrappers the sandwiches arrived in. Usually, banh mi comes wrapped in plain white butcher paper. If a vendor is especially mindful, she’ll scribble the sandwich’s name sloppily on the paper.

The sheets of butcher paper at Lee’s Sandwiches have the name of each sandwich neatly printed on them, which makes the process of figuring out which sandwich is which a breeze.

I picked up three sandwiches to sample; each one was priced at $2.45. From left to right—banh mi dac biet (cold cuts, forcemeats, pate), banh mi thit nuong (grilled pork), and banh mi xa xiu (sweet Chinese barbecued pork).

Firstly, an assessment of the bread. The baguettes at Lee’s Sandwiches aren’t a thick mess like some, but were so chewy that my jaws ached after a few bites. I’m not sure if I was served particularly old loaves, but dang, chew, chew, chew!

As far as fillings go, the “combination” banh mi was smeared with a great pate that moistened and seasoned the entire sandwich. The thit nuong was a major disappointment due to its saccharine-like sweetness, odd texture, and lack of charcoal essence. The xa xiu was solid.

The banh mi at Lee’s Sandwiches aren’t especially awesome, but compared to other fast-food options on the market, their product is easily tops. If there was a Lee’s Sandwiches for every McDonald’s, the world would be a better place.

Lee’s Sandwiches
1289 East Valley Boulevard
Alhambra, CA 91801
Phone: 626-282-5589

Lee's Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

Lee's Sandwiches in Los Angeles

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...