09 Jan2008


Mrs. MM is a huge pastrami fan. So we had to go to a New York deli and get a fix. Pastrami is essentially a salt cured and spiced hunk of beef (typically from the shoulder) that is then smoked for added flavor. Sliced thinly and served on rye, with a large pot of mustard served on the side, it is one of those tastes that screams comfort food for some… We dropped in on PJ Bernstein’s delicatessen on the upper East side and Mrs. MM ordered her pastrami on rye… Mrs. MM likes the unpretentious neighborhood Bernstein’s and frankly, many think it’s sandwiches are just as good, if not better than the ones at more famous delis such as Carnegie or Katz’s, for that matter…


Marketman got a huge Reuben sandwich, in this case, open faced, made with sliced corned beef (similar to pastrami, but NOT smoked), sauerkraut and swiss cheese and bread slathered sometimes with thousand island dressing and served with a couple of pickles which was superb…


And The Kid got a smoked turkey sandwich. It always amazes me how much sliced meat they put in these behemoths, but they tasted terrific. I suspect Jewish folks might be shocked by the amount of rice I eat with a little viand so who am I to wonder about the meat to carb ratio in a pastrami sandwich??? The cost for the three of us, with drinks and a smoothie for the Kid, about $40, or roughly $13 each… PJ Bernstein’s at 1215 Third Avenue, New York NY 10021, between 70th and 71st streets.



  1. Doddie from Korea says:

    Mmm, pastrami. I love pastrami ever since my mother added it as one of the sandwich options in our restaurant in Dumaguete City in the 70’s.

    Jan 9, 2008 | 3:54 pm


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  3. Blaise says:

    I love sandwiches, will have them everytime.. Oh, just looking at the fillings of those sandwiches is getting me hungry..

    Jan 9, 2008 | 4:44 pm

  4. Madeline says:

    Your food always make me super hungry!

    Jan 9, 2008 | 5:56 pm

  5. Em Dy says:

    Looks great. I’m hungry already.

    Jan 9, 2008 | 6:17 pm

  6. Belle says:


    Jan 9, 2008 | 6:56 pm

  7. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    I never miss going to Carnegie deli whenever I’m in NYC. But I never finish a full order, since I always leave space for their famous cheesecake.

    Jan 9, 2008 | 6:58 pm

  8. mikel says:

    OMG. love pastrami sandwiches. used to live on e72nd & 3rd and pj’s was a favorite any time, any season. thanks for the memories!

    Jan 9, 2008 | 10:13 pm

  9. mikel says:

    PS been back to café boulod or grace’s trattoria yet?

    Jan 9, 2008 | 10:23 pm

  10. Fabian M says:

    I love pastrami sandwiches. Heck, I love sandwiches. They’re one of my favorite things to “cook”.

    Jan 9, 2008 | 10:43 pm

  11. Maria Clara says:

    My prewar sister whenever we get sandwiches from the deli take some of the meat out and make another sandwich at home for next day’s lunch. I have to flatten mine with my hands to bite on it and keep all the meat intact. I have a big appetite for pastrami on rye bread with tons of grainy mustard definitely no mayo, regular coke and a stick of Kosher pickle.

    Jan 10, 2008 | 1:33 am

  12. Jacob's Mom says:

    MM, I LOVE REUBENS!!!! Most definitely my favorite sandwich. Mmmm….

    Jan 10, 2008 | 1:40 am

  13. Trish says:

    Just like the Kid, I love turkey sandwiches!!! Yummy and well, a healthier alternative, although I’m not too sure anymore with the mountain of turkey meat in the sandwich. Hahahaha!!!

    Jan 10, 2008 | 1:43 am

  14. Cherry says:

    Dear Mr. MM,

    I’m a new avid fan reader of your blog. I truly love reading your write-ups and reviews. Thank you for sharing your great photos and wonderful adventures with us.

    Happy New Year!

    Jan 10, 2008 | 2:14 am

  15. Raneli says:


    Jan 10, 2008 | 2:29 am

  16. chunky says:

    isn’t it amazing how big the portions are…the cheese alone on our burgers or other gourmet sandwiches are “baka tangayin ng hangin” thin. if i crave for sandwiches, i go to almon for a fix. of course, they are not even slightly close to the sandwiches you got. but, they will do for the meantime…

    Jan 10, 2008 | 8:33 am

  17. Cookie says:

    I love pastrami sandwiches!! On my last trip to New York, we would frequent Juniors for our fix. Also, there’s Reo Diner in Woodbridge, NJ that makes fantastic Reubens. It’s a Zagat rated resto so I suppose that makes them good. Can you do something on cheesecakes next? I’m missing those New York cheesecakes terribly :(

    Jan 10, 2008 | 8:41 am

  18. Cookie says:

    Oh, and I had my very first pastrami sandwich at Lindy’s back in the 80’s. Been in love with it since :)

    Jan 10, 2008 | 8:42 am

  19. tinsywinsy says:

    I wish they could make those sandwiches in Manila. The ones they make here are usually slathered with too much dressing, overly stuffed with lettuce and tomato and just thin slices of meat. An exception though are Terry’s sandwiches. They have very good chicken sandwich and a Choriqueso combination.:)

    Jan 10, 2008 | 9:27 am

  20. palengkera says:

    I also love Philly beefsteak sandwiches…YUM-OHLALA

    Jan 10, 2008 | 10:04 am

  21. Lex says:

    Katz deli is a must for any pastrami fan. The establishment has been there for over a generation. The freshly cooked corned beef, pastrami is worth all the trouble to fine this place. This is where Meg Ryan has her famous scene with Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally”. Carnegie Deli is famous for its generous servings of meat. Wishing Manila restos will serve sandwiches as good as these. The ones served here are so thin one can barely taste the meat. The delis are one of the reasons to visit this wonderful city.

    Jan 10, 2008 | 12:06 pm

  22. lee says:

    enough meat for 30 more sandwiches…

    Jan 10, 2008 | 12:58 pm

  23. elaine says:

    Oh, MM!! This post is making me hungry, makes me want to book a flight to NYC….but very expensive to do just that. I like pastrami as well and would choose it over a rueben anytime…where do you guys get your fix here in Manila…

    Jan 10, 2008 | 1:26 pm

  24. lee says:

    The Philippine Deli Sandwich: Delicate pieces of meat delineating the inside area of bread.
    The New York Deli Sandwich: 30 Philippine deli sandwiches worth of meat stuffed in one serving.

    I think there was a Filipino behind the miracle of loaves and bread.

    Jan 10, 2008 | 2:44 pm

  25. Mila says:

    Add Montreal to your list of cities to visit so Mrs. MM can try the smoked meat, it’s comparable to pastrami, and comes in lean, and not so lean meat. I liked it, just not with all the poutine.

    Jan 10, 2008 | 4:25 pm

  26. Pecorino says:

    Been to Katz three times in my life. I love their genuine old New York deli ambience — a nostalgia-evoking atmosphere somewhat similar to what I feel at the original Ma Mon Luk branch :-P in Chinatown (if you can understand what I mean).

    I could never finish even half a Katz sandwich. It’s that big. Their pastrami is still the moistest and tastiest I’ve ever had. At Katz today, they claim they cure their meats the same way they’ve always done before the days of refrigeration.

    I should try Bernstein’s next time.

    Jan 10, 2008 | 6:34 pm

  27. Trish says:

    Hey MM! Where can I get a decent pastrami sandwich in Manila? I usually buy my pastrami from Santis and make the sandwich at home, but sometimes, its great to be served one! ;)

    Jan 10, 2008 | 8:34 pm

  28. jafores says:

    Cold roast beef on white for me please with mayo on the side

    Jan 11, 2008 | 9:31 pm

  29. Alicia says:

    Carnegie, Katz and this deli downtown on second avenue around 6th st.. Gosh what is the name of that place? ALL GOOD! Am a Reuben girl myself.. at non-kosher delis only of course!

    Jan 11, 2008 | 10:31 pm

  30. Patricia says:

    My hubby is a die-hard Katz’s deli fan. We’ve tried other pastramis in other places, but none could satisfy him the way Katz’s does. Well, honestly, the others are just not as moist. But your rueben looks delicious, especially with the melted cheese ono top. We must go to PJ Bernstein’s then – pronto!

    Jan 12, 2008 | 1:34 am

  31. gemma says:

    the italian sub with capicolla, salami, pepperoni, provolone, vinegar and oil on a hero is my all-time favorite. i get it in any corner new york deli that sells boar’s head meats.

    only in america. no wonder we have this obesity epidemic. consuming these enormous sandwiches resulted in a significant weight gain for me.

    the rest of the world does not have this fixation with anything big (e.g. big food, cars, hair, etc.). the parisian jambon sandwiches, for example, remind me of sandwiches back in the philippines (a thin piece of ham on a bageutte with some crudites if requested).

    Jan 12, 2008 | 6:44 am

  32. gemma says:

    you made the right choice in opting for bernstein’s. katz’s and carnegie deli are for tourists. going there would be like going to magnolia bakery.

    Jan 12, 2008 | 6:54 am

  33. Mel says:

    My most liked sandwiches…. Turkey and Reuben sandwiches!
    I can eat em from breakfast lunch to dinner.

    Just dont forget the sourcraut! Yummy!

    Jan 27, 2008 | 11:31 pm

  34. soleil says:

    Alicia I think you mean 2nd Avenue Deli which closed about two years ago. It has reopened on 3rd avenue and 83rd or something like that, and now instead of free pickles on the table, they have free gribenes (chicken skin chicharon. Mmm)
    I personally am beholden to Katzs because it’s around the corner and we always go to the same cutter who gives me the fattiest pieces available (much to the dismay of my S.O.) Also for the vegetarians, the Super Heeb at Russ and Daughters is amazing..whitefish salad with horseradish dressing and wasabi tobiko on a NY bagel. Yes.

    Feb 22, 2008 | 2:01 am


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