Corned Beef/Pastrami: Hand vs. Machine Sliced
Another new Jewish-style deli has opened up in Center City Philly. It's actually a second outlet of a place in Cherry Hill, NJ called The Kibitz Room.
I ate there for the first time Saturday night and found myself feeling a little disappointed with my corned beef sandwich. I think the problem for me may have been at least partially due to the way the meat was sliced. Since Hershel's in the Reading Terminal opened a year or two ago, I've been getting virtually all of my Jewish deli sandwiches from them. Hershel's hand slices their corned beef, pastrami and brisket, in the style of Katz's Deli in NYC. The corned beef I had Saturday at the new place was clearly sliced on a machine and it was sliced thin. I hadn't given that much thought to this before, but I think the thicker, hand-carved slices that I was used to at Hershel's make for a juicier sandwich. I'm not sure after one experience whether that was my entire problem or if it was also a flavor issue. I'll probably have to hit both places one of these upcoming weekends to do more of a comparison.
For those in the Philly area who are interested in this, it was also reported on philly.com last week that Famous Fourth Street deli will be opening a second location; this one close to Rittenhouse Square.
The difference between the Philly deli scene today comparied to a decade ago is like night and day. I'm loving these extra options!