The Lure of a Good Sandwich: Pastrami on Rye

by Joseph McKeown


 Pastrami on rye with mustard and pickles from the famous  Katz's Delicatessen  in the Lower East Side.

Pastrami on rye with mustard and pickles from the famous Katz's Delicatessen in the Lower East Side.

Jon Blank, our hungry paralegal, trekked all the way to the Lower East Side (ok, he skateboarded) to Katz's Deli because he wanted a good pastrami on rye "with just mustard, nothing else, because that's the way it should be served!" He's a connoisseur.

It reminded us of The New York Times' thoroughly researched "A Field Guide to the American Sandwich" which is one of the most comprehensive and informative guides to the sandwich we've read. It also made us really, really hungry. The pastrami on rye, according to the Times, falls under the "Sliced Bread" category—the other categories include "Kaiser or 'Hard' Roll;" "Soft Bun;" "Hero or Sub Roll;" and "'Singulars,'" which fall "outside these other groups but are still vital to the sandwich landscape, like the muffuletta." Pastrami remains unsurprisingly "closely associated with Jewish delicatessens" and is a "Romanian-Jewish-American hybrid of barbecue, basturma (Turkish dried, spiced meat) and corned beef[.]” Oh yeah, and it's delicious!