….mmm pastrami

05Aug09

Sadie Katz
189 Bank Street
Burlington, VT 05401

  sadie katz logo

 Lately I have been participating in a bi-     weekly routine, one which begins painfully, and actually commences quite   favorably. For whatever stupid reason I have yet to establish a direct deposit for my paychecks, (physically holding your money in hand is enormously gratifying) so every Saturday I have to wake up out of a drunken slumber and get over to the bank before it closes at 12:00 PM. And for all readers who mock my struggles of having to wake up at 12 on a Saturday, you clearly are not a friend of mine, and I certainly did not see you at Esox at 2:30 on Saturday morning.

So for the past couple of weeks I have been making this journey, getting up at 11:30 AM and riding my bike down to the bank on Main Street in Burlington. Conveniently, Bank North is literally right across the street from City Hall Park, which every Saturday hosts this great farmer’s market (http://www.americantowns.com/vt/burlington/events/burlington-summer-farmers-market-2009-07-25).I try to get myself over to the farmer’s market regularly, though unfortunately I only seem motivated when I have to get to the bank.

Moving on…

After exiting the bank (and after parking myself by their water cooler, pounding about 7 glasses) I wandered over to the farmer’s market. Low and behold, who do I run into, non other than my buddy Jon Dom and his girlfriend Sam. Dom was at Esox last night (at least I think I remember talking to him) so kudos for him for getting out of bed. We were all hungry and soon began pondering what to get to eat. We thought that surely something in the market would strike our fancies, though we couldn’t bring ourselves to make a decision. [Note: Sometime soon I have to write a post about the farmer’s market. They have a ton of great food options, fresh produce and locally grown, grass feed meats.] I had tried pretty much all of the prepared food at the market in the past, so I was open to explore other options. We decided to walk to a CVS to get some iced tea and mull over our decision, when suddenly, Jon and I both noticed the same establishment out of the corner’s of our eyes – the Jewish Deli Sadie Katz! Having both been exposed to a large amount of delicious Jewish cuisine, we both quickly agreed upon Sadie Katz as our final destination. Naturally we complained that whatever sandwich we ordered would likely be over $10, though we swallowed our pride and entered. As soon as the pungent smell of deli hit my nose I knew exactly what I wanted – Pastrami on Rye, with mustard and a side of cole slaw. Jon ordered “The Rachel”, which is a pastrami Reuben with cole slaw. Our sandwiches were $8.50 a piece, rather steep for their size, so I was initially a little perturbed (and also, they forgot my pickle – a deli faux pas if I’ve ever seen one).

Sadie Katz makes sandwiches in two sizes: Burlington Big for $8.50, and New York Huge for $16.00. Now, I haven’t had a pastrami sandwich in New York for a few years, and maybe inflation has done a number on deli meat, though $16.00 for a sandwich!? Surely you jest, Sadie Katz. Well actually, the famous Katz Deli in New York sells their pastrami on rye for $15.00, and something tells me that their pastrami annihilates anything found in Vermont, not to mention the likely significant size discrepancy.  Anyway, we got our sandwiches to go, strolled back to the park and ate on the steps in front of city hall. I’m almost positive that I have eaten pastrami from Sadie Katz before, though biting into that sandwich, I experienced something new (for Vermont, that is), something simply delectable. I looked around still chewing and with a big grin on my face I exclaimed, “this is pretty damn good pastrami“…and it certainly was.

Now I know what you must be thinking, “but Jake, you’re not even from New York. What do youknow about good pastrami”? Well, as a person who is from an area with a sizeable Jewish population, one with many a good-deli, and as someone who has been to New York countless time and has eaten the finest sandwiches the city has to offer – I tell you, I know my pastrami. This pastrami, from Sadie Katz, was very very good. The meat was perfectly seasoned; it encapsulated a wonderful array of spices which titillated the palate – sweet, salty, just awesome. The pastrami itself was an excellent display of the how deli meats should look, a beautiful marbling of muscle and fat, full of flavor, extremely tender, and just barley steaming after exiting the oven. I finished the sandwich rather quickly and gazed over at my friends still eating…I am indeed a very fast eater.

Really, the sandwich was excellent, at least as far as the pastrami is concerned. I think I am going to have to buy a pound from Sadie Katz and make a pastrami sandwich my way. The only two complaints were that the rye bread, while very tasty in itself, was relatively tiny compared to the Jewish Rye I am used to. That, and perhaps the most significant knock, is that overall, the sandwich was pretty small. When I make a sandwich at home it is significantly bigger than what was given to me at Sadie Katz. This is something that should never happen when you get a sandwich from a Deli, not to mention a “Jewish” Deli! Despite the fine quality of their pastrami, I think the people at Sadie Katz should go and take a lesson from my boys at Henry Street Deli in maximizing the customer’s utility. Those guys know how to make a large and tasty sandwich.

Even though the pastrami on rye at Sadie Katz is far to small, and a bit overpriced, they do indeed serve by far the best pastrami I have tasted in Burlington. As stingy as I may strive to be, I can’t deny myself of the goods, and Sadie Katz has certainly got ’em.

Rating:   4-phones

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3 Responses to “….mmm pastrami”

  1. 1 whats4lunch

    The price is a deterrent for me as well @ Sadie Katz.

    • 2 thefoodinsulter

      Sir, congrats you are my first commentator! Haha, perhaps even reader. Sadie Katz is pretty damn good, though seldom am I willing to pay $10 for a sandwich smaller than the size of my head.

  2. 3 Jon Dom

    Yo Clayton just told me about your blog. I totally remember eating those sandwiches with you at city hall. We were so fucking beat and hungo and were in Shitty Mark-up when we decided to go for the gold and get ourselves some Jew Gold (btw, if anyone else reads this, I have a free pass on J-tribe jokes, being a member).

    I had to get the “Rachel” cos it had melted cheese on it (I think Swiss) and cole slaw or kraut (can’t remember). Mad russian dressing = fat kid style stuff your-face.

    The shit was tasty, but I agree that it was waaayyy too small. After I finished my sandwich, I wanted another. The pastrami was pretty high quality and they definitely had the right proportions in terms of cole slaw/kraut, russian, cheese, but the bread was really small and they probably only put a 1/4 lb of pastrami on it.

    I also got a Knish that was…ehh. Nothing to write home about. Overall, the closest thing you can find to a NY Jewish Deli in VT. For those who did not live in VT/Burlington at some point, most of the food there was like settling for the fat girl at 3 am on a saturday…you’ll be temporarily quasi-satisfied but the next morning you’ll be noxious and not want to do that again (until the next time your organs make the same mistake)


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