A Sandwich A Day: Pastrami and Corned Beef from Loeser's
In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
One of the last three kosher delis left in the Bronx, Loeser's is the kind of place that hasn't ever really changed. Decorated with numerous photos and old advertisements, the wood paneled walls are evocative of a grandmother's house. The front counter effortlessly exudes the ambiance of a bygone era that other businesses strive for. Not surprisingly, the over-sized sandwiches have been made the same way since Fredy Loeser first opened the place fifty years ago when he was just 17. While the beef brisket is made in house, both the pastrami and corned beef are bought from Hebrew National. After preparing the meats in the traditional manner, Fredy then steams them before selling.
The flavors of the pastrami sandwich (all sandwiches are $8.95) are appropriately simple and clear. Rather than being smeared on indelicately and thus overpowering the flavor of the moist and plentiful slices of pastrami, as is often the case, there's just the right amount of sharp mustard to compliment the meat's flavor. The homemade Russian dressing on the corned beef sandwich, though, was the highlight of the meal. Creamy, it's slathered on top of the crunchy sauerkraut and abundant, mildly chewy corned beef beneath. Both are served on soft, tasty rye bread, purchased from New Jersey-based bakery Certified, dwarfed by what's stuffed in between. In addition to a sandwich, get a side of homemade coleslaw good enough to counter my life-long coleslaw aversion. The fresh, rich flavor contrasted sharply to the miserable, preservative-laden renditions I'd ate in the past. As a window into the receding past of the Bronx, Loeser's is worth the trip.
Loeser's Kosher Deli
214 West 231st Street, Bronx NY 10463 (map)