Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant is located right by MacArthur Park is Los Angeles, CA. Langer's is a Jewish style deli that serves pastrami and corned beef the right way. If you think pastrami is that thin-sliced, salty luncheon meat you get in your sandwiches, you're mistaken. Langer's has a rich history that you can read more about at their website. My cousin describes it as the Katz's of the West (he's been to both). Katz's is probably one of the most well-known Jewish style delis and is famous for being featured in When Harry Met Sally... Anyway, back to Langer's.
Langer's conveniently has their own parking lot just down the street, which makes life so much easier. Once you get to the restaurant, expect to wait, especially during peak hours. When you step inside, you'll feel like you stepped back in time to the mid 1900s. Even their menu offerings have an old-school flair to them.
When I saw that they had a chocolate egg cream on the menu, I just had to get it. For those of you that don't know, a chocolate egg cream is a drink that was popular back in the day. It is basically seltzer water, chocolate syrup, and milk whipped up real well (there was more head in the photo, but it had deflated). It's not for everyone, but I enjoyed it. My sister and my cousin both got cream sodas, which are also delicious. I'd definitely recommend getting the cream sodas if you're not as adventurous.
Now, here is the pastrami and corned beef I was talking about. [Insider Tip: They'll bring you a sample if you ask.] Notice how the meat actually looks like meat. The meat actually tastes like meat too. Oh, and it's not overly salty. In fact, it's not salty. It really just tastes like meat. I know, this may be revolutionary to some of you.
When I saw this, I knew that we were meant to be...with some modifications. I subbed the Nippy Cheese (American) for Swiss and added some Russian dressing on the side. Pastrami Reuben what up!? Also, note the prices. Quality don't come cheap. The prices are high, but this is not somewhere you go every day.
We got an order of fries to share. They are just your typical crinkle cut variety. Nothing too special. They were great; perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
No. 44 sub Swiss, add Russian. Behold glory. Everything about this sandwich was perfect. The rye bread was buttery and crisp. The cheese was melted nicely. The pastrami. Oh the pastrami. Thick, handcut pastrami fit for a king. The sauerkraut lent just the right amount of brightness to cut through the meat and cheese. The Russian dressing I got on the side brought the whole thing together with a hint of tang in the midst of it all. Seriously guys, it's hard to top this. Reubens are my absolute favorite type of sandwich and this one tops my list (thus far). My cousin may chastise me because I haven't eaten at Katz's yet, but for now, I'm more than happy.
Here's an obligatory cross section shot. Through all that greatness, there was one thing I didn't enjoy too much: the pickle. I love pickles, but I hate cucumbers. This pickle was a pickle that wasn't sure of it's state of being. It straddled the line between cucumber and pickle. It had too much of that fresh cucumber taste and not enough of the salty, vinegary, pickley goodness. That's just my humble opinion though. I'm sure there's plenty of people out that would love this pickle.
If you didn't catch it in my post, the bottom line is simple - go now. Unless you've experienced Katz's or Carnegie, this is something you don't want to miss out on.
Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant 704 S Alvarado St Los Angeles, CA 90057 (213) 483-8050 www.langersdeli.com