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by the way, here's something i didn't note this in my review for fear of possibly getting the guy in trouble (i knew from twitter that the schwartz people were going to be reading the review--they responded immediately to my tweet about the meal on thursday despite my not "mentioning" their handle in my tweet): the dude in the picture holding up the brisket? when my fries arrived i asked if they had any hot sauce; he nodded towards a co-worker and said, "the only hot thing we have here is his sister". i said, "well, i won't ask for her"; first dude laughed uproariously while co-worker gave me a long-suffering look.

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Also, I know it sounds like a superiority of Schwartz's thing, but the "pumped" smoked meat that you get at Reubens, etc. never has moisture problems. If Schwartz's were using higher end beef - and, let's be real, they're not - the moisture problem wouldn't be there. I would wager you'd get the same thing with the "artisinal" pastramis if they weren't using good beef.

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While injecting helps with moisture problems, it sometimes makes the meat taste like beef soup because beef broth along with some fat is what is injected. I've had better success just adding a couple of cups of water to the foiled pastrami for the last couple of hours of cooking. The pastrami soaks up the water and end up moist without tasting too salty or like beef soup.

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  • 1 year later...

My first visit in 50 years!

 

1. I would say that I prefer smoked meat to pastrami. Just as a personal preference. I prefer the relative reticence of the spicing of smoked meat: you taste more beef. (OTOH, it isn't anything close to underseasoned, as I thought the pastrami at Harry & Ida's in New York was: you don't taste only beef.)

 

2. Not that I remember how this was 50 years ago (I do remember loving it, though), but the quality seemed high enough that I would have to infer, with much relief, that Schwartz's purchase by perhaps the most goyische pop singer on the planet did not adversely affect quality.

 

3. Looking at the "lean" smoked meat the girl sitting next to me at the counter ordered (at least she had the grace to admit to her dining companion that "lean" is worse), I think a problem I often have with Katz's is that I don't insist hard enough on fatty slices. Although I have to say I prefer the Schwartz's approach (you simply specify the fat level you want) to the Katz's approach (you bribe the counterman).

 

4. I think it's absurd, however, to make you order a pickle instead of just giving it to you. I missed out, in fact (even though to me a pickle is an almost essential counterpoint to Charcuterie Hebraique, to cut the fat).

 

5. It's actually kind of surprising how good the fries are. I thought they were better here than at L'Express, for example.

 

6. Speaking of fries, Schwartz's now offers smoked meat poutine, a new dish for them. The mothership is copying Brooklyn!

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They only tell the bloggers to get the pickle.

 

I find the 'dryness' you get with schwartz's a feature not a bug. Even with medium fat, the meat is still dryer and/or crumblier than other smoked meat or pastrami. However, the fat makes up for the meat not being as evidently juicy.

 

Celine dion hasn't screwed up the place yet. However their branded smoked meat sold in grocery stores is evidently not the same product as in the shop. You can buy the whole briskets or large chunks in cryovac next door and steam it at home. That is the real deal, unlike their branded products.

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