The 10 Best Pastrami Dishes in NYC That Aren't Sandwiches
7. Pastrami tacos at Empellon Taqueria, (230 West 4th Street, 212-367-0999)
Alex Stupak, a chef who chose lamb's blood over ice water as his liquid of choice in support of ALS, also charges $18 for two pastrami tacos at his flagship West Village taqueria. Black pepper, coriander seed, and honey permeate meltingly tender short rib, perked up by piquant mustard seed salsa and a bed of pickled white cabbage that mimics the coleslaw in a Rachel sandwich. Stupak and wife/pastry chef Lauren Resler have taken great lengths to perfect their flour tortilla game, making the rounds both thin and resilient, and the lack of rye allows the filling to shine.
6. Pastrami-spiced steak at American Cut, (363 Greenwich Street, 212-226-4736)
Although Marc Forgione's Atlantic City steakhouse at the doomed Revel Casino is imminently closing, his Tribeca outpost has fared extremely well. He pulls from two of New York's favorite restaurant archetypes -- the deli and the chophouse -- for his 20 ounce smoked and pastrami-spiced dry aged rib eye. Laid over spicy brown mustard, the bone-in beauty sports a heavy char, softened by a finishing splash of brown butter infused with caraway seeds, which completes the sandwich homage in the most soigné of ways. The 28 days spent in La Frieda facilities don't hurt either, lending the meat a subdued funk.
5. Pastrami Reuben tater tots or latkes at Shopsin's, (120 Essex Street, 212-924-5160)
The Shopsin family's perpetually packed Essex Street Market canteen is as famous for its 1000+ item menu as it is for its gregarious owner -- the subject of decade-old documentary "I Like Killing Flies." Parsing through the offerings, which include outlandish mashups like pine nut and coconut rice pancakes, can be a challenge for even the most decisive of eaters. One sure bet? The kitchen's tater tots and potato latkes, which are fried dark and -- in the case of the pastrami Reuben variety -- filled with a mixture of smoked meat and sauerkraut. Served with the traditional latke accompaniments of sour cream and apple sauce, mustard is also available upon request. Whether you prefer to eat the concoction as a flattened disc or a pile of thimble-sized dumplings is up to you.
4. Deli Ramen at Dassara, (271 Smith Street, Brooklyn; 718-643-0781)
At this Carroll Gardens ramen shop, Josh Kaplan and co. have made a name for themselves serving a never-ending rotation of ramen riffs like chilled tahini noodles with kimchi pickles and a mazemen made with flakes of hot kippered salmon from Shelsky's Smoked Fish. Another favorite collaboration is Dassara's deli ramen ($15), which builds on a base of souped-up chicken broth, adding celery, matzo balls, a medium-boiled egg, and generous slabs of Mile End smoked meat. Now, the Bernamoffs don't technically dabble in pastrami, and while this bowl may not smack of liquid sandwich, the requisite ingredients harmonize in a familiar way.
529 Hudson St., New York, NY
1125 Lexington Ave., New York, NY
230 W. 4th St., New York, NY
363 Greenwich St., New York, NY
120 Essex St., New York, NY
271 Smith St., New York, NY
157 2nd Ave., New York, NY
239 W. Broadway, New York, NY