Zaidy’s vs Fromins: Pastrami Rumble Part 2


So the continuation of the battle takes place at a place called Fromin’s Deli in Santa Monica, CA. We were out there for a wedding in Santa Barbara, and then went down to visit some cousins. We decided to go head out and grab some grub, so I was following their lead. We all piled into the car and went down the street to one of my cousins’ favorite places. No wait, good food, and pretty quick service they said.

We get there, and sure enough there was no wait. The place was busy, but it was mostly busy with large tables. When I say large tables, I mean 15-20 per table. There was a lot of hustle and bustle going on with the waiters and waitresses, which is a good sign to me.

So we sit down and we start talking…. and the waiter comes over to ask for our order, and we haven’t even looked at the menu. Even though we were all starving, it took 3 reminders from the waiter or waitress for us to actually look at the menu. I was trying to decide between breakfast foods and a sandwich when the Latke Sandwich caught my attention. It was located under the Sky High Sandwiches section, and this is the description:

Corned Beef & Potato Pancake Sandwich Served with Applesauce 12.95

Idea time: Latke Sandwich Competition.

So I order it, and the waitress looks at me and says “I wouldn’t order that. It is really small.”
“well, then why is it in the sky high sandwich section” I ask? “How big are the latkes?”
“they don’t make a very big sandwich. You are better off getting the latke on the side”
Emily had ordered the latkes for breakfast, and was a little nervous. “is this big enough for a meal? the plate of latkes?”
“oh yes, those are enough for a meal, but they make for a small sandwich”
“oh” i say “well then I will have a pastrami sandwich and a side of latke”

I was a little disappointed in the fact that I was turned away from the sandwich that I had such high hopes for. My last latke sandwich was pretty good, and I was hoping that it would be a close battle. I guess it takes two to rumble. I was really looking forward to doing a side by side break down and really get into it… I was even more disappointed when the sandwich showed up and the latke was just as big as the rye bread. It easily could have made a decent sized sandwich. I mean, the waitress was right, it was smaller, but I still would have liked to try. I almost thing that this one could have beaten Zaidy’s, at least in a couple of categories. The latkes at Zaidy’s were a little soft and lacked structure, but the ones at Fromin’s were solid. Nice and crispy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. The pastrami was piled high, and was well seasoned. Anyway, here is a picture of the sandwich that I got. Definitely not a competition to Zaidy’s.

image

Since Zaidy’s won the battle due to the lack of competition, I feel like I should break down this sandwich anyway. it was still pretty good, but the sauerkraut was not as good as it could have been. The bread was untoasted, which is normally fine for a rye, but this one seemed a little weak. I felt like it wasn’t quite strong enough to hold the sandwich together, and it didn’t seem to want to hold in the kraut. The mustard was nothing to write home about. I felt like pulling out the toothpick to slather mustard was like playing a game of Jenga. The meat was good, and once I got the whole sandwich put back together with the mustard and sauerkraut, it was pretty tasty. The latke on the side was sort of a thorn in my side, constantly reminding me of how good a latke sandwich could have been.

Fromin’s Deli
Overall sandwich rating: B
Presentation: B (the sandwich looked good, but the sides were each in their own little prep bowl, which slid around the plate)
Structure: B- (the bread was not strong enough, and it didn’t want to hold the sauerkraut and mustard)
Flavors: B (nothing special about the mustard, and the bread was meh. meat was good)

Non – sandwich related:
Atmosphere: A- (this place is a traditional Jewish Deli, but a little dated. Lots of big groups)
Service: A- (they were honest, but they caused me to not get a latke sandwch…)
Price: B+ (I am not used to LA prices, but it seemed pretty good.)

Verdict: Zaidy’s Wins. No competition.

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Can Jewish Deli’s be Reformed?


Not only do I find this headline slightly amusing in the sense that they are not only talking about Jewish Deli’s, but it is kind of a fun play on words relating to sects of Judiasm and the “Reformation” that has occurred. It is quite thought provoking. However, this article really is not at all about the secular state of sects of Judiasm, it is about sandwiches. And delis. And everyone knows that Jewish Delis have the best sandwiches… especially if you are talking about Pastrami on Rye… piled high…. with mustard. and more pastrami… and probably some more mustard.

It is an interesting read that one of my roommates sent to me, and it talks a lot about the importance of ingredients, and making sure that not only are you using good ingredients, but making sure that they are good for the environment as well. There are a lot of trends leading towards organics, but then again there are a lot of chain restaurants that tend to lean towards the genetically modified varieties of foods as well. I mean, if Quiznos and Jimmy Johns can barely mention a sandwich in their ads, and KFC can try and promote something as horrific as the Double Down as a SANDWICH!!!!! then i think the overall trend is to not focus on what is good for people….

New York Times agrees with me and says that good sandwiches have good ingredients. yep. I guess i am right 🙂
Can Jewish Deli’s be reformed?