Shortly after the turn of the century I discovered pastrami. Yes, I had previously seen it on deli menus and on party platters, and on occasion I had tasted it but always considered it nothing more than another variation of "deli meat." For years I had heard about a deli in the heart of Los Angeles that served an excellent pastrami sandwich, but it wasn't until the early 2000s that I gave it a try. One day I walked into Langer's Deli in Los Angeles and ordered the pastrami sandwich. Upon taking my first bite, my view of the pastrami sandwich was forever changed. This sandwich was a masterpiece of perfectly flavored, well steamed, hand carved slices of pastrami served on fresh rye bread, crusty on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. It was clearly a culinary art form. This sandwich marked the beginning of my obsession with this traditional Jewish delicacy. When I am in town I visit Langer's once or twice a week to enjoy my favorite sandwich. Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant is located at 704 South Alvarado St., Los Angeles, CA 90057 - (213) 483-8050 - langersdeli.com .
When I travel out of town, my itinerary always includes visits to local delis so that I may try their pastrami sandwiches. I have been to delis in many cities throughout the United States. I have recently prepared a list of my favorite pastrami sandwiches and will soon be featuring each of my favorites as part of Michael's America: People, Places & Pastrami.