I love a good salt beef or pastrami sandwich. I’ve had a couple of good ones in the UK at the Brick Lane Beigel Bake and The Brass Rail in Selfridges but they ultimately fall down with the thickness of their cuts; big hulking chunks of meat which I find cloy after a while. In contrast the Americans know how to slice their meat properly. Their wafer thin slices lend themselves much better to the eye-poppingly large portions these sandwiches are famed for.
Now I’ve never been sure exactly what the difference between salt beef (corned beef if you’re American) and pastrami is so I did a bit of research. Both involve firstly curing a piece of brisket; salt beef is always cured in spiced brine whilst pastrami can be cured in spiced brine or a dry rub. Then to make salt beef the cured brisket is boiled whilst to make pastrami the brisket is smoked (either hot smoked all the way through or smoked and then steamed). This gives pastrami a spicier and smokier taste in comparison to the milder flavoured salt beef. Here’s an awesome blog post if you want a step by step guide to making your own; I’m already planning my own beef bonanza.
It doesn’t feel right eating a salt beef sandwich unless it’s from a traditional American Jewish deli. I’ve eaten at the infamous Kat’s deli in New York and thought it was great. Its dilapidated grandeur gives it a real sense of history. Canter’s deli in Los Angeles has a similar legacy. This 3rd generation family owned deli has been a feature of the Miracle Mile district since 1931.
As we know, one of the things Las Vegas does best is import culture from other places. It’s for this reason Treasure Island is home to its very own branch of Canter’s. And I can seriously recommend it. I opted for the simple pastrami on rye sandwich ($15.50 with fries and a soda) whilst Mrs G opted for the Viva Las Vegas consisting of pastrami, corned beef, swiss cheese & coleslaw on rye ($16 for the sandwich with coleslaw or potato salad). I don’t think there’s much to say which the pictures don’t tell you. Both sandwiches contained oodles of perfectly cooked meat whilst my accompanying french fries were the best I ate all week; perfectly crisp, delicately thin & entirely grease free.
|Viva Las Vegas|
After our epic mealtime we headed outside to watch the shockingly bad Siren’s of Treasure Island. I can’t recommend the show but I’d say a trip to Canter’s deli is a must.
Canter's Deli, Treasure Island, 3300 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
An alternative destination for traditional Jewish deli would be Carnegie’s in the Mirage hotel. Menu - http://www.mirage.com/files/carnegie_menu.pdf