Langer’s: The Platonic Pastrami Ideal [VIDEO]
Sax devotes four pages to the MacArthur Park deli founded in 1947 by Al Langer, who died at the age of 94 in 2007, and now run by his son Norm.
Sax details the elements that make the pastrami special:
• The meat (not kosher) arrives from R-C Provisions in 2 to 2 1/2 pound pieces, cut smaller and leaner than for other customers, and smoked tender.
• The meat is steamed 2-4 hours to an internal temperature of 209 degrees.
• The meat is hand cut “to read the navel and meet the grain.”
• Hand cutting, rather than machine slicing, allows the slicer to toss tough or unpalatable parts.
• The rye bread is thick-cut, double-baked and warm.
• The 7 oz. portion is distributed evenly through the sandwich.
“How do you describe the taste of a perfect pastrami sandwich?” writes Sax. “It is simply legendary, beyond any descriptive qualities I possess.”