In a city that was once littered with real Jewish delis, too many have been lost to time and we are now down to fewer than 20. Lift your can of Dr. Brown's to the remaining few and look at our picks for the best of a dying breed.
While other delis rely on a machine, everything here is sliced to order by hand, resulting in a thicker, meatier cut. The thing to order, of course, is the fatty, well-spiced pastrami ($19.75 for a sandwich) with a side of full sour pickles.
Happily raise your cholesterol levels with some chopped liver ($11.95), mushroom barley soup ($8.95), and an order of blintzes ($17.95). As a digestif, the waitress brings over a shot of chocolate soda. Pair it with an order of chocolate babka ($9.95).
The kosher restaurant remains joyously stuck in time with a stellar corned beef and pastrami combo sandwich ($17.95) that's a must-order on any visit. Stick around for the kasha knish ($4.25) and a great matzo ball soup ($4.95) if you still have room.
Lloyd has been in the deli business since he was a child so he knows a thing or two about frankfurters and cured meat. Don't miss their zucchini pancakes (replacing the usual potato, $5.95), exceptional cole slaw, and homemade rugelach ($4.95).
Instead of celebrity photos and kitsch on the wall, you'll find artwork by the likes of Marc Chagall and Roy Lichtenstein. In addition to doling out excellent pastrami, tongue, and brisket, they double as an art gallery.
And at Ben's Best, you'll almost always see Jay Parker walking around kibbitzing with his guests and his pastrami, corned beef, and stuffed cabbage ($9.25) are superb to boot. If those don't fill you up, pick up a giant hot dog on your way out.
What happens when you get a pastrami craving at 3am? You go to Sarge's. Opened by a retired cop in 1964, the deli recently re-opened after a fire forced them to renote. You still have those bright lights, huge menus, and cranky waitresses.