March 8, 2011

LA Pastrami Review : Capriotti's vs Langer's

Let me just clarify, before anyone starts hootin' and hollerin' about not including The Hat or Johnnie's or even Oinkster in this little food fight, I wanted to compare pastrami sandwiches that had similar toppings. Pastrami sandwiches are definitely one of my favorites and I just wanted to highlight two places here in LA that make some of the best. I know Capriotti's is a franchise, so maybe Langer's might have a slight lead out of the gate. Personally, it's only because Langer's is an LA landmark, and since they are the only one in town you know the pastrami is made fresh in-house. That's not to say Capriotti's doesn't make their pastrami in-house also, I'm not really sure. But since they are a national chain that offers so much more than just pastrami and to protect product integrity across the country, I'd imagine that they have a central "Capriotti's kitchen" somewhere. But enough with the pleasantries, "let's get down to the nity griiity(in a Nacho Libre voice)". Let the battle begin!

Langer's #19
Across from MacArthur Park, Langer’s Deli is one of the most popular places for the LA lunch crowd (maybe because they’re only open until 4pm). They also serve your typical deli favorites like corned beef and matzo ball soup. The #19 at Langer’s is not only one of my favorite deli sandwiches, but it is one of my top things to eat in LA. The tender thick slices of pastrami are full flavored and with the crunchy coleslaw, it gives the sandwich a textured bite. The Russian dressing and Swiss cheese don’t overpower the meat but add a creaminess to each bite. Rye bread isn’t my favorite because of the tough crust (I think you can order the sandwich with another kind of bread), but if a place is known for something I usually don’t mess with perfection.

The challenger in this bout, the Capastrami from Capriotti's, stands toe to toe with the LA giant and has a few tricks up its sleeve. As you can tell from the picture, we couldn’t even wait to take a picture of the sandwich intact, we tore into the sandwiches without a second thought. The thinner sliced hot pastrami and refreshing coleslaw are piled into a softer sub roll, which is why Karen likes the Capartami better. Even though the Capastrami is similarly topped with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and coleslaw, the thinner slices of meat and softer bread really make this sandwich a knockout.

Both of these awesome pastrami sandwiches took us the distance; thick vs. thin slices, deli vs. sub sandwich. Although Karen and I voted this food fight a draw, the real winners were our stomachs. OK, so maybe throwing these two pastrami heavyweights in the ring wasn’t the cleanest food fight but it was sure delicious!

Langer's Deli
704 South Alvarado St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop
9683 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

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