Pastrami, Smoked Meat, and the Future of the Deli

Mile End's smoked meat.
Mile End's smoked meat. Photo: Hannah Whitaker/New York Magazine

Food writers David Sax and Josh Ozersky had a summit on the future of the delicatessen over jumbo pickle plates and sliced meat sandwiches at the venerable Katz’s and the upstart Mile End, which represent the two possible paths for the deli-as-institution. Put together by the Jewish Daily Forward, the video is seven minutes of riffing as much as it is seemingly just an excuse for these guys to eat a few excellent sandwiches. “There will be reconstructionist delis, there will be reformed delis,” Sax says, alluding to the resurgence of the old-time eating place and rediscovery of old deli traditions. “As long as someone is willing to eat a smoked-meat sandwich or a pastrami sandwich, someone is going to be there to make it,” he says.”As long as those people are eating it, some of them are Jews, they’ll complain enough to make sure someone makes it right.” [Vimeo, Earlier]