Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Amici's New York Deli -- Real Pastrami!

It says "Hot Corned Beef" in the window, and with a deli, that's always a good sign. Pastrami and Corned Beef are NOT processed meat products with a little extra pepper. They're delicious, rich, piquant meats that deserve the right treatment -- moist heat.

You don't need mustard when you have a hot pastrami.

And both the Pastrami and Corned Beef at Amici's are kept steaming in a chafing dish until the moment they make your sandwich. You can also get the usual turkey, ham, roast beef and bacon. Lots of interesting combos and toppings. They have good deli pickles and they carry premium chips from that Michigan company whose name escapes me. (You know, the yellow bag. They serve them at Roma's too.)

The only thing lacking is bread that can stand up to the hot steam, or the slurpy toppings of a good sandwich. I don't know, maybe Zingerman's has spoiled me for regular bread. I have to admit that I haven't found a place with good bread in Lansing, except for Roma's, where they use a crusty sub bun, but don't have deli bread. (I.e., no sliced rye.) I can only warn you that if you get a hot pastrami on rye for take out, pull open the plastic wrap before you leave, or your bread will wimp out on you.

They are a "premium" deli, and their sandwiches are in the 7-8 dollar range, which is too expensive for a cheap sandwich, but not that expensive for a great sandwich. In my opinion, they would do better to buy better bread (like maybe ...Zingermans?) and up the price a little. Or even offer a better bread as an "extra" for a buck more. (Just don't get Great Harvest, it's really too heavy and moist to be sandwich bread.)

Amici's New York Deli is at 521 N Clippert, in Lansing, across from Frandor.


Erich Zechar said...

You hit the nail on the head. They have the meat down, but the bread is more than lacking. I got a pastrami on cheap wonder-like white bread, which totally ruined it. $8 isn't bad for a great sandwich, you're right, but it's not quite a great sandwich when you get that terrible bread.

(The Rev'd. Canon) Dr. Jack Lumanog said...

I tried the corned beef and I thought it was terrible. The corned beef had a taste of cardboard and had an aftertaste of what I imagine to be cat food. But there was plenty of it! The lunch rang up at nearly $10 which also wasn't great. I'll try the pastrami next time.

I'm from NJ and the salt and vinegar chips and Doc Browns soda made me feel at home at least.

The East Side Food Geek said...

I haven't tried the corned beef. (Honestly, that's one I usually only have home made, so it's hard to compare.)

Let us know what you think of the pastrami. My experience was mixed because of the disintegrating bread. I've never been to a place that has even mediocre pastrami here in Lansing. (I'll probably try their ham, myself, since it isn't hot, and so wouldn't necessarily fall apart on me.)

(The Rev'd. Canon) Dr. Jack Lumanog said...

The bread wasn't such a big deal for me... I guess I'm not so picky about that. I'll definitely give the pastrami another try seeing how it's been getting a rave review from you and another commenter!

What are other good places for pastrami?

BTW, I'm jealous about having homemade corned beef. If I had time, it would be hard to order outisde of home as well!

The East Side Food Geek said...

There are no other places in Lansing with decent Pastrami, or even mediocre Pastrami. I mean, this town is a pastrami black hole.

However, if you head down to Ann Arbor, you can get brilliantly wonderful deli food at Zingerman's. They are the Mecca of foodgeekdom. The Center of the Universe. (They are also expensive.) We once tried to arrange for a helicopter to fetch and deliver us pastrami sandwiches from Zingerman's, but it fell through. (The pilot was taking a flying test and the silly man would not break the rules and leave the chopper to pick up the sandwiches.)

I have a bunch of pictures from my last visit. Maybe it's time I did a Zingerman's post.