Adventures in Late Night Eating: Pastrami Sandwiches

When you’re hungry at 3 AM in New York City there are certainly no shortage or variety of restaurants to choose from. So when you’re craving a Pastrami sandwich and don’t want to go all the way downtown to Katz’s for the millionth time, where do you go?

2nd Avenue Deli MenuThe answer… I’m still not sure but in the meantime, the 2nd Avenue Deli will do.

You’re probably thinking, who wants to eat a spicy, heavy, Pastrami sandwich at three in the morning? And that is a very valid question that I’m not sure I can even answer. But as we all know, being under the LIGHT influence (of alcohol) can trigger odd cravings. And on Friday night, mine was a Pastrami sandwich with LOTS of pickles.

Believe it or not I’d never been to the 2nd Avenue Deli even though I live a mere block and a half away. So at the time, a Pastrami sandwich from somewhere I’d never been before sounded like a great idea. And being the only patrons in the restaurant, guaranteed attentive and quick service.


 We were immediately served a variety of  new and sour pickles with a huge bowl of coleslaw. The pickles were delicious and perfectly pickled. The coleslaw was good, though it lacked a certain something that I couldn’t put my finger on (maybe an herb or spice?).

2nd Avenue Deli Pickles

After debating on whether to order the pastrami or the corned beef, the waiter kindly brought us a sampling of both so that we could decide. My vote was most definitely for the pastrami, as the corned beef was a bit bland for my taste buds.

2nd Avenue Deli Pastrami Sandwich

2nd Avenue Deli French Fries

Minutes later we were brought out an enormous pastrami sandwich with a large plate of well-done french fries, just how I like it! Confident that I could finish my half, I began smothering my sandwich with mustard and coleslaw. The more condiments the better! Suddenly my mouth was full with spicy meat tucked into soft rye bread. I couldn’t have been happier. Bite of sandwich, french fry, bite of sandwich, bite of pickle, french fry. It went on until I just couldn’t eat anymore. And with FOUR PIECES of pastrami away from finishing I called it quits.

So was the 2nd Avenue Deli pastrami sandwich all that I’d hope for? Honestly, not so much. Though the meat was incredibly lean and nicely seasoned, despite the few drinks I’d had earlier that night, it was still a tad dry. But the pickles and french fries get an A+. And because I love pickles THAT much, I’d probably return just to eat them if nothing else.

Just one recommendation… go during day light hours. It’s a bit creepy when you’re the only people in the restaurant AND it’s much easier on the stomach!

2nd Avenue Deli 013 2ND AVENUE DELI

162 East 33rd Street (between Lexington & Third Avenue)


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