Best dishes countdown #6: Pastrami sandwich from St. Paul Meat Shop


The delicate balance of lean to fat, smoke to spice, brine to steam is no casual thing. Historic meat preservation techniques like brining and smoking may be no longer crucial for survival, but like many endurance techniques, the delicacy is in the tradition, the practice. 

So, bollocks to places like Subway for being pastrami pretenders. Nobody over at corporate fast food headquarters is brining, drying, seasoning, smoking, and steaming prior to slathering the meat with yellow mustard.

Whether or not you come from a family tradition where smoked meats are an imperative, St. Paul Meat Shop's are worth a look.

Cubes of meat the size of knuckles are striated with a fat-to-lean ratio that seems measured with scientific precision. You can smell the smoke through the paper. That hedonistic pleasure is punctuated by the hot tang of good deli mustard.

The only foil is soft and humble rye bread. The kind that doesn't attempt to be the main event, but instead is content to be assistant to the obvious luminary.

St. Paul Meat Shop 
1674 Grand Ave., St Paul

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