Though Sarge’s has been in business since 1964, and is located in a quiet neighborhood – in Murray Hill, to be exact. I remember passing by this place dozens of times when I used to work around there. Back then, I was not as obsessive about my food choices, though I always appreciated good food. It’s unfortunate that I’m no longer there because I would probably go here a lot more often. I mean, just look at this gorgeous sandwich!
It took me a while to order, because the menu is so huge! Sarge’s has a diner like feel, also a comfortably friendly neighborhood diner that’s also open 24/7. If you’re ever craving pastrami at 3 am, you know where to go!
[Sidenote: Katz Deli also makes pastrami sandwiches, but I haven't been there in a few years, so I will leave the comparing up to someone whose memory is more recent.]
One of the first items I noticed on the table was this curious looking scoop of something with bread. My instinct was right, as it was later confirmed by the kind waitress. “It’s chopped chicken liver,” she answered. Is it yummier if you spread it on bread?
Sorry – I never acquired a taste for chicken liver. No thanks!
After ordering my dinner, I focused my attention the the other items that arrived at our table. I loved the crunch texture of the pickles but I thought it could have been more tangy. The coleslaw was pretty standard fare; it wasn’t too memorable. I was just anticipating the star of the show at this point.
When I asked for recommendations from Sarge’s on Twitter, Zach of Midtown Lunch told me to order the Deli Wellington: corned beef and pastrami blended with potato in a puff pastry ($5). I personally looooooove things inside puff pastry, so I had to order it.
The buttery, flaky pastry was simply melt-in-your-mouth good, just as puff pastry should be. I am a condiment field, so I would have preferred the inside to be more moist, but no complaints. I think I could probably eat this and a small salad as a meal, as I was getting full from this enormous ball of meaty goodness.
Dan tried the Hot Brisket of beef with French Fries and gravy ($14.95). This dish is comfort food on a plate. The beef was perfectly tender and a great accompaniment to the gravy and fries. We didn’t eat the parsley. =)
I ate some of the brisket and waited in anticipation of the corned beef and pastrami sandwich with coleslaw and Russian dressing ($14.95) I ordered. The corned beef and pastrami had the perfect contrast of fat to meat ratio, with just the right amount of saltiness. I shared with Dan but couldn’t even get close to finishing the sandwich, so i took the rest home. Even after being in the fridge for a day, the meat stood up well to microwaving.
I have no idea how crowded it gets on weekends or anything, as I went around 6 pm on a weekday. If you’ve never tried pastrami or corned beef, I’d highly recommend Sarge’s Deli!