The Unvegan

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Breaking the Fast at Greenblatt’s

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Damn you, pickle!

After a long day of repenting and fasting, I needed a good Jewish meal to remind my body and mind what eating felt like. Since we were attending a comedy show later that night at The Laugh Factory, we decided to go to an ancient little deli next door called Greenblatt’s. And when I say ancient, I meant it’s been there since 1926. That means when my grandma was living in LA in the late ’40s, it was already old and she remembers its existence. To survive for 85 years anywhere, let a lone a big city where change is the only contant is quite impressive. I was eager to find out what kept Greenblatt’s ticking and to satiate my fully empty stomach.

We waited about 10 minutes for table, as we were clearly not the only Jews who thought Greenblatt’s would be a good break fast meal. Once seated, it was only a matter of time until I found the meatiest, awesomest-looking sandwich. It was the #5 combo – a triple decker filled with hot pastrami, corned beef, swiss cheese, twice baked rye, Russian dressing and cole slaw. I got mine slaw-less and it also came with a side choice and I went with kettle chips.

Soon enough, the sandwich was brought out by our friendly waitress, piled on high with kettle chips. Off to the side, though, there was an ominous pickle that I moved over to the girlfriend’s plate as soon as I could get a picture off. It was not worth the risk of allowing dastardly pickle juice to ruin my break fast. Once vacated, the sandwich was ready for devourment. It was nothing short of delicious. The corned beef was juicy and beefy, while the pastrami was well-seasoned and similarly juicy. And while these were good, the bread was actually quite amazing. It had just the right texture to keep the sandwich together, which was no small feat, and the crust was about as perfect as you can get. It was crispy, but didn’t give up a huge fight before succumbing to my teeth. And speaking of succumbing to my teeth, the sandwich was monstrously tall, requiring two full bites to get through and perfectly meaty.

It’s pretty clear why Greenblatt’s has survived for so long. They have some pretty great meats and although they don’t quite reach Langer’s levels, they were certainly worthy of revisiting, whether to break the fast or otherwise.