Situated right next to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philly is the Reading Terminal Market, which falls in many ways somewhere between LA’s Grand Central Market and New York’s Chelsea Market. Inside is a load of delicious scents and sights, ranging from BBQ to Middle-Eastern food. Just as I was about to make my way to BBQ, a friend of mine pointed me to Hershel’s East Side Deli, a Jewish deli that I just had to eat as after setting my eyes upon it.
The place was loaded with sandwich options, and I ordered a hot pastrami on rye with swiss cheese and Russian dressing. I watched as the lady that can only call a butcher sliced off thick cuts of the pastrami and placed them on slices of bread like they were as fragile as a Faberge Eggs. Then she slathered on just the right amount of dressing and a double layer of cheese. Perhaps most importantly, just as I noticed they were going to add a pickle to my plate, I was able to put a stop to it because of the setup of the place.
My first bite was like eating a small slice of heaven. I’m not lying when I say this sandwich housed the second-best pastrami I’ve ever had. Of course, the true best still belongs to Langer’s in LA, but damn this was good. The seasoning around the edges of meat was near-perfect and I just have a soft spot for thick-cut, uneven-sized pastrami.
I am sure that other good places exist within the confines of the Reading Terminal Market but I am most happy that my journey took me to Hershel’s.