By Dave Lieberman | OC Weekly
Burbank’s not exactly groaning with great restaurants, and they are one of the cities that has really benefited from the food truck craze; the areas around the studios are surprisingly bereft of good restaurants and surprisingly full of little pull-ins where food trucks can park. I went to the Canter’s truck yesterday up in LA. Yes, that Canter’s. They have a truck, and it brings food to places that are not pastrami-enabled.
Their pastrami is not bad–it’s about the same as Katella Deli, which is about as good as it gets in Orange County. Their rye bread needs help, and their potato salad is too sweet, which I can actually forgive after having spent time eating Korean potato salad which tends to have things like raisins in it. Their pickles are pretty good–nice and garlicky (but can we have half-sours, please?).
Due to a miscommunication, though, my pastrami sandwich came adulterated with yellow mustard–you know, French’s from the giant squeeze bottle. Yikes–no bueno. Nothing kills a perfectly serviceable pastrami sandwich like crappy mustard, which is why brown mustard is the rule. They do, in fact, have brown mustard (they Tweeted me a picture, as well as a photo of Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, the required drink with a pastrami sandwich); I’m just confused as to why yellow mustard is on the truck anyway. It’s like keeping poison in a preschool: sure, it has its uses, but the danger is much greater than the benefit.
They’ve got to do something about the bread, too; pastrami is a wet meat and it needs rye bread that can stand up to it without turning into mush from the inside. Benjie’s and Katella Deli both have this issue; Brent’s in distant Northridge does not, because their rye bread is double-baked.
Canter’s folks, please, please bring egg creams to the masses. Teach them that egg creams contain neither egg nor cream, and that the chocolate soda is the best creation to come out of New York since the thin-crust, floppy-and-folded pizza.
(Yes, I know having an egg cream with a pastrami sandwich isn’t kosher. Canter’s isn’t kosher, either, and neither are 99-plus percent of the restaurants in Orange County. If you’re worried about keeping kosher in OC, you will starve. We are the goldeneh medineh of trayf down here. Sorry.)
Most importantly, though, they need to come to Orange County. We are not quite bereft of deli food, but it’s a close call. Katella Deli is the best we have, and it tends to be overrun by the blue-hair set, with long waits for pastrami; Benjie’s has pretty good pastrami but terrible, terrible bread that could have come out of a cellophane bag at a cheap grocery store. Come down to one of our dinners à go-go.
And get rid of the damn yellow mustard. Seriously. Throw it off the truck.