Lou Bustamante | SFWeekly.com
The Truck: La Pastrami
The Cuisine: A celebration of cured, smoked beef known as pastrami
Specialty Items: Pastrami, mostly in sandwiches
Worth the Wait in Line? At peak lunch time, a total 10 minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.
As you walk up to the La Pastrami truck, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. The menu board lists a handful of sandwich variations that showcase the smoked beef, like a hoagie ($10, pastrami, mayo, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato) and a couple of melts with thousand Island dressing, cheese, and of course, pastrami. While the sandwiches all come standard with fries, the fries themselves impressed the most, served up in one of their specials.
The Pastrami Fries ($6, French fries, chopped pastrami, parmesan cheese, green onions) are sadly not always on the menu, but they are a fantastic blend of meat, dairy , and vegetable fats. Who would have known that French fries could be the perfect platform for their pastrami? A variation of sorts on the poutine (the Canadian gutbusting combination of fries, cheese curds, and gravy), it was surprising to find myself happy there was no gravy on top (although I did wish I had a bottle of Crystal Hot Sauce). The warm, juicy, shreds mounded on the crisp potatoes infused juices to the cheese and fries below, making them even better once the cheese and meat were gone.
Not being an expert in pastrami, I can’t attest to how much better or different it is to the favorites around town, but the meat was well seasoned, tender, and just fatty enough to keep everything from getting dry. After trying these, you may never eat your pastrami on bread again. Or your fries without it.