A New Contender for the Brooklyn Pastrami Crown


There must be some kind of a rule that every new gourmet Brooklyn sandwich shop has to offer their own take on that omnipresent New York classic, the pastrami sub. Morris Truck has their chimichurri-spiced pastrami grilled cheese, Primrose Cafe offers its duck pastrami sandwich and of course Mile End has “smoked meat,” Montreal’s answer to this Jewish deli classic.

Here’s one more new (and very noteworthy) entry for the list. HBH Gourmet Sandwiches and Smoked Meats recently opened along way lower Smith Street, on the edge of Carroll Gardens and Gowanus (Gowanus Gardens? J/K, please don’t do that). HBH enters the pastrami fray with their own take: a short rib version. Traditionally pastrami is made from brisket, that notoriously tough cut of meat that needs to be cooked for hours before it becomes tender. Instead, HBH starts with already moist and flavorful short ribs, which are prepared in the pastrami style: brined, smoked and then steamed. It results in a meat that has that tender texture and salty, brine-y pastrami taste, but is way juicier than your typical cold cut. HBH serves it on a toasty marble rye, with horseradish mustard and melted swiss cheese.

This small spot cures and smokes all of their meats in house. Among the other promising-sounding sandwiches is a smoked Applewood bacon BLT and “the Big MacDougal”—pulled smoked pork shoulder topped with kimchi coleslaw. Those short ribs also return on the “Smith Street Cheesesteak,” which has them standing in for beefsteak in this very Brooklyn-y take on the Philly classic. Thankfully, the Cheez Whiz is replaced here with taleggio, pickled shallots and chive aioli (yes, yes, Philly purists—this isn’t really a cheesesteak at all, but it does sound delicious). The sandwiches are $8 to $12, and each comes with a serving of freshly fried potato chips.

One Response

  1. Lanks -

    Hey Brendan— there’s a lot wrong with what you’ve written here… a “Pastrami Sub” is not a new york classic… in fact, you’d be hard pressed to find one outside of Subway franchises. “Sub” is a new jersey equivalent of the new york “Hero”, which is a cold cut sandwich found at italian delis, pizzerias, and bodegas, never traditionally on a jewish deli menu. Next you say pastrami is traditionally made from brisket, I have never seen this outside of non-deli restaurants run by people from outside new york, the traditional cut for pastrami is the navel, which is sort of the fatty tail of the short rib. Lastly you say short ribs are moist and not tough and that they don’t need to be cooked for hours… this is incorrect, they must be cooked nearly exactly the way you would cook brisket, the end product is usually more “moist” because of more consistent and extensive fat marbling within the muscle.


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