Hot Pastrami at Carnegie Deli
Wow. Tough call.
First of all, read this. My feelings about the Carnegie Deli outpost in the Mirage have always been the same: it's a tourist trap, they make silly, huge, wasteful sandwiches, and it's not that good anyway. But ... I gave Canter's Deli another chance, and it paid off. Then I read two food critics' opinions on my city's best pastrami, and both claimed Carnegie. So I had to do it. To conclude a recent evening of Stripwalking, I took a seat here, drank a cup of coffee and munched on a small bowl of big, juicy pickles, and ordered the straight-up hot pastrami on rye with a side of fries.
It's fantastic. I'm going to have to compare and contrast: this sandwich is quite a bit bigger than Canter's. More meat, and it has more fat and more flavor. It is significantly more moist. Even though I prefer leaner sandwich meat, I really loved the stuff. It's a great pile of long slices of pastrami, whereas Canter's was sliced so thin, the meat almost becomes shredded. Carnegie pastrami has more texture and bite to it. But I couldn't grade this sandwich higher because Canter's rye is superior. This bread is just okay. Not so fresh, maybe? A little dry and not a lot of flavor or crispy-on-the-outside satisfaction. It couldn't handle the meat. The classic deli mustard on the table was just fine.
So what have we learned about forgiveness? More importantly, this pastrami checkup should serve as yet another reminder to my fellow Vegas locals that if you're not rockin' the Strip, you're missing out. Our best food is down here, people. Eat it.