Best Pastrami - 2012
St. Louis, it must be said, is not much of a deli town. Most of our best processed meats are Italian. And most of the time, we're pretty satisfied with salami, mortadella and soppressata. But sometimes we get a hankering for some Jewish soul food. So we drive out to Creve Coeur, more specifically to Pumpernickles Delicatessen, where the pastrami is brined and then seasoned with just the right amount of garlic and pepper — enough to give it a kick, but not enough to burn you. Then it's steamed and sliced thin enough to melt in your mouth. It's not enough to say that this is pretty good pastrami for a non-deli town. We brought a connoisseur there recently, someone who has liberally sampled pastrami from Brooklyn to Berkeley and has decided opinions regarding what makes a good deli sandwich. "Mmmmm-mmm!" he said, smacking his lips. "I didn't know they knew how to make pastrami here. We're definitely coming back."