Millburn (NJ) Deli vs. Katz Deli

Readers know that I frequent a lot of good restaurants. So far, in NYC, there are a few that I have returned to for various reasons:
  • Shake Shack because it's a great burger option on the cheap side and is especially fitting for bringing my tourist friends
  • Penelope Cafe because one was brunch (mmm... Nutella french toast) and one was lunch (fish and chips were surprisingly good)
  • Millburn Deli because AG-friend AL lives around the area and swears by the sloppy joes made there
Yesterday I went to visit AL in Millburn again. Last time, I had the Sloppy Joe with Pastrami. This time I had the turkey sandwich with stuffings and cranberry sauce, a.k.a. The Gobbler. I have to say the Pastrami sandwich was much better even though the Gobbler was still very delicious. Anyway, I asked AL to come into the city some day so I can show him some of the best food in NYC that I have already experienced (Mmmm... Di Fara...). Then Katz Deli (Wiki, Yelp, Cityseach) came up. And I thought it would be fun if I did a back-to-back Millburn and Katz sandwich faceoff:

(Note: I know it's hard to compare a sloppy joe sandwich and a classic pastrami sandwich... just bear with me)
Outside Millburn Deli
The Gobbler

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the Sloppy Joe with Pastrami. The above is the aforementioned Gobbler. Overall, the SJ as a sandwich was very good. The meat was fresh and was still steaming when I ate it. The cole slaw was excellent and flavorful - it really balanced out the strong flavor of pastrami. It was one of the best sandwich moments I have had (being from Hong Kong and all) in a long time. There was a sandwich shop in Harvard Square - can't remember the name - that also manufactured sandwiches that were divine. Verdict: highly recommended, even after the 45 minute train commute.

Katz's Deli Pastrami Sandwich

Earlier today, therefore, I visitied Katz's Deli. After a 5 minute wait in a chaotic line (it's more like a free for all... even though they call it lines), I ordered its famous pastrimi sandwich at a ridiculously expensive $15. Luckily, the person preparing my sandwich had run out of pastrami so he went over to the roaster to retrieve a fresh piece of meat and started cutting it. He first gave me a few slices to munch on and then went on to prepare my sandwich. One on rye and one on white, both with moderate musturd (I wanted mine juicy, but he seem to have misheard).

The pastrami was by far the best pastrami I have ever (Langer's, I hear, is a major competitor for that award). Succulent and juicy, the pastrami was easy to chew on and was very flavored - a bit too strong for my tastes but still very good. The musturd helped balance the taste a little but it wasn't enough. Oh, but that thick layer of pastrami...! So good. Verdict: Highly recommended.

Like I said, you can't really compare the two. However, if you told me I could only eat one sandwich for the rest of my life, then the Millburn Deli gets my vote. Overall, the Sloppy Joe is a sandwich with better flavors. To be fair, the pastrami was better at Katz's for sure, but not by a lot. The taste of the Sloppy Joe wins out. Too bad it's 45 minutes away from Manhattan.


shmoo said...

Darwin's! But that's not really a traditional deli like I think these two places are.

catherine said...

Going to Katz's tomorrow, it'll be cheaper than buying it online next month.

Josekin said...

That's right, Shmoo. Darwin's.

Anonymous said...

We had a faceoff at work between the Millburn's sloppy Joe's and the Hickory Tree Deli in Chatham....the Hickory Tree Deli won....we felt that everything was far superior in taste and quality....

Anonymous said...

Ew, everything from Chatham sucks. Long live the Millburn Deli!