Ham, Pastrami, and Turkey (2 of 3).

Pastrami and corned beef are related, but differ from one another in that pastrami undergoes a smoking step during its preparation.  Initially, the “pickling” of these meats was done as a food preservation technique (before refrigeration was readily available), but the unique flavor and texture imparted by these now-unnecessary steps are still popular today.   

I finally got around to trying the food from Old World Provisions on Westerlo and Pearl St. (about 2 blocks north of the dreaded DMV) here in Albany.  They have an interesting business model; they do take-out sandwich fixin’s. 

On our visit we bought a loaf of deli rye, a jug of pickles, a jar of mustard, and 1 lb of pastrami.  Let’s start with the pastrami.  It was like no pastrami I had ever had.  The thick juicy slices were richly marbled; they looked more like slices of succulent prime rib than the dried out paper-thin slices we have come to expect from grocery store deli-counters.  The rye bread was soft to the touch and flavorful.  It went perfectly with the tangy mustard.  To call the pickles the champagne of pickles is more than a metaphor; they were actually effervescent.  They tingled on the tongue with each crispy bite and were neither overly sour nor salty.  My folks were in town (helping with baby-prep) and we wondered aloud, “How’d they do that?” as we chomped away.  Assembling the sandwiches was a breeze and we had everything we needed for a perfect little meal.  The food is artisan crafted.  By the way, if any ladies out there should ever try to win a guy’s heart via his stomach, a box of gourmet sliced-beef, a perfect loaf of rye bread, and a jar of gourmet mustard will likely do the trick; throw in a six-pack and he’ll be writing you love poems within a week.  [wink]

Also, a group of us went to Washington Park on Monday August 4th and caught a free show by Lez Zeppelin (an all-woman Led Zeppelin cover band from NYC).  I was impressed with how talented they were, and of course, I enjoyed the music.  The lead singer’s voice boomed with passion, the guitarist effortlessly peeled off the guitar licks, the drummer flailed about like a crazy person (in a good way), and the bassist handled those Zeppelin time-changes masterfully.  It was just a fun way to spend a pleasant Monday night in the park; I don’t think it’s meant to be taken too seriously.  Here’s a short video I took during “Black Dog;” enjoy:

5 Responses to “Ham, Pastrami, and Turkey (2 of 3).”

  1. Albany Jane says:

    My, those beef and pickles look good. And I hope everthing is sailing smoothly for the baby arrival.

  2. llcwine says:

    wish Old World had some Saturday hours….I can’t get there during the week…and they are making the pastrami I grew up on, peppery, juicy……..deep sigh……

    a good pickle is something to savor.

  3. Greg says:

    I agree with Jane, that is some fine-looking pastrami.

    You know who else has good pickles… Capital Q. Whenever we get food from there, I always think, “And even the pickles are good!”

  4. jess says:

    I love the pastrami at Old World, but I wish they sold sauerkraut too. I can’t eat my pastrami without kraut. Blame it on my Eastern European roots…

    Looking forward to seeing you both this coming weekend!

  5. alex|dimitri says:

    Albany Jane,
    Everything is going swimmingly with the pregnancy, thanks.

    Yeah, no Saturday hours? That stinks. I couldn’t agree more about the pickles.

    Yeah, Capital Q has it goin’ on.

    Pick up some Hawthorne Valley sauer kraut from the coop. Almost-Foodies-Renee turned me on to their stuff. We always have some in the fridge (unless I eat the whole jar). See you soon.