Eating Adventures

Deli Zone: Rye times in NYC

Deli Zone

Deli Zone 955 Lincoln Street, suite D 303-860-0041

Chrysler Building $8.99 pastrami, Swiss cheese, mustard, marble rye (and sauerkraut)

I need to talk about pastrami right now because, frankly, I can’t stop thinking about it – or more specifically, pastrami on rye with, mustard, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut.

I went to New York City last weekend, and although I ate my weight in pizza, knishes, pizza, pretzels, pizza, hot dogs, pizza, hot wings, pizza and cannoli, I somehow never made it to one of the famous delis for a pastrami or corned beef sandwich. So by the time I got to LaGuardia for the return trip to Denver, I was craving one.

And right there, near our gate in the C terminal, was an anonymous airport-food-court place called Brooklyn’s Finest Deli. I didn’t care. I paid $16 for what I assumed would be two unbelievably overpriced and probably tasteless pastrami sandwiches for my wife and myself. I am embarrassed to say, however, that they were two of the tastiest pastrami sandwiches I have ever had – a pound of thinly cut pastrami piled high and covered in melted Swiss cheese, mustard and coleslaw, all between soft rye slices.

They were so good, in fact, that we bought two more for the plane ride. Yeah, $32 for four airport sandwiches. Financial crisis be damned!

But now, pastrami is on my mind all the time.

Two days ago, I bought some pre-packaged stuff at the grocery and some Jewish rye and tried to make my own. But it wasn’t the same. So yesterday I walked up to Deli Zone to try their creation.

Founded in Boulder in 1993 by a couple of NYC natives, Deli Zone is now a small chain with locations around Colorado and a couple in Arizona. They celebrate the New York deli tradition by serving authentic sandwiches, along with treats like black & white cookies and whole mini cheesecakes.

They have a couple of pastrami-related concoctions, but the one I tried was called the Chrysler Building. It was a half pound of pastrami – straight from Carnegie’s in New York, one of those famous delis I missed on my trip – with Swiss cheese and mustard on grilled marble rye. I had them add some sauerkraut as well, which they happily did.

And it was damned good. Deli Zone pretty much does everything well. It is my favorite sandwich place in Denver, particularly because of their near-perfect meatball sandwich, the breakfast Kong (eggs, bacon, ham, hash browns and American cheese on a Kaiser roll) and the Rockefeller (turkey, pastrami, Swiss cheese, pickles, tomatoes and Dijonaisse).

And although it was immensely satisfying, I’m wondering if Denver can do even better, so tucked inside my quest for the perfect sandwich, I am now looking for suggestions for Denver’s best pastrami on rye. If you have a favorite, let me know by posting below. – Jonathan Shikes

Read about previous sandwiches in Our Weekly Bread.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes