"Goyim pastrami." That's what SFoodie's New York-loyal Jewish grandma angrily called any pastrami that wasn't served between two slices of rye with a dab of mustard. Even a reuben sandwich was suspect. Well, two-week old food truck La Pastrami has upped the ante on grandma's anger: enter the pastrami burrito ($8). Owner and creator Dion Watkins stuffs a well-griddled flour tortilla with a wad of smoky, peppery meat, rice, crunchy strips of pickled red onion, a few specks of green onion and "secret" sauce (think Russian dressing.)
Watkins, a first time food operator after a career in San Francisco's Department of Human Services, won't reveal his pastrami supplier, only hinting that it's locally made. Asked where he got the idea for this cultural mishmash, Watkins said "Why not? It's like any other beef. It just works." To be honest, we were astounded by the unique flavor profile of our first few bites of Watkins' creation but the salty beef and onion combination eventually wore out the palate, causing us to quit at the burrito's heel.
Still, curiosity and a rebellious streak (well, for a Jewish kid) will bring us back to La Pastrami, to sample both their simpler sandwich offerings as well as other Jewish-Mexican mash-ups like the pastrami quesadilla and pastrami tostadas. Grandma? She's turning in her Boca Raton grave.
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