Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.
Pastrami. Just the word evokes a certain time, a certain place. I think of the Lower East Side with Katz’s or the Second Ave Deli; not Sheepshead Bay Road. So imagine my surprise when I saw a hand-written sign in front of Taste of Romania Europa Bistro (1652 Sheepshead Bay Road) touting their “in-house smoked pastrami.”
With a sense of excitement I entered the restaurant. But, wait a minute. Looking around I wondered if I made a mistake. The restaurant, housed in the old La Sorrentina space, still looked like the same old pizza joint. The glass cases on the counter still displayed a variety of pizzas. The pizza ovens still loomed as large sentinels behind. In fact, a pizza was being removed from the oven as I approached.
So what gives? Where’s the steam table? Where’s the smoker? Where is the pastrami?
Turns out the pastrami was there, just not front and center. Like many a treasure, you’ll need to seek this pastrami out. This pastrami is not on display; it’s kept hidden away in a special back room, until it’s needed. It is then cut to order and heated in the pizza ovens until warm.