|JFK-American Airlines Concourse C|
I have a hard time with food in airports. I always want to find the best food at the most reasonable price — but that’s hard if you haven’t done any online research beforehand. I always ask the people who work at airports and no matter the airport they always reply, “I don’t eat here. It’s too expensive. I bring my food.”
There are gems that travelers write about or you can discover. There was a Cuban place in Miami’s enormous airport that was terrific. And you can’t go wrong with Jersey Mike’s subs as a good staple — and — I’m a sucker for Nathan’s hot dogs wherever they have ‘em.
So knowing I'd be hungry before the end of my trip, I scouted my options for an early lunch at American’s terminal. While there may be good food at the sit-down grills or restaurants, I skip the high-end options because of price. And since I’d been in Manhattan and not had a Sabrett hot dog I was thinking a hotdog might be fine and then I saw a possible choice: The Brooklyn Deli. Looked good, looked clean, and they had hot dogs. But they also had a “New York Pastrami Sandwich” for $9.99. Hmmm. Pastrami. It looked good. It was reasonably priced — considering the hot dog was $3.79 and surely I’d need two. A guy who clearly was the manager was checking the display cases and greeting customers.
"How's the pastrami?” I asked.
“Wonderful! Lean, delicious, it’s great pastrami! Look at the picture!” he exclaimed.
“Well, sure it looks good in the photo, “ I said skeptically. “But what about in real life?”
He looked offended. “You won’t be sorry with the pastrami. It’s terrific.”
Still, I wasn’t convinced.
But I was hungry and I wasn’t gonna be getting any NY pastrami where I was going down south. I could have hotdogs any time.
“Do you have seedless rye?”
“OF COURSE,” he said defiantly.
I ordered the pastrami on seedless rye.
“With cheese?” the counter guy asked.
“No, no cheese.” Geez, cheese on pastrami? It wasn’t a Reuben.
“With cheese?” the girl asked.
“No, NO cheese.” I replied and the two cashiers were chattering in Spanish and I saw that without cheese dropped the price of my sandwich to under ten bucks. You can’t buy a pastrami sandwich in Manhattan for under ten bucks.
As I saw the counter guy making my sandwich I looked atop the display case and saw a big bottle of fat pickles.
“Does it come with a pickle?”
“We give you a pickle m’am” said the Hispanic sandwich-maker.
“Mustard over there," he pointed and handed me my sandwich.
I opened the nicely wrapped pastrami and saw what looked like a really decent pastrami sandwich! Sliced thin, piled high, seedless rye and true to his word lean. No fat, no dripping grease.
I took the little packets of Gold’s mustard (Gold’s of horseradish fame) and even though I used three — I shoulda used four to make the taste of mustard complete. The pickle was a sizable wedge — of an appropriately sour Kosher dill and the sandwich was delicious. Lucky me!
Now if only they had Dr. Brown's Diet Cream soda — my New York pastrami experience woulda been complete.