The Bronx Special – Canter’s Deli, Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA

The last time I went to Canter’s (the real one, not the one in Las Vegas) I spent about two weeks crowing about the Reuben. I’ll still talk it up, given the opportunity. It’s fantastic. But readers are my first responsibility, and so when I entered Canter’s the other day I knew I couldn’t go back to the Reuben. That’s no great tragedy, as the menu offers all manner of other intriguing numbers. This time I went with the Bronx Special: pastrami and chopped liver on rye. The pastrami, as I knew it would be, was fantastic. I had high hopes for the liver, I’ve gotten some really good liver before and I figured Canter’s would know their way around chopped liver. Apparently I figured wrong, as I found the liver here to be dry and bland, and especially unpalatable in comparison to the pastrami. It’s possible that this is something like intentional, and someone didn’t want the liver to outshine the pastrami, but if one flavor risks outshining another the solution isn’t to do away with one of them. A healthy dosage of mustard helped the sandwich out (and thankfully the mustard selection at Canter’s is substantial) but the sandwich shouldn’t have needed that help. I didn’t care for the assembly required nature of things either, but I try not to complain about that too often or too much.

I’m still sold on Canter’s (good lord, that pastrami is good), but on my next visit I’ll steer clear of the liver.