I've written about Perdue's before on the barbecue blog - it's my favorite barbecue in Pasadena - but on my most recent trip I decided to try their pastrami sandwich. I knew I was taking a chance straying from their barbecue; I have had it three times and all three it was awesome. But I had a hunch that if their pastrami was good it would be really good. Plus, their chopped beef sandwich is very inexpensive. If the pastrami was bad I could just get one of those.
This was the first time I ever noticed the sign warning customers that service is slow. I can certainly vouch for that: I think my shortest wait here was more than twenty minutes. (I absolutely love the fact that the sign reads "Average wait is 10-15 minutes... maybe more." If I hadn't already known the owners are from the South, that would have been a giveaway.) Of course, this was my fourth meal at Perdue's, so you can probably guess whether or not I feel the food is worth the wait.
I ordered a pastrami sandwich and a soda. Perdue's does not have an alcohol license, just a large, serve-yourself container full of ice and sodas. They were out of Coke so I chose a Hansen's cherry-vanilla soda. I was with my friend Carla and she got herself a brisket sandwich, and we ordered some cole slaw and fries to share.
It took twenty-five minutes for our food to arrive, despite the fact that we were the only customers (except for one young guy, who had ordered his food one minute after we ordered ours, and still had not received it when we left, about fifty minutes after we arrived.) I had been asked if I wanted hot mustard or barbecue sauce on my sandwich. I requested both on the side, preferring to try it plain for at least one bite.
It was awesome. The meat was fresh and juicy and there was very little fat on it. The roll was perfect: slightly crusty around the edges and soft everywhere else. After eating at least half of it, I decided to try some of it with the mustard (nothing special, just a basic spicy deli mustard) and some of it with the cole slaw (which was fantastic.) This sandwich was light years ahead of Tops' pastrami, and even better than The Hat.
The fries were really good: freshly cut potatoes, battered and then fried. They could have used a little more time in the frier, but they were still tasty and we finished the whole plate.
I really like Perdue's and I am planning what to order for my next meal: either the chicken links or the fried catfish dinner that is available on Fridays.