We know that the price of beef is through the roof, and, unfortunately, it’s affecting this city classic: pastrami. (We know, we know.) Prices of pastrami climbed a steep 47 percent last year, and this year they’re already up 15 percent. Which, according to New York Times interviews, is more than many delis can handle. Some have already considered taking pastrami off the menu, despite it being the staple of the New York Jewish deli.
A sign outside of the Yankee Tavern in the Bronx says: “Due to the increased price of pastrami, we at the Yankee Tavern apologize for the increase in prices for the pastrami items.”
Delis outside of Manhattan are especially hard-hit, say deli owners, as people there are not used to price jumps. Brisket is in trouble, too. The owner of Hometown Bar-B-Que in Red Hook claims that prices have jumped 40 percent since he opened in September of 2013.
So what will happen to the infamous pastrami on rye sandwich? Nothing, probably. According to The New York Times, reputable Jewish deli owners, whose ancestors perfected the technique of making brisket in the late nineteenth century, refuse to cut corners. You’ll just be paying more for what you get.