4855 Massachusetts Ave.
Wagshal’s Brisket Is a Cut Above
From the Washington Post, February, 2013:
Wagshal’s Delicatessen (Photo by Deb Lindsey)
4855 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Chef: Bill Fuchs
Overall Impressions: This Spring Valley institution works it old-style. The pastrami’s flesh is dark and has a distinctive dark black line of crust around it that none of the other pastramis here do. It’s juicy and lush-tasting, the closest approximation to what you’d remember from childhood. “One thing that sets us apart is that we use USDA Prime beef,” says Fuchs. He contends that the meat must be sliced thin to enhance the richness of the
mouth feel and meld its flavors completely.
Sandwich price: $6.99
Meat weight per sandwich / per-meat-ounce value: 5 ounces / $1.40
Meat sold by pound? / price: Yes / $11.99
Part of the brisket used: Whole (the point, which is fattier, and the flat, which is leaner)
How the pastrami is made: Wet-cured for 12-14 days, crusted with spice, dry-cured for 12-14 days, hickory-smoked for 6-8 hours, baked at 180 degrees for 2-3 hours, until tender. Sliced and steamed to order.
Appearance / texture: Deep adobe color, dark crust, very thin (1/8-inch) slices /melty tender.
Flavor profile / fat: Smoky, spicy/marbled, high fat.
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