Photos and Video of the Day: Pastrami Line is Now Longer than CityMD Line

Photo by Lisa Kava.

At least 70 people were waiting in line around lunchtime to visit Pastrami Queen, the new restaurant on 72nd Street between Broadway and Columbus that opened on Tuesday. Pastrami Queen was selling their famous signature pastrami sandwiches for $4.99 for the day — a considerable discount from the usual $20 (though it’s not clear if the size is comparable).

Photo by Harry Leff.

The line stretched almost all the way down the block to Broadway, as seen in this video by Lisa Kava.

ABSURDITY, FOOD | 58 comments | permalink
    1. Hambone says:

      I like pastrami. I like a 4.99 sandwich (I do not like a $20 sandwich) but these people are completely insane. This is as dumb as the cronut craze

    2. jimbo gerosimo says:

      To all the people waiting on that line–GET A LIFE….

    3. Frank Costanza says:

      I’ve had it at their UES location, at best it’s mediocre NYC pastrami. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.

      • Where Is There Better Pastrami in NYC ? I love Pastrami..Please Tell Me where ?

        • Frank Costanza says:

          If you’re on the east side, try Russ & Daughters. Yum!

        • PastramiBliss says:

          I only eat kosher beef. My friend, who is as much of a pastrami nut as I am but does not keep kosher, has literally tried every pastrami offered in Manhattan, and most places in NYC at large. Without question, he said that the best pastrami he has ever had was from the restaurant “Ducks Eatery”, which closed a month ago. He was not impressed with Katz’s. However judging from articles I’ve read, it appears that according to most, Katz’s (not kosher), is the best pastrami in Manhattan.

        • Venus says:

          KATZ”S 205 E. HOUSTON ST 212-254-2246

    4. Duh says:

      Why is anyone surprised?
      You promote a special, people show up, and it gets press coverage.
      Happy to see a new business and I will go another day as my time is too precious. Looking forward to trying it though!

    5. Leon says:

      People in NY like to wait in lines. I have seen people waiting in lines and I have asked them what they were waiting for and they didn’t even know.

      I remember when Five Guys came to NY and people would wait in line for an hour. Meanwhile my friends in small town USA could walk right into their local Five Guys and place their order. Yet we think we are so smart…

    6. Pete Webb says:

      I am happy to see a NYC small business making money and doing well … Welcome to the neighborhood!

    7. adam says:

      Does anyone work?

      • Rz says:

        Well let’s see… the unemployment rate is sky high and they are selling sandwiches for $4.99….

      • LasVegasNevadaTowers says:

        I happened to take the day off and got in line as they opened….took about an hour because they were NOT prepared, but what can ya do? all good though, went to moma yesterday, got a ticket for amnh today; I adore how empty the museums are !

        you know how folks with Paid Time Off tend to take unnecessary days off during December? this was moreso the case for me this year, as my company told us just before Thanksgiving they are abolishing formal PTO and we are losing the 5 days we expected to roll over if we don’t use it. so I found myself a challenge!

    8. m.pipik says:

      Maybe they have been bored with eating the same foods week after week. This is something different.

      (I’m not a pastrami fan)

    9. jamie says:

      I waited a very long time for a supposed promotion. What I got was $5 worth low quality pastrami on bad rye bread. This was not a good foot forward in the neighborhood, I will not be going back.

    10. Otis says:

      I was there with my family.

      We waited nearly two hours but at least I can say I ate @ PQ on its opening day!

    11. Noweeman says:

      Voted. Check.
      Trader Joe’s. Check.
      Covid test. Check.
      Pastrami sandwich. Check.
      Ive got a few hours free, where should I line up tomorrow?

      • Naomi says:

        Yup, that’s what life in NYC has become in the 2020. And they say New Yorkers are impatient. I don’t think so.

      • LongtimeNYer says:

        Very funny!

      • Carlos says:

        LOL. This morning there was a really long line at the coffee place on 85th and Columbus. As one who doesn’t drink coffee, I don’t get it. Buy a Keurig and save a lot of time and money?

    12. Yankl says:

      In case anyone is wondering, the promo sandwiches are smaller than usual but delicious. Not bad for a 30-minute wait. Haters, why do you care?

    13. Shemp Howard says:

      Write an article on them in a month. When they are not selling 4.99 pastrami. See how good they are doing then.

    14. Robynn D says:

      Was disappointed in the quality of the meat. My sandwich was filled with fat. Totally get it was the first day, but these “pros” were extremely disorganized. Not enough help behind the counter and the “cashier”’appeared unfamiliar with the register. Lots of kinks to work out. On the positive side, it’s good to see.a new business open on the UWS.

      • pastrami aficionado says:

        Um, sorry, but pastrami is supposed to be fatty. Lean pastrami (or corned beef or brisket) is an oxymoron. If it doesn’t threaten your arteries it’s not worth eating.

        • Neal H says:

          No fat, no flavor.

        • William says:

          You are so lucky and correct. It is impossible to get a fatty pastrami sandwich in the San Francisco Bay Area. Count your blessing and enjoy it the fatty way it is supposed to be.

    15. MJK says:

      I love the irony that the last person to join the line in the video has a bag from Levain (where people wait in/on interminably long lines for a cookie)?

    16. David says:

      We wait on line to get in line. What a mess.

      • Z.P says:

        Absolutely loved the topics (pastrami, sandwich, price, quality) the responses are hilarious, but the best was, David, “We wait on line to get in line. What a mess.” You guys made my day. Proves NYers can have good clean

    17. Lightening says:

      Promotion great idea. However, sandwich was mediocre at best. Skimpy & fatty. Hot dog not good.

    18. Anna says:

      Limit of one promotional sandwich per customer only. Sandwiches are a smaller “promotional” size rather than full size.

    19. EGF says:

      One lesson I have learned over the years is to never go to a new restaurant, especially on the first day. You always let them work out the kinks with others who “have to be the first to try it.”

    20. Sharon says:

      It was more like a rye bread sandwich with pastrami
      However it was tasty. Very good hotdog and they came around the line with delicious soup to keep us warm.

    21. Buddy Revell says:

      Only on the UWS is money more valuable than time. I’m laughing at people willing to wait hours in line, in the cold, and during a pandemic to save a few bucks. I’m generally not concerned with how people spend their time but these people also vote…..

    22. Gail says:

      The comments section is such a cesspool of negativity. Good thing it doesn’t reflect the reality of the neighborhood. Glad to see a new business in the neighborhood!

      • Peter says:

        You want people who waited 2h in line for what seems to be a terribly mediocre experience to reflect “the reality of the neighborhood”? What does that even mean?

    23. elsje says:

      Somewhat deceptive advertising as the sandwich is a smaller version of what people might expect. You probably get much more at a deli. The hot dog is no big deal. My advise do not bother with the 2 hour wait. It’s not what you will expect.

    24. Josh says:

      After trying for 2 days including 1st thing this morning, sent my home aide, they would only give her 1 of each even tho I spoke to them on phone. I understand limiting for a sale, but this was legitimately for 2 people, 1 medically unable to wait online. Now I will never patronize them.

    25. UWS pastrami aficionado says:

      Ok. Let’s get a few things straight. The best pastrami – anywhere – is Katz’s. In NYC, Pastrami Queen is a not-so-close #2. If you eat your pastrami “lean” or put mayo on it you should not be casting aspersions on truly great pastrami. I come by my pastrami palette honestly, having grown up in Baltimore during the hey day of Lombard Street AKA Corned Beef Row. Attman’s of Lombard Street still serves a good pastrami sandwich. Pastrami Queen replaces the venerable Fine & Schapiro which also made a decent pastrami sandwich. But not in the same league as Pastrami Queen.

      Pastrami Queen — welcome to the neighborhood!

    26. Mike V says:

      A place that had been around for decades and offered a pretty good pastrami sandwich (Fine & Shapiro) had to shut down, and was replaced at the same location by a place that made a mediocre pastrami sandwich (Pastrami Queen). Another sign of the apocalypse.

    27. Peter Brandt says:

      Waited 1.5 hrs in the cold; but it wasn’t worth it, not a regular Pastrami that they may have been famous for, its a thinner $5 sandwich and the bread was like a plain white slice (but they called it rye). Nope they disappointed !

    28. Antonia Bryan says:

      Zabar’s has fabulous pastrami. And other huge satisfying sandwiches on great bread. Not the pre-made ones — the ones at the deli counter, made to order.