Pastrami Zombie’s Wet, Hot, Smoked Reuben

Portland’s cart version of Ashland’s cult-worshipped Sammich serves up a magical Montreal-style sandwich.

By Benjamin Tepler August 15, 2016 Published in the September 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

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There’s something refreshing about an honest, no-frills sandwich: no coffee aioli, no plum-thyme conserva, and, please, no foie gras gravy. At Pastrami Zombie, the cart version of Ashland’s cult-worshipped Sammich sandwich shop, owner Melissa McMillan channels that blue-collar magic through Italian beef with giardiniera “served wet,” and consummate tuna salad made with house-poached Oregon albacore, avocado, and arugula. But the cart’s raison d’être is the Montreal-style pastrami: natural Angus brisket, brined for four days, smoked with black oak, and sliced thick. Best sample it in Reuben form, stacked high with crunchy slaw and Russian dressing, the rye bread soaked through with smoky, fatty goodness. New Yorkers, take note: this is not your Jewish deli pastrami. 

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