The Pastrami Project Food Truck

After a big opening weekend serving the mob of Comic Con, the new kid on the block ,The Pastrami Project, started to make some waves and when I saw them post that they would be close at The Imperial, I knew I had to ride my bike over and give these guys a shot.

Before I went, I looked up their menu online and much to my dismay, the website was pretty bad the two small jpegs that stood in for a menu were disappointing. A rub of my eyes and a bit of squinting and I picked up on the gist of what was being served, their take on a great New York Deli. I decided on the Smoked Turkey sandwich (“served warm, hand sliced to order, on your choice of bread with Hellman’s mayonnaise” according to the menu) with pickles and chips. With that decision, I hopped on my bike and rode down.

 Upon arriving at The Imperial at Washburn Imports, I noticed the truck was facing towards the building, giving it a bit of a closed vibe but when I approached the truck I was greeted by the smiling face of George Markward, the owner of the Pastrami Project truck. I asked if they were serving and he assured me they were. There wasn’t a menu on the outside of the truck when I arrived (about 45 minutes after they had opened) but I am sure it was an oversight and will be focused on more as they work out the kinks.

 I asked George if I could have the Smoked Turkey ($8) sandwich but they were out. Or perhaps they hadn’t finished cooking it yet, because I was told they “don’t have any yet” so who really knows. With that blow, I decided to go with the house specialty, the Pastrami on Rye ($9), and boy am I glad I did. I also ordered the House Half-Sour Pickles ($1) and the chips ($1).

I road my bike down to the lake, opened the bag up, and got to work.

The Pastrami Sandwich at the Pastrami Project Food Truck

The Pastrami Sandwich at the Pastrami Project Food Truck

When you first open the bag you are hit with the intense smoke of the pastrami. Wrapped in a basic sandwich wrap, it would be hard pressed to hold all of the great smoke aroma. I then fished through the bag to pull out the pickles and chips. Like I would do at any good deli, I started in on the pickles first.

The Pastrami Project’s pickles are house-made half-sour pickles and they are good. Possibly my favorite part of the meal but that’s saying quite a lot because the pastrami is very good as well. But I do happen to love these house-made pickles. Being half-sours they still carry quite a lot of their past-life’s flavor. The cucumber flavor mixed with the subtle pickling flavors make for very good half-sours. Definitely worth the extra dollar.

The chips won’t get much of a mention as they are store-bought and repackaged in Ziploc bags. Still added a nice salty bit of crunch during the meal. Probably worth the dollar if you’re in need of a bit of crunch.

I then moved on to the Big Show, the Pastrami Sandwich. I had asked for the spicy mustard on the side, but was given the mustard on the sandwich anyway but in the end it was a minor inconvenience rather than a big to-do – I was still able to taste all of the elements separately. Now I would not consider myself the worlds for-most expert on pastrami but I do know a thing or two about the smoked meat specialty and this pastrami hit all of the right notes. The smokiness was great, along with their house spice blend rubbed liberally on to the outside of this hunk of meat. The meat itself just fell apart when biting in to the sandwich, held together on the outsides every so slightly by the fat cap on the brisket cut. There was a nice amount of heat as well to the rub which I found nice, it blended nicely with the bite of the rye bread and the spicy mustard.

Overall I would definitely try this truck again and recommend it to others. Check out their website at pastramiproject.com, their Twitter at @pastramiproject, and their Facebook at facebook.com/thepastramiproject and let them know that Orlando Food Scene sent you guys down.

And don’t worry George, next time I won’t call you sir.