It’s Fair time and that means time for all that yummy food! Today’s Hotspot of the Week is all about one of our local food vendors at the Antelope Valley Fair—The Pastrami Booth brought to you by BETH KNESSET BAMIDBAR. They are one of the few local non-profit food vendors still at the fair and before I go on and on about how fabulous it was (I reviewed them at last year’s fair)—I thought I would start out with a few fun facts!

The BKB Pastrami Booth started selling pastrami sandwiches at the fair in 1954 and has continued in that fashion for 65 years! It has been the major fundraiser for the AV’s synagogue for more than half a century.

In 2004 a standalone trailer was purchased so that they could move to the new fairgrounds and continue to be part of the food vendors for the fair. The Pastrami meat is prepared in steamer pans so that every sandwich is prepared fresh to order! Fresh French Fries made-to-order and Nathan's All Beef Hot Dogs were introduced in 2004 at the new fairgrounds. In 2005 The King Pastrami Sandwich for the heartiest of appetites was introduced and in 2011 the Pastrami on Rye was born!

Over the last 65 years over ½ million pastrami sandwiches have been served to happy pastrami eaters and they have sold over 7,600 sandwiches yearly. Over 80,000 pounds of pastrami, 25,000 pickles (laid end to end they would go for nearly two miles), and over 500 gallons of mustard (enough to fill a swimming pool) have been used to create these fabulous sandwiches! Wow, that is absolutely incredible!

Most products used are purchased locally whenever possible as they believe in supporting the local community that supports them.

As my family and I were enjoying our dinner from the Pastrami Booth last year, I decided to take pictures and write all about it for the day the fair started! That way it would be fresh in everyone’s mind and you would be able to enjoy it for yourselves immediately!

We ordered the Pastrami on Rye. There is nothing better than thinly sliced well-seasoned meat piled high inside a soft, fresh rye roll—a nice twist to the classic sandwich. And hello, if you are still hungry after the first sandwich, go right ahead and order another. Or, better yet, order the King Pastrami instead; and leave the regular size to the light weights!

Friends, let’s talk about Pastrami. This ultra smoky, seasoned meat is an extreme delicacy that’s particularly delicious when served on rye bread. But that’s not the only way it’s glorious. Pastrami is awesome on its own and now you can enjoy it on a rye roll!  The rye roll is something amazingly different than ordinary bread. It’s the perfect vessel for this pastrami sandwich and only available at the fair. Grab your cowboy boots and hat and get on down to the fair where you have ten days to try one of these fabulous sandwiches! A win-win for everyone.

Now, for the Nathan’s Famous premium, 100% beef hotdog featuring the same original recipe cooked up by Nathan himself over 100 years ago! It may look like an ordinary hotdog in the photo; however, ordinary doesn’t even come close to the hotdog I had the pleasure of tasting. This dog had a firm texture and a “snap” that released a fabulous juice and flavor as soon as I took my first bite—Bravo! Hotdogs are traditionally garnished with a myriad of toppings, though mustard, ketchup and relish were my choice. Fair is definitely not fair without at least one hotdog and I didn’t share any of this beauty, as once I started, I couldn’t stop—barely coming up for air! As for the French fries—the moment you take that first bite and hear that satisfying crunch through the crispy outer layer, with the salt so discernible you feel it leaping onto your tongue you will know that you are enjoying an order of perfectly cooked French fries from the Pastrami booth! They’re warm and satisfying, and you polish them off one by one. Before you know they are all gone, leaving you craving for some more. The Pastrami booth will be my first stop this year at the fair as my mouth is watering as I write this!

The menu consists of Pastrami, Pastrami on Rye, King Pastrami, Pastrami Dog, Pastrami by the ounce, Hot Dogs, French Fries and Pickles. You may add chili or cheddar cheese to either your sandwich or to the fries at an additional cost.  Senior/Kids Meals and fountain soft drinks are also offered.

Be sure to stop by the Award-Winning Pastrami Booth while visiting the Antelope Valley Fair anytime starting today, August 16 thru Sunday, August 25th as you and your palate will be happy that you did! Bon Appétit!

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