Schilo’s Delicatessen, San Antonio, Texas

Opened at its original location in San Antonio in 1917 by German immigrant ‘Papa’ Fritz Schilo, Schilo’s Delicatessen has been serving customers hearty German & deli food at its present location since 1942.

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The main dining room looks like it dates back farther than 1942 (perhaps it was another restaurant before Schilo’s?) with its pressed tin ceiling, wooden booths on one side, a deli counter on the opposite side, wooden tables and chairs on beautiful tile floors, and many windows to let in plenty of natural light during lunchtime.


They are famous for their homemade root beer, split pea soup, potato pancakes, and the Reuben sandwich on dark rye. I tried all the above, but I could have just had a large bowl of soup and a root beer and left satisfied. Their split pea soup is one of the best I’ve ever had. But the Reuben was a bit of a disappointment as the bread got a bit soggy from the sauerkraut.


During your visit make sure you look in the side dining room, which is filled with taxidermy, old postcards, and photographs.

image by © Darren Travels 2013

Schilo’s Delicatessen
424 E. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 223-6692
Open Mon-Sat 7:00am – 8:30pm, closed Sunday

How does Katz’s stack up to Langer’s?

Katz's pastrami on rye with russian dressing

I just got back from a trip to Boston and New York City (posting from my phone did not work, but I will figure it out before my next trip). Finally made it to Katz’s deli in NYC. Here is their formidable pastrami sandwich on rye with russian dressing. Katz’s pastrami is on a par with the pastrami at my favorite deli, Langer’s in Los Angeles, very tender and thickly sliced. And Katz’s tangy, relish-filled russian dressing is wonderful, perhaps better than Langer’s. But Katz’s sliced rye doesn’t come close to the fresh-baked rye at Langer’s, sliced for your sandwich still warm, with its crispy crust and soft center. Now I’m a Katz’s fan, but Langer’s still has the best pastrami sandwich anywhere. On my next visit I will try Second Avenue deli and see how they compare.

Katz’s Delicatessen
205 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-2246
Open Mon-Wed 8:00am-10:45pm
Thurs 8:00am-2:45am
On Fridays they open at 8am and stay open until 10:45pm Sunday night!


Langer’s Delicatessen, Los Angeles

Langer’s #1 – Pastrami, cole slaw, and Russian dressing on rye, and an egg cream

Here it is! Easily my favorite sandwich in the world. Warm pastrami, trimmed and sliced thick to order. Piled on house-baked rye bread that is sliced for each sandwich from still warm loaves using a meat slicer – crispy crust but super-soft center. Condiments: house made cole slaw and tangy Russian dressing (like Thousand Island but more mustard and less ketchup perhaps). I’ll pass on the Swiss cheese (with is their #19). Their corned beef is excellent too, but pastrami is the way to go in my opinion. I crave these all the time!

My Mom, who was born in Queens and is still a reader of New Yorker magazine despite living in California since the 1950s, told me about Langer’s in Los Angeles years ago when Nora Ephron raved about it in the pages of said magazine. And they were right!

I’m going back to New York City next week so I challenge the great Gotham city to beat this sandwich! I have Katz’s on the top of my list but in 2007 I went there too late at night and they had just closed the doors. From online photos Katz’s pastrami sandwich looks great, but Carnegie’s looks more like quantity over quality.

Langer’s Restaurant & Deli
704 South Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 483-8050
Open Monday – Saturday, 8am – 4pm
Closed Sundays
Langer’s website
Tips: they validate parking in the lot just east & across the street from the restaurant, they offer curb-side pickup, and they sell their pickles by the jar.