4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Heart & Trotter has a new toy

A pastrami fix whets the appetite for a summer of grilled meat galore

A hot pastrami sandwich, grilled on sourdough
A hot pastrami sandwich, grilled on sourdough

It had been too long since I’d come around to visit my favorite neighborhood butcher shop, North Park’s Heart & Trotter. In addition to the whole animal cuts and house-made sausages found in their butcher cases, the small shop makes a pretty mean assortment of hot sandwiches, which might include a burger, cheesesteak, or smoked turkey. I showed up with a serious craving for the $13 hot pastrami.

Place

Wise Ox

2855 El Cajon Boulevard #1, San Diego

Made with red cabbage slaw, Swiss cheese, and mustard on grilled sourdough from Liberty Station baker Con Pane, the makings of a decent sandwich are there, but no question it’s a showcase for the flavor wallop of the house pastrami.

The guys behind the counter tell me is starts with the tough navel cut of the brisket, which undergoes a nine-day process involving a lengthy brine, applewood and hickory smoke, and steam. The result is beautiful, tenderized hunk of marbled meat, with a peppery crust and ribbon of fat running through its center.

Bone appetit! Grilling steaks and bone marrow in the Heart & Trotter parking lot.

Historically, pastrami was developed to render a cheap cut of beef tender enough to eat, but particularly in the age of artisanal preparation I’ve come to value the stuff over a couple higher priced cuts of steak. I’ve got no problem chomping into a well rendered ribbon of fat, and after sampling a slice of Heart & Trotters I can attest it disintegrates in your mouth in a flavor rush of salt, smoke, and meaty goodness.

However, for this sandwich, they chop the pastrami fine, and heaped a pile of it grilled between slices of bread. Hence, the fat is well distributed through the chewier meat, leaving this sandwich with a satisfying gnash without encountering any of those awkward moments when you bite into a touch strand and pull a whole slice of beef out with a single bite. In short, I very much enjoyed it, and every customer that walked past while I enjoyed it on Heart & Trotters small patio, eyed the sandwich with envy.

A nine-day process turns brisket into this delicious pastrami

However, the sandwich alone isn’t driving my current Heart & Trotter excitement. The big news here is that the butcher has a new toy.

It’s a custom-built Santa Maria grill, made with a pulley system so the grilling surface may be raised or lowered, depending how close you want it to the heat source. The obvious reason for the butcher shop to buy such a thing is to grill the specialty of Santa Maria BBQ, that ranch-spawned marinated beef tradition of California’s central coast: tri tip.

But plenty other cuts of meat may be cooked on such a grill, and when you’re operating a whole animal butcher shop, interesting options arise. So when the Heart & Trotter team wheeled their new grill into their parking lot on a sunny May weekend to break it in, they got a little creative. They decide to cook up a pig’s head, and served pork cabeza tacos and sandwiches to customers fortunate enough to stop by that day. And when they grilled New York strips, they did so along long cuts of bone, so they could lay the steaks over roasting marrow, to be spread over the meat upon serving.

So, if you need another reason to rue the excessive rain we’ve seen this spring, here it is: Heart & Trotter plans to make their grilling exercises a regular weekend thing this summer.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Transparency not hallmark of Todd Gloria's top operators

Streetlight spycam spokeswoman picked as mayor's top media gatekeeper
Next Article

Cold Turkey for Thanksgiving

The first feature to feature flatulence
A hot pastrami sandwich, grilled on sourdough
A hot pastrami sandwich, grilled on sourdough

It had been too long since I’d come around to visit my favorite neighborhood butcher shop, North Park’s Heart & Trotter. In addition to the whole animal cuts and house-made sausages found in their butcher cases, the small shop makes a pretty mean assortment of hot sandwiches, which might include a burger, cheesesteak, or smoked turkey. I showed up with a serious craving for the $13 hot pastrami.

Place

Wise Ox

2855 El Cajon Boulevard #1, San Diego

Made with red cabbage slaw, Swiss cheese, and mustard on grilled sourdough from Liberty Station baker Con Pane, the makings of a decent sandwich are there, but no question it’s a showcase for the flavor wallop of the house pastrami.

The guys behind the counter tell me is starts with the tough navel cut of the brisket, which undergoes a nine-day process involving a lengthy brine, applewood and hickory smoke, and steam. The result is beautiful, tenderized hunk of marbled meat, with a peppery crust and ribbon of fat running through its center.

Bone appetit! Grilling steaks and bone marrow in the Heart & Trotter parking lot.

Historically, pastrami was developed to render a cheap cut of beef tender enough to eat, but particularly in the age of artisanal preparation I’ve come to value the stuff over a couple higher priced cuts of steak. I’ve got no problem chomping into a well rendered ribbon of fat, and after sampling a slice of Heart & Trotters I can attest it disintegrates in your mouth in a flavor rush of salt, smoke, and meaty goodness.

However, for this sandwich, they chop the pastrami fine, and heaped a pile of it grilled between slices of bread. Hence, the fat is well distributed through the chewier meat, leaving this sandwich with a satisfying gnash without encountering any of those awkward moments when you bite into a touch strand and pull a whole slice of beef out with a single bite. In short, I very much enjoyed it, and every customer that walked past while I enjoyed it on Heart & Trotters small patio, eyed the sandwich with envy.

A nine-day process turns brisket into this delicious pastrami

However, the sandwich alone isn’t driving my current Heart & Trotter excitement. The big news here is that the butcher has a new toy.

It’s a custom-built Santa Maria grill, made with a pulley system so the grilling surface may be raised or lowered, depending how close you want it to the heat source. The obvious reason for the butcher shop to buy such a thing is to grill the specialty of Santa Maria BBQ, that ranch-spawned marinated beef tradition of California’s central coast: tri tip.

But plenty other cuts of meat may be cooked on such a grill, and when you’re operating a whole animal butcher shop, interesting options arise. So when the Heart & Trotter team wheeled their new grill into their parking lot on a sunny May weekend to break it in, they got a little creative. They decide to cook up a pig’s head, and served pork cabeza tacos and sandwiches to customers fortunate enough to stop by that day. And when they grilled New York strips, they did so along long cuts of bone, so they could lay the steaks over roasting marrow, to be spread over the meat upon serving.

So, if you need another reason to rue the excessive rain we’ve seen this spring, here it is: Heart & Trotter plans to make their grilling exercises a regular weekend thing this summer.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Transparency not hallmark of Todd Gloria's top operators

Streetlight spycam spokeswoman picked as mayor's top media gatekeeper
Next Article

San Diego County lakes and their fish, Descanso neighbors feud, Cameron Corners for sale

Logging trucks in Julian, Christian cowboys in Lakeside
Comments
1
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
May 27, 2019

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close