What: The beef ’n’ latkas
Where: Sherman’s Deli and Bakery, 401 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs; 73161 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert
How much: $13.95
Contact info: 325-1199 (Palm Springs); 568-1350 (Palm Desert); www.shermansdeli.com
Why: The crunchiness of the latkas.
OK, I know what you’re thinking: The Independent is endorsing a sandwich at Sherman’s? Well, duh. That’s like endorsing Meryl Streep for her acting ability. There’s no news there.
On one hand, you’re correct: The fact that Sherman’s Deli and Bakery has tasty sandwiches is no news. After all, the deli has been around for a half-century as of this year, and draws big crowds at both of its locations.
But on the other hand, you may have overlooked this sandwich. In fact, on the Sherman’s website, this sandwich is not even listed in the “sandwich” category. Instead, you can find the beef ’n’ latkas under “specials.”
The concept is pretty simple: The folks at Sherman’s take either the corned-beef or pastrami sandwich, your choice (we choose pastrami), and swap out the bread in favor of potato pancakes. But the change this simple swap makes to the flavor and mouth feel of this sandwich is out of this world. The earthiness of the potatoes melds perfectly with the saltiness of the pastrami; the outer crunch and soft interior of the latkas contrasts nicely with the subtle stringiness of the meat.
There’s only one problem, though (unless you’re a cardiologist, in which case this sandwich offers multiple problems): The latkas arrive at the table hot, and cool down much more slowly than the pastrami does. Therefore, we endorse eating this sandwich with a fork.
Perhaps that’s why this sandwich is not listed under “sandwiches.” But no matter where the beef ’n’ latkas are listed, this is one big plate o’ food worth ordering.