Attman’s Potomac Deli, Potomac, Montgomery County, Maryland

This report is on our continuing series on Jewish delis, with current focus on pastrami in the Washington area. Previous Jewish deli reports have included Shapiro’s, Perly’s, and the Parkway Deli in Silver Spring, Maryland.

The Blog’s Senior Jewish Deli correspondent, Les Wexler, recommended Attman’s. It’s a Montgomery County outpost of a Baltimore deli on Corned Beef Row, on Lombard Street. The local version is in the Park Potomac development at Montrose and Seven Locks just off I-70.

Once you get inside, Attman’s is a classic deli. There’s a seductive room for carryout, jammed with a cornucopia of Jewish treats.

Beyond there are two dining rooms connected by a narrow corridor separating booths and leading to the Kibbitz room.

Nancy and I never made it to the Kibbitz Room. We were seated in a 2-top right at the entry, the perfect position to overhear people in line and the group at the adjacent 4-top. There were some stories, but nothing to match the story I overheard in Langer’s in Los Angeles from a woman whose young neighbor was hosting dinner for her (the neighbor’s) boss and, against advice, decided to add mushrooms from her yard to the salad. She tested a mushroom by giving it to her dog, who didn’t react. The dinner was served and while they were eating, the young neighbor had a call from a lady across the street: “I’m so sorry, but your dog has died.” She rushed everyone to the emergency room to have their stomachs pumped. When she returned, the lady across the street told her how sorry she was that the dog had been run over. I’ve lived a great life. Langer’s, by the way, has superb pastrami.

Back to Attman’s. They have a pickle bar.

I’ve been a huge pickle fan since grade school, and a pickle bar is an express lane to my heart.

Nancy ordered a turkey sandwich on multigrain.

Nancy told me that she’d ordered a small, but I hope that’s a medium. The idea of doubling that meat is alarming, and a macher would be … terrifying. It was far too much turkey for Nancy, and afterwards she commented, “I guess I don’t like overstuffed sandwiches.” Opposites attract. Nancy also said that the 7-grain bread was a little dry, and that she should have ordered rye.

I was torn. I saw corned beef hash and thought I should order a couple of eggs over easy and …. No. I came here for pastrami. Upheld by my iron will, I ordered a small pastrami on rye

and a side of corned beef hash.

Now isn’t that good looking pastrami? It was rimmed with bits of fat, and fat, after all, is flavor, and Attman’s pastrami is very flavorful. The bread was good, the mustard was good, all in all a great combination. My only complaint, a minor one, is that it was a little resistant, so that biting all the way through that pile of pastrami was a challenge. Bites often pulled a ribbon of pastrami with it, much as sometimes happens with prosciutto. I felt like I needed a spoon, as for a fork full of spaghetti. It was a bit of a mess, but a glorious mess.

The corned beef has was combination of very good corned beef and hash browns, but it was pretty clear that they’d been cooked separately and tossed together. I prefer everything cooked together, and the world could learn a lot from the Olympos Diner. I may be unfair here. I should have ordered a fried egg on top of the corned beef hash.

The sandwiches came with house-made chips that had turned brown from the exposure of the potato sugar, as opposed to overcooking. I rarely like house-made/kettle cooked potato chips, but ate some with Ottoman’s good mustard. (I don’t like ketchup.) Nancy, for perhaps the first time ever, was put off by the lack of salt on the chips.

The tariff for the meal was $53.50, plus tip. On the way out, we picked up a quart of chicken soup, a half pound of corned beef, and a chocolate chip cookie. The next day, I warmed up half of the corned beef in a skillet and had it on a sandwich — rye bread, corned beef, deli mustard, and kosher dill pickles. Nice. Very nice. Just as nice the next day. Nancy had some of the soup for a late lunch after a long cold walk in Rock Creek Park. She loved it, and remarked that it warmed her up after the walk.

Attman’s definitely is a step up, good enough that I may get up to the Baltimore original one of these days. Give it a try.


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4 thoughts on “Attman’s Potomac Deli, Potomac, Montgomery County, Maryland

  1. Promising! A good review. Thanks. I may have to try it again and see how it compares to the original in Baltimoe.

    And, advice from my late mother, always have a can of Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray tonic with you pastrami sandwich.
    Yes, it’s celery soda, and sounds very weird, but it goes great with pastrami.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post. I have rarely considered ordering corned beef hash at delis. Your experience may keep me headed in the same direction.

    I’ve thought about trying to get to the Attman’s in Baltimore at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

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