I didn’t know what to make of it. In London back then—and still, too often, now—pastrami was a blunt hit of fire and spice, the beef brisket sliced so wafer thin that it fractured and crumbled if you tried to pick it up with your fingers. It was dry. This, however, was a monster, filled with thick slices of beef, the deep rosy pink of the best satin knickers. Yes, the meat was spiced, but it was also soft and moist and smoky. It was the best sandwich I had ever eaten.