Three weekends ago my wife and I dropped by Canter's, partly to relive our days at UCLA and partly because I was hungry for some good down-home deli fixins. But, what stood out most about our lunch was that Canter's was expensive. They seemed to go after us every which way. The matzo ball soup was $6.50 but to add chicken was $2 and carrots $1. This was especially puzzling since the soup was probably made with carrots and chicken. It was almost like paying the restaurant $3 to not toss out part of your soup. To be fair, the bowl of soup was large, but $9.50?
I went with the pastrami, knowing full well this wouldn't be Canter's strong point. Although the pastrami was tender and juicy, the $11.95 for the sandwich was steep. Moreover, it didn't compare well at all, in terms of both quality and size, with what I got at Langer's (which served up the best pastrami sandwich I've ever had) or The Hat.
The French Dip was a better value, although it was made with beef brisket, giving it a fall-apart texture very different from the conventional French Dip.
When we left, we picked up some eclairs, which made us a hit with the kids. They were good! They also kept well--I ate some a week later (and 400 miles north) and they weren't the worse for wear.
419 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036