Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rate-A-Restaurant, #125 in a series

Restaurant: Billy's Deli and Cafe

Location:216 N. Orange Street (Glendale)

Type of restaurant: Deli

We stipulated: As much as we love Langer's, we can't just quickly make it over to MacArthur Park anytime we're suddenly jonesing for pastrami (particularly given Langer's limited hours of operation). We'd heard that Billy's -- an institution in its own right -- had a sandwich that rivaled Langer's. A visit was long overdue.

What we ordered: Maria: Hot Pastrami sandwich ($9.25) with fries (99 cents more). Mike: Sky High Sandwich (Cole Slaw and Dressing on Hot Pastrami) with Macaroni salad on the side ($10.50)

High point: The pastrami delivered. Not too fatty, but nice; portions are also sizeable -- and the prices are cheaper than at Langer's (and even come with a side order -- unlike Langer's!). The restaurant was also a nice surprise. While Langer's is decorated in 1970s kitsch (perhaps because it hasn't been renovated since the 70s), Billy's is more updated -- including cool black-and-white photos of old Glendale on the wall.

Low point: The pastrami's great, but the bread needs work (and is vastly inferior to Langer's). In terms of the dressing on my Billy's sandwich, it was barely noticeable -- advantage, again, to Langer's. Service was also spotty, despite the lack of a crowd.

Overall impression: Langer's still has the better pastrami sandwich, but Billy's is a real contender. With it much closer by, Billy's is worth future visits.

Chance we will go back:: Yup, that's a given.

(For our complete list of nearly 125 restaurant reviews, visit our companion Rate-A-Restaurant site.)

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