Neither Italian nor Jewish, though a pastrami sandwich is on the menu and the owner will be opening up a pastrami bar on Linienstraße in the near future. That pastry, a NY-style cheesecake (i.e. no back crust) is made by a 60-year-old Detroiter who plays in a local blues band. At €3.50, it’s a little small but hits all the right cheesecake notes – light, creamy, zippy, though the graham cracker crust could be crunchier: it’s the best I’ve had in Berlin. LZ started out as a 24-hour spot in the middle of the new hotel district, but that experiment failed, I suspect because neither the Amano Hotel nor Delicious Doughnuts customers nearby care much about food at 3am.
The pastrami sandwich (€6.50) is served cold on a small baguette with the pastrami sliced thin. As with Schmidt’s, it could be fattier, and this may be the reason the sandwiches at LZ tend to be sweetly over-sauced. Aside from to the cucumber/tomato salsa, there’s not a lot of topping variation available, and the sandwiches are usually served with only a few lonely olives, though hummus and pasta salads are for sale. One hopes that, at the new pastrami bar, there will be at least a small availability of meat that follows the NY deli tradition of sitting in its own unhealthy juices for days at a time.