It's pretty much a forgone conclusion that the ultra-thick pastrami at Langer's Delicatessen is the best in the city, and depending on whom you ask, one of the best in the country to boot. Sides of beef brisket are smoked, cured, steamed for hours, then sliced by hand — a step which owner Norm Langer insists is crucial — yielding a meat peppery and smoky enough to bring a man to tears.

So what could be better than digging into the famous #19 sandwich, made with hot pastrami, cole slaw, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese on warm, double-baked rye bread? How about enjoying it for free.

To celebrate 65 years of total deli domination (Langer's first opened in 1947) and four millions pounds of pastrami served, the Westlake institution will be serving free #19 sandwiches next Friday and Saturday. Langer's is extending its hours beyond 4 p.m. just for the event too; from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 15 and 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 16, each customer is eligible to receive one free sandwich. You must be seated at table, chair, or booth and must be waited on by a Langer's server (no take-out or bum-rushing) during the event hours to take advantage of the deal.

“It's our way of saying 'thank you most kindly' to our friends, fans, and patrons who have been there for us over our 65-year history,” says Langer. “The #19 is our most popular sandwich, and what better way to celebrate our anniversary than by giving back to those who have helped us get to this point — our valued customers.”

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