Not Your Mum's Pastrami
Best pastrami in Texas graduates from farmers markets to its own East Austin deli
Not every farmers market is so lucky as to have a stand shelling out freshly sliced hot pastrami. Mum Foods brought the people what they didn’t know they needed — and what they promptly fell in love with — for years at three Austin markets, earning acclaim in Texas Monthly for the “best pastrami in the state” all the way back in 2017, and maintaining a juicy reputation since. It is finally taking up a more permanent residence in the Windsor Park neighborhood at 5811 Manor Road.
Officially Mum Foods Smokehouse and Delicatessen, the new space plans a soft opening on November 10 with “more grand opening celebrations to follow.” Fans should, of course, look into the new brick-and-mortar store, but can still keep Mum Foods in their farmers market routines (i.e. eating fresh, fat-dripping slices right at the stand before stashing the rest and hoping it makes it home).
Yes, the pastrami is still the star, sliced thick with a visible layer of fat intact, more like a barbecue brisket than what’s famous on the East Coast. The new space really hammers that point home with the smokehouse and deli equally emphasized, and favorites from both readily available by the pound or in sandwiches.
The latter include old favorites from the Mum Foods Modern Micro Deli — a former popup at the now-closed East Side Cafe — like the reuben-ish Rachel Sandwich with slaw and sauce, or the smoked chicken salad. These days, breads will be made in-house, too, for sandwiches on sourdough rye, pumpernickel, and beef tallow challah.
The barbecue portion includes Central Texas-style brisket, sausage, beef ribs, and smoked turkey. Rounded out with deli sides (supposedly distinct from barbecue sides), salads, and desserts, all made from local ingredients. A mysterious, mostly empty page on the website devoted to barbecue also says “pig roast” and “coming soon.”
Some other clues may be gleaned from the more explicit, sophisticated catering menu, with confit and smoked beef ribs in the colder seasons, and grilled Lockhart quail or hanger steak in the warmer ones.
Along with all these house specialties, the team is bringing local craft beers, wine, and even a coffee bar using Talisman Coffee products. Keeping pace with the meats, these espressos are also house-roasted from Nicaraguan beans grown on a family farm — not any family, but the owner’s for five generations.
More information will become available to newsletter subscribers, including details about the grand opening. Find Mum Foods by the pound at Texas Farmers Markets at Mueller and Lakeline, as well as the The Barton Creek Farmers Market.