The No. 16 Sandwich is a classic invention of Westrich’s Deli in Rockaway Park, New York (a part of Queens Borough). The Gerstel family ran this 1930s-style establishment well into the 1980s. It is where our Publisher gained his love of great deli food, experimenting with a variety of classic recipes.  The No. 16 Sandwich, one of many superb sandwich combinations was his favorite.

This is not for the faint of heart, nor those who prefer to eat light. It’s a mile-high pile of heavy-duty calories, rich in cholesterol. But, oh my, how good this is! You can see from the photo, it stands about 6 inches tall, weighing in at around two pounds, each. It is, most assuredly, big enough to share among two or three others.

No. 16 Sandwich
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Each sandwich is big enough to feed two, so make these for 4 people with hearty appetites and big mouths. They're a handful.
Recipe type: Sandwiches
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: 2 sandwiches
  • 6 slices of thick, hearty rye bread
  • 1 pound chopped liver
  • 1/3 pound coleslaw
  • 4 Tablespoons Russian Dressing
  • 12 ounces sliced roast turkey
  • 12 ounces sliced pastrami
  • coleslaw
  • Kosher dill pickles
  1. Lay out the 6 slices of bread. Schmear two slices with 1 Tablespoon each of Russian dressing.
  2. Portion 1/2 pound chopped liver on each of those two slices and spread it out evenly. Spoon half the coleslaw (drained) onto the chopped liver. Cover with one slice of bread. Spread the top of that with another tablespoon of Russian Dressing on each sandwich.
  3. Pile about 6 ounces of sliced turkey onto that layer on each sandwich.
  4. Place the pastrami onto a ceramic plate and microwave for 60 to 90 seconds.
  5. Carefully, place 6 ounces pastrami on each sandwich.
  6. Top with the remaining slice of rye bread. Cut the sandwich in half.
  7. Serve with a portion of coleslaw and Kosher dilled pickles on the side.
  8. Goes perfectly with a Dr. Brown's Celray Tonic or Cream Soda.
When serving these sandwiches, don't hesitate to split them among a group of four, though the recipe makes 2 sandwiches.

The order of assembly is not too important, but it is important to make this in triple-decker mode because it's such a heavy sandwich. The extra middle slice of bread helps to hold it all together. Believe it bubbalah, this sandwich needs all the help it can get, and two fists.

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