Mark your calendar and slice some rye: Saturday, Jan. 14, is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day. Yes, this is really a thing.

As such, Brookline hangout Michael’s Deli (256 Harvard St.) will donate 10 percent of all pastrami proceeds to The Greg Hill Foundation, founded by radio personality Greg Hill. The foundation responds to families touched by tragedy with immediate help, from victims of the recent Cambridge fire to Boston Marathon bombing survivors.

The story of this briny delight is a humble one: Lithuanian immigrant Sussman Volk reportedly created the first version in New York, nabbing the recipe from a Romanian pal in exchange for storing the friend’s luggage while abroad. (Isn’t this how all timeless dishes come about?) Volk then prepared the recipe and served it on sandwiches at his butcher shop, and a beefy, gelatinous legend was born.


So what can you do, hungry carnivore? Eat meat, of course. Head to Michael’s for pastrami in all its wonderment, from traditional Romanian to balsamic and fig to a sandwich piled high with sliced pastrami, cheddar cheese, hot peppers and honey mustard. They even have a hot dog wrapped in pastrami, slathered in sauerkraut. What’s not to love?

Michael’s owner Steven Peljovich has a long-standing passion for the meaty delight.

“I was born and raised in Miami Beach, and my small town had a two-block Main Street that had five different delis. I grew up going to them with my dad and watching the guys behind the counter ‘play with food.’ They had an energy and enthusiasm that was contagious,” he says, noting that he peddles hundreds of pounds of pastrami every week.