Monday, September 24, 2012

Katz's Delicatessen: Where Harry Met Sally

I did a bit of exploring all by my lonesome when in New York and decided to visit Katz's Delicatessen for brunch. A New York institution (and where Harry met Sally), Katz's has been around since 1888, it's what you'd consider the “gold standard" for Jewish delis in NYC, and is also the only place in town that still hand-carves all its pastrami and corned beef. And this is New York, so that's saying something!

I took the bus all the way to the other end of town, trying to find my way around the grid that is New York, hunting this place down. I finally found it at around 11 o'clock in the morning, and the place was already packed! Going in, you're given a ticket, you then line up or squeeze yourself in with the other hungry tourists and locals, order what you want, and they stamp your ticket. You pay at the cashier on the way out. Pretty convenient.

There are separate stations for hot dogs, soup, sandwiches, sides, drinks, and take out. They give you bits of the meat to taste when you order, which just made me want to order more! But at $15.95 a sandwich, I mustered all the self-restraint I had to pace myself.

After ordering, I navigated my way through the crowd of people, finding a spot to sit with my new food fling.

I came here with only one thing in mind: Katz's Pastrami sandwich. It came with a side of huge pickles, which was enough to make me not order any fries or knishes. The pastrami itself was warm, moist, and oh-so-tender, full of flavor, with just the right tang from the mustard. It was so heavy, too! I had eaten my way through half a sandwich, washing it down with a can of Dr.Browns root beer, and had the other half to go.

Looking around, the place is chock-full of old photos, mostly from the 80s and early 90s, of celebrities, politicians, and other famous people I don't know, amidst a smattering of old posters, and lighted signs. There's actually a hanging sign right underneath the table where Harry Met Sally. They're milking it a bit too much, if you ask me. No one has seen a Meg Ryan flick in ages.

You can also order salamis to go as well, or send one to a loved one in the service. It was a really nice touch.

Let's just say this place is awesome! The sandwiches are probably the best deli style sandwiches I have ever had. It's worth the hype, worth the mucking around the Lower East Side for, worth the line, and worth forking up the cash.

Katz's Delicatessen
+1 (212) 254 2246
205 E Houston St
(between Avenue A & Essex St)
New York, NY 10002