Friday, May 6, 2011

Katz's Deli

Okay, I need to admit that I've never been to Katz's Deli. In fact, I haven't been to many of the iconic Jewish Delis in general. Yes, I was born here. Yes, I was raised her. I guess I was just deprived of the experience. Now, as an income earning adult, I can take these matters in my own hands. So off I went with Mr. M&P in tow to bathe ourselves in beefy goodness.

Some may say that Katz's is a ladnmark. Others may say it's overrated. But there's only one way to find out for sure. But before I get into the food, I want to talk about the strange seating system by Katz's. When you enter, either you sit by the wall on the left for full table service by a waiter, or go to the right and stand in line for self service. The right side counters are split up by what you want like sandwiches, or meat by the pound, or sides, etc. We decided to sit for waiter service. The lines for self service was ridiculous, and open seating was no where to  be seen. I spotted a 6 top table with a couple sitting on the outside. I politely ask if the open chairs were occupied. They replied no and gladly shifted so that we could squeeze in.

The waiter came around and introduced him. He was really nice and friendly. We perused the menu for laughs because we knew what we wanted already: pastrami sandwich, corned beef sandwich, and fries. The fries came out first and were crispy and delicious. Super soft on the inside but a nice crunch on the outside. Nicely done.
The pickles came out next and I was happily presented with half sours, full sours, and pickled tomatoes. I partial to half sours and munched on them happily. They were good here. But I knew I had to keep some for the sandwich. The vinegar helps break up the monotonous beef injection.
And the sandwiches land! Nicely sized. Not too much but definitely not too little. A big eater could definitely finish this and Mr. M&P certainly did. The corned beef had a nice texture and was pretty tasty. The mustard was a great addition and added to the overall flavor of the sandwich. However, it just need something extra.
That something extra was in the pastrami sandwich. The black pepper just added so much flavor to the meat but the corned beef had no chance. This was by far the much better plate. Good thing we went halves or else one of us would have been pretty upset. Texturally, it was similar to the corned beef but that black pepper with a squirt of mustard just made me really happy.
The meat at Katz's wasn't too lean nor fatty. It was a world of goodness in my mouth. I was really happy with this and could think of going back again. Would I order something else? Probably not. It's that good.

So I guess there are always a bunch of rules to go by when dining at Katz's. So here is what I recollect:

Left side by the wall is waiter service only.
Tables in the middle are first come, first served.
The counters are self service.
After ordering, keep your small tickets. The waiter or people in front will collect them. Scary words of paying $50+ are mentioned if you lose them.
If you do waiter service, show your receipt when you get to the front so you can leave without standing in line.

Oh Katz's, even with your outdated and weird ordering system with the tickets, I'll be back for some very good pastrami.

Katz's Deli
205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(800) 446-8364


  1. I have never been to Katz's. Bad Jew!

    half sours are my FAVORITE pickles.

    CT and I need to go there soon!

    mmm meat

  2. @TT: I was thinking about doing a Jewish deli/pastrami crawl. Interested?

  3. @Hungry: uhhhh YES!

    add Sarges to the list!

  4. I've never been to Katz's Deli or any of the renouned Jewish Delis. Oh well.

    Not really a fan of pastrami. I like corned beef but it looks like the pastrami is the winner at Katz's.

  5. I have never been to Katz. but I have been to Bens Best...
    i told my fam i would go to katz if they paid. lol


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