Last weekend I had my first experience at the famous Katz’s Deli. It was a spur of the moment decision at 3am, so aside from the noteworthy reviews the food warrants, you can imagine how satisfying it was for us at that particular moment.
I am a bit embarrassed that it took me two years of living here to actually order from Katz’s. Granted I tried (once) last March. It was my birthday and I planned a lunch at Katz’s but when we arrived the line encircling the building was less than inviting and we bailed with growling stomachs.
So last weekend, after a night of late night (early morning?) concerts, we were excited to see the neon red sign glowing, indicating that this place was open 24/7. Score! *I think it should be noted that at this hour of the day some 100 people were also eating here.
Upon entering the deli, you receive a ticket. Once the order is taken at the counter, the ticket is marked and you pay on the way out. No exit without a ticket. So even if you are not eating, you must return your ticket if you want to leave (which is what the guy in front of us realized in his drunken stupor). But honestly, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that being stuck inside Katz’s wouldn’t be the end of the world for anyone. This place knows what they’re doing. From pastrami and corned beef to half-sour pickles and matzoh ball soup; I don’t think you can go wrong unless you’re a vegetarian I guess…
On this outing my friend and I went for the half sandwich and soup deal. For me was the reuben plus matzoh ball soup and my friend the pastrami and split pea. Word to the wise: always eat with friends. It increases your probability of eating more than what you paid for 🙂
For those who are not familiar with Katz’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, let me shed some light on their history. Katz’s is a “kosher style” deli that opened its doors 125 years ago. They are known for their hotdogs and pastrami sandwiches, but literally any sandwich you choose will knock your socks off. The freshly sliced high-quality meat will be piled high between soft slices of bread that just barely contain the amount of deliciousness inside. Katz’s developed a strong community during the early 20th century when many immigrants packed into the surrounding area. They have maintained tradition and quality throughout three depressions, numerous recessions, the construction of the Subway and two World Wars. They truly are THE BEST DELI in NYC. I think you should give it a try.