New York 2013 – Katz’s Deli

6 Jan

Smoked meat vs. Pastrami on Rye. Similar to the bagel discussion, this is a heated topic between Montrealers and New Yorkers in the culinary arena. Which one rains supreme? As a native Montrealer, I think you can all guess where I stand on this topic but regardless, I felt it was important to try a true Pastrami on Rye sandwich while in New York. Naturally, I chose to head to Katz’s Delicatessen, a NY institution. This place has been serving people since 1888 and known for a number of classic deli dishes including their pastrami sandwich. People may also know Katz’s as the place where the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from When Harry Met Sally took place. There is actually a sign in the restaurant noting actually where they were sitting.

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The deli makes me think of Schwartz’s here in Montreal – if Schwartz’s were about 10 times larger. The place doesn’t look like anyone has touched the decor in at least 10 years and the walls are littered with picture after picture of celebrities coming in to try out their fare. The place apparently always has a line-up and it most certainly did when we walked in… At 4pm on a Tuesday.

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Prior to the sandwich, I got some fries and a root beer, my classic deli drink. The fries, quite honestly, were terrible. Too much of a large cut, the fries were not very crispy and didn’t have much going for them. The sandwich really needed to step up to the plate now.

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The sandwich was a lot closer to Montreal Smoked Meat than expected. It is a wetter approach similar to what you see at Smoked Pete’s than Schwartz’s if we want to make the Montreal comparison. I wasn’t provided an option of lean vs. medium cut but this was closer than medium in terms of cut. Very flavorful and tender – they certainly know what they are doing. It is not Montreal smoked meat but honestly I came out of there with a much more favorable option of Pastrami than I did when I walk in. Katz’s deli is certainly an experience worth having if you’re heading into NY. Just expect having a hard time finding a cab to bring you back uptown if you need it 😉

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Cheers!

Katz’s Delicatessen
205 East Houston Street
New York, NY
212 254 2246

Katz's Deli on Urbanspoon

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