Monday 30 December 2013

Katz's Deli, New York

Katz's Deli, New York
Ask for recommendations in New York and Katz's Deli will almost always appear. I'm from an industrial town in the North of England, which feels a million miles away from the glitz of New York City, yet I know a surprising number of people who have made the trip to a glorified butty shop on the other side of the Pond. It was immortalised in 'When Harry Met Sally', and their walls are covered in pictures of the celebrities who have eaten there. It's heaving. All the time. 
Katz's Deli, New York
Founded in 1888, this New York institution serves some of the best sandwiches in the world. There's no Man vs. Food, ten feet tall types here, just home cured meats served simply. Their menu is actually quite extensive, but everyone around us was on sandwiches, despite the nip in the air outside. 
Katz's Deli, New York
The best piece of advice I can give you, is do not dilly dally about on arrival. You need to make a decision and fast - am I going table service or self serve? I'd recommend table service for your first visit, because god help you if you don't know exactly what you want when you reach the front of the line. Go to the left for waiter service, right (and join a queue) to order immediately. You may be expected to share tables too - this is because it's generally 'rammers' all the time.
Katz's Deli, New York
The walls are testament to the colourful past of Katz's. There must be hundreds of prized photographs; collected as trophies from the celebrities who have dined there over the many years, although I'm sure every gaff in town has a bare faced picture of Gene Simmons with his tongue out.

You are given cloakroom tickets on arrival, and warned not to lose them - more of that wonderful New York charm that strikes fear into first time visitors! Once you're over the initial trauma of being seated, the service is actually very friendly. The lady who served us was particularly tickled at my face when sampling the bright green pickles brought to the table as standard - they were a little tart...
Katz's Deli, New York
Although this feels very much like a fast food restaurant, my husband was thrilled to find Brookyn has brewed a special 'Katz's Ale' especially for the venue too.
Katz's Deli, New York
Pastrami - Smoked to juicy perfection and hand carved to your specifications: Yes this really was as good as it looks. Charred spiced edges surround the most juicy and tender meat. To die for. My husband ate every scrap.
Katz's Deli, New York - Pastrami
Corned Beef - Our secret "dry cure" pickling formula requires a full month to be ready to serve: Forget the corned beef you know. This may not look like the Brazilian stuff you're used to seeing in a tin, but it tastes like it - only a hundred times better. Each flake of beef just falls apart when bitten. I managed half. I'm pathetic.
Katz's Deli, New York - Corned Beef
Just as we were leaving, we saw the New Zealand national football team walk past our table looking rather full indeed. That's probably why they got thrashed by Mexico a few days later...
Katz's Deli, New York
Katz's is an experience not to be missed, but I warn you - go hungry or go home... 

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