9 Jun 2011
No tourist circuit of New York is complete without a visit to Katz’s Deli, famous for being the location of Meg Ryan’s notorious scene (you know the one), in the film When Harry Met Sally. And when you check out the size of the meat, why not?
Situated in the Lower East Side since it’s founding in 1888, serving up kosher-style food, Katz’s Deli has become a symbol of the neighbourhood’s Jewish history.
Being so well known, it was inevitably a very busy restaurant. Entry is ticketed and all food ordered is written up on your ticket for you to pay for upon exit.
Upon ordering the pastrimi sandwich (widely considered one of New York’s best), I was offered a little slice of the pastrami to sample. Served warm, the flavours that came through were meaty, salty, smoky and a tad spicy too!
The sandwich itself was thick with mustard for that extra kick, and packed with the soft, tender pastrami. I had a few initial concerns about how to get a sandwich of such mass into my mouth, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was all perfectly soft and squashable. Even so, it was still extremely filling so I’m glad I shared it rather than ordering a whole one for myself.
At US$15.75, it seemed a little steep for a sandwich but then again there was a heck of a lot of meat. It also came with a plate of gherkins. Chips were extra at US$4.75 a plate.
The Rueben (US$16.55) contained corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Russian dressing sandwiched between rye bread, resulting in a much tangier sandwich.
Although Katz’s isn’t the kind of place I could imagine myself regularly going to for lunch (not that there’s any similar establishments in London anyway that I’m aware of), the huge sandwiches were a fun novelty and it was pretty neat to experience a joint which had such a great New York feel to it.
Lower East Side
205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002