Friday, October 9, 2015

NYC Dining: Katz's Delicatessen

Among New York City's countless delis and sandwich shops, one place has stood above the rest for generations: Katz's Delicatessen. Located on the corner of Ludlow and Houston in the Lower East Side, Katz's serves "kosher style" sandwiches and meats – including its legendary pastrami sandwich.

It's also "where Harry met Sally."

The restaurant attracts hundreds of locals and tourists every day. The line often start at the deli's counter, continues out the door, and stretched down Houston Street. I lived a couple of blocks away from Katz's for two summers, and I never saw the place empty.

Who knew that thick cut pastrami piled high on rye bread could create such a stir?

However, ashamed as I am to admit it, I didn't eat at New York City's "most legendary" deli until my last day in Manhattan. Here's what I thought of Katz's Delicatessen.

My dad and I arrived at Katz's at about 11 a.m. on a Saturday. While the crowd wasn't as strong as usual, we still waited a few minutes to place our order. At least there was chaos to the madness – a "bouncer" at the door handed out tickets to everyone as they got in line. I'm not sure how necessary this was, but it probably makes everything run smoothly during the most chaotic hours.

Of course, I couldn't go to Katz's and not order the legendary pastrami sandwich. I cringed a bit at the price – nearly $20 for one sandwich. Then again, I never expected one of NYC's most famous restaurants to be cheap.

We didn't wait long for our food, and the entrees smelled amazing when the arrived. I haven't had much pastrami in my life, but this particular meat was mouth-wateringly delicious. It was tender, flavorful, and perfectly cooked with spices. The only downside was the crazy amount of fatty pieces. I understand that the fat is key to the flavor of the pastrami, but I found myself picking it out of the sandwich. My dad, who also ordered a beer, ate the entire thing and liked it a lot.

We also ordered homemade pickles, which were also good. But beware: they tasted much more like cucumbers than traditional pickles.

Overall opinion: I'm so glad I finally tested the landmark pastrami sandwich at Katz's. I enjoyed my sandwich and thought the pastrami was delicious, but I think the hype surrounding Katz's is a little exaggerated.