Proper pastrami is a painstaking, labor-intensive process.
October 28, 2014 8:09 AM   Subscribe

 
That place has never been not been packed when I go there. There is apparently a large contingent of people here -- including myself and many of my friends -- who just do not give a shit how much Katz's charges.

Also they mention Mile End in the article and if you're in NYC and haven't eaten there, for fuck's sake go right now.
posted by griphus at 8:18 AM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


When I came across this article this morning, I read the headline and said, "they must own the building." And of course that's the answer, but it's buried on page two.

Still, that the "cheap cuts" have hit $3-$4 a pound wholesale is interesting. You've got to wonder, though, how much trade they would really lose if they cut back on the size of the sandwich just a little to improve the margin. You'd still bring in the rubes with a half-pound sandwich, but would enough regulars be run off? Who actually wants a sandwich of that size, anyway?
posted by uncleozzy at 8:19 AM on October 28, 2014


$20 for a pastrami on rye? Good lord...
posted by Thorzdad at 8:19 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


By being DELICIOUS, that's how*! Interesting to hear the sandwiches really aren't that profitable. Makes the high price a little easier to swallow.

*Fun story- at one of the first meetups where I met Optimus Chyme, he was like, what's the big fucking deal about Katz's pastrami? How good could it really be? I told him, try it and get back to me. Later that night at Katz's, he was practically crying into his meat, that was how much he enjoyed it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:20 AM on October 28, 2014 [15 favorites]


Has anyone ever actually lost that stupid ticket they give you?
posted by griphus at 8:21 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Given the environmental cost, all meat should be this expensive. I've been trying to drastically reduce my meat consumption, but Katz's will always stay on my To Eat list.
posted by gwint at 8:22 AM on October 28, 2014


$20 for a pastrami on rye? Good lord

It is a sandwich as large as, or larger than, a human infant.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:22 AM on October 28, 2014 [18 favorites]


And twice as delicious.
posted by griphus at 8:24 AM on October 28, 2014 [64 favorites]


Who actually wants a sandwich of that size, anyway?

Several of them, actually.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:26 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Willy Katz, who was the original Katz involved with the deli, was one of my great great grandma Becky's 10 surviving siblings (3 died in Russia before they emigrated to the US in 1903). My great great grandfather Morris was a counterman there. Becky went from a Katz to a Kurlander when she married Morris, and the Katzes don't own Katz's anymore, but I still feel a little proud every time people talk about it!
posted by ChuraChura at 8:27 AM on October 28, 2014 [13 favorites]


I ate at Katz's once in January 2010. I didn't eat the massive sandwich, but Shepherd, who promptly pronounced it delicious, did. Me, I was more interested in knishes. Theirs were all right. (Also, please direct me to your favorite knish places in NYC so I may bank them for future visits, KTHXBAI)
posted by Kitteh at 8:28 AM on October 28, 2014


You have no idea how hungry I am right now.
posted by Melismata at 8:29 AM on October 28, 2014


Just looking at the sandwich they pictured in the article, I could feel my arteries hardening a little and I want to go do a set of push-ups.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:30 AM on October 28, 2014


favorite knish places in NYC

yonah schimmel is pretty classic, a few blocks west of katz's. maybe an avenue and a few blocks? all my old landmarks are gone so I can't picture it.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:32 AM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


No sharing allowed.
posted by destro at 8:33 AM on October 28, 2014


I am going to New York this week and I have been planning for one of my first stops to be Katz's. I recently saw a listicle on touristy things to avoid in New York and Katz's was on the list. I felt a little shame, but not enough to change my plans.

To paraphrase Kate Moss, hipster virtue doesn't feel as good as Katz's tastes.

It is reassuring that so many New Yorkers still seem to love it, though.
posted by grouse at 8:34 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I recently saw a listicle on touristy things to avoid in New York and Katz's was on the list.

What in god's name was their rationale? I mean sure it's usually packed so full you have to wait a while, and the food is expensive, and the ordering system is byzantine at best and everyone who works there is surly, but if they started making a punch in the gut from the door guy a necessity to dine there, they'd lose maybe a quarter of their clientele at best.
posted by griphus at 8:39 AM on October 28, 2014 [12 favorites]


I'm not just pro-Katz's, I am pro-tourists eating in Katz's. Anything that keeps them afloat is fine by me. I'm still not over the loss of Ratner's.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:42 AM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


My sister used to live right around the corner. I'd go every time I visited the city. Sometimes Katz's was my only stop. I transplanted to Minnesota 10 years ago and I really miss the food. The top three items 1) Katz's hot pastrami on rye with spicy mustard, genuine philly cheese steaks, and (losing all credibility) tastykakes...

I'll probably live a few years longer now, but is it really worth it?
posted by roue at 8:43 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I live here, and there are better pastrami places.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:55 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Given the environmental cost, all meat should be this expensive.

This is exactly the argument my local deli makes w.r.t. the size of its pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. Despite that, you would not believe the whining they've gotten from people outraged that they can't get a basketball-sized sandwich for $10 like they used to.
posted by asterix at 8:55 AM on October 28, 2014


Who actually wants a sandwich of that size, anyway?

Yes.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:56 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


Go to Cincinnati. Visit Izzy's (only 113 years old). Get a better sandwich (I've talked to plenty of people who've had both) at a lower cost and no New York City pretense.

Win!
posted by MrGuilt at 8:57 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I do not know how many MeFi meetups ended up, post-midnight, at Katz's, but I was at one of them and it was a truly memorable experience. Sadly, I had the latkes rather than the pastrami, but wonderful none-the-less.
posted by Danf at 8:58 AM on October 28, 2014


That foot traffic is possible in part because there simply isn’t much competition anymore. In other words, Katz’s lives on precisely because it’s among the last of its breed.

I think this is also part of it, maybe not as much for Katz's as for other business types in decline. There's a store near me that only does clocks. My assumption is that its a survivor principal. There may have been ten different stores 80 years ago when many more people had clocks in need of repair, as the demand has shrunk now there's only this lone survivor in the area. So sure there isn't as much need for clock shops but this is the survivor so he aggregates all the business letting it survive.

I don't know if this is an actual theory of how it works but every time I see stores that seem antiquated and old I tend to assume that it's either this type of thing at play or just a vanity business.
posted by Carillon at 9:00 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


I recently saw a listicle on touristy things to avoid in New York and Katz's was on the list.

Avoid listicles instead. Totally touristed out nowadays.

I mean sure it's usually packed so full you have to wait a while,

I was hoping Yogi Berra's quote about a place being so popular "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded" was about a New York deli, but alas it was someplace in St. Louis.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:03 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Who actually wants a sandwich of that size, anyway?

You have half at Katz's, and then you take the other half home to eat later. It's practically two meals anyway.

I went to Katz's once, six years ago, and I have still have vivid flashbacks about the pastrami, that's how good it is. Whatever deals it needs to strike to stay in business, let 'em.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:04 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


So sure there isn't as much need for clock shops but this is the survivor so he aggregates all the business letting it survive.

Also some of them have actually embraced the internet. Like this hat shop nearby in New Haven.

Doesn't work that well for restaurants though.
posted by smackfu at 9:07 AM on October 28, 2014


Go to Cincinnati. Visit Izzy's (only 113 years old). Get a better sandwich (I've talked to plenty of people who've had both) at a lower cost and no New York City pretense.

Avoid pretense by buying a plane ticket and getting on a plane and flying to a different city in another part of the country
posted by Greg Nog at 9:08 AM on October 28, 2014 [36 favorites]


If you're trekking all the way out to Ohio for deli, come to Katzinger's in Columbus instead. Better sandwiches in a more interesting city!
posted by ChuraChura at 9:13 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


What in god's name was their rationale? I mean sure it's usually packed so full you have to wait a while, and the food is expensive, and the ordering system is byzantine at best and everyone who works there is surly...

Maybe visitors are looking for the New York Experience(tm), just like tourists that go to Ed Debevic's to get a simulcrum of that whole shitty-diner experience. The abuse is part of the fun.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:15 AM on October 28, 2014


Yeah I'm wondering why the listicle told people not to go to Katz's: if you live here, you put up with it to get your amazing food and it's not really that big a deal. If you're a tourist, you get the amazing food and to "complain" to your friends back home. Everyone wins!

I can only assume the list was something like like Buzzfeed Presents: 10 Tourist Traps to Avoid in NYC (A sponsored post brought to you by Sbarro.)
posted by griphus at 9:25 AM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


Go to Cincinnati. Visit Izzy's (only 113 years old). Get a better sandwich (I've talked to plenty of people who've had both) at a lower cost and no New York City pretense.

Yeah, well, your favorite band sucks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on October 28, 2014 [4 favorites]


I remember reading how to make a pastrami at home. It was a multi-day (5?) process that involved smoking, boiling, refrigeration, spices, and other steps I'm sure I'm forgetting. Doing it would have been a fun (and delicious) activity, but in no way a sensible (economical, I guess if you're a restaurant) use of time.
posted by Phredward at 9:34 AM on October 28, 2014


For those MeFis based in Europe, if you crave or want to try New York style Pastrami a la Katz's, check out Schwartz's Deli in Paris or Mogg & Melzer in Berlin.

If you guys have any other suggestions for Pastrami in Europe, I'd like to hear it!
posted by JiffyQ at 9:36 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Psh, that statement practically exemplifies the "New York amirite" self congratulatory blahbledah. The game goes both ways. And the comment was obviously for people who don't actually live in New York and would deign to fly there for a sandwich. Denver was Williamsburg first suckas and I was over it in 2003 whaaaaat
posted by aydeejones at 9:37 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


Denver was Williamsburg first suckas...

That's not a fair contest at all; Denver's been conspicuously full of white people for over a century.
posted by griphus at 9:44 AM on October 28, 2014 [13 favorites]


The late Mitch Hedberg accurately described their sandwiches as a cow with a cracker on either side.

"Can I get you anything else?"

"Yeah, a loaf of bread AND SOME OTHER PEOPLE!"
posted by dr_dank at 9:50 AM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


Denver was Williamsburg first suckas and I was over it in 2003 whaaaaat

And were this a thread about Denver, your comment would be relevant.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:53 AM on October 28, 2014


I've eaten a lot of pastrami. A lot of it was good, but I like Katz's best. I like Barney Greengrass's pastrami too, but it's sliced thinner and just doesn't quite seem like the same thing.
posted by Drab_Parts at 10:00 AM on October 28, 2014


I'm an absolute failure as an Ashkenazi Jew--I've eaten pastrami exactly once in my life--but this discussion is causing all sorts of hunger pangs. So, thanks?
posted by thomas j wise at 10:03 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I live here, and there are better pastrami places.

That could be a valid argument, but it isn't if you don't name names. C'mon, where do you think is better?
posted by neroli at 10:04 AM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


> MrGuilt, I cordially loathe you now for reminding me of one of the only remaining things I miss from Cincinnati. Ever since I successfully reverse-engineered Skyline Chili and our local King Soopers started stocking Graeter's ice cream here in Boulder, I've been like haha nope, no reason to go home ... sigh.
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:20 AM on October 28, 2014


please direct me to your favorite knish places in NYC

Yonah Schimmel's is just along the street from Katz's, and is pretty good (says he, a Brit who occasionally works in NY, and knows nothing about knishes...)

But I now want a knish, and where am I going to get one in north Mumbai at 10:30pm on a Tuesday night? *sigh*

Oh, and this mention of NY Jewish food makes me think of bialys. Kossar's bialys. Oh boy.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 10:20 AM on October 28, 2014


Thanks, guys. Now I'm hungry /and/ 3000 miles away.
posted by corb at 10:23 AM on October 28, 2014


This is exactly the argument my local deli makes w.r.t. the size of its pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. Despite that, you would not believe the whining they've gotten from people outraged that they can't get a basketball-sized sandwich for $10 like they used to.

I'm alright with Sauls but don't take New York Jews there they will invariably talk shit.
posted by atoxyl at 10:28 AM on October 28, 2014


C'mon, where do you think is better?

New York’s hottest Jewish deli is Pasty's. Club promoter and kosher meat impresario Yehuda "Pasty" Fried has gone all out and constructed a 1920s-style speakeasy in the basement of a condemned Canarsie tenement. This place has everything: waiters dressed as slaughtered cows, small-batch artisinal celery soda and a swimming pool of brine with a diving board made of stale rye. And Sunday nights Pasty himself sits atop the frozen Mustard Throne and chucks fistfuls of meat at diners from above. The party's not over until the throne melts!
posted by griphus at 10:30 AM on October 28, 2014 [33 favorites]


All things considered, it's probably best for me to just assume griphus is being totally serious, here.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:39 AM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


My family history on the Lower East Side goes back to the 1890s, so stuff like Katz's and Ratner's and Leshko's and a zillion other things in that neighborhood have Super Extreme Nostalgia Value for me in ways that are difficult to describe to people who think that sort of shit is twee or stupid. If someone wants to call this "new york pretense" that's their own business but I'm gonna go ahead and file that under mildly moronic things to say.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:52 AM on October 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


I feel like every major town has their own "massive portions, minimal cost" places that subsist mainly on bulk traffic.
posted by archagon at 11:08 AM on October 28, 2014


And on the walk from Katz's to Yonah Schimmel's, don't forget to stop in Russ & Daughters for some lox for the ride home!
posted by AJaffe at 11:22 AM on October 28, 2014


I so need to have Marc write down the story about Jay, Katz' and the limo driver at the beacon that year....
posted by mikelieman at 11:23 AM on October 28, 2014


I went to Katz's once about 10 years ago and all I can really remember is being given so many slices of meat while standing on line that by the time I got my sandwich I was too full to eat it.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:24 AM on October 28, 2014


Oy, with the standing on line. Next I'll tell the story about queueing for a beigel on Brick Lane.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:27 AM on October 28, 2014


Oh god I miss Katz's. There is nothing, NOTHING better than rolling in there a little sauced and rolling out sober and bent over. Everything else is a pale imitation.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:29 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Super Extreme Nostalgia Value

Guilty.
posted by mikelieman at 11:30 AM on October 28, 2014


Observing debates about pastrami is almost as fun as observing debates about pizza or bagels. Best city/deli, New York or Chicago, New York or Montreal.

It's like sports franchises but with food.

Unfortnately now I want a slice of a pastrami pizza on rye, and a bagel with lox and mustard to go. With a nice crisp pickle.
posted by vapidave at 11:30 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you're in the neighborhood and you're gonna be going to Katz's, do yourself a favor and stop by Russ and Daughters down the street, too. Get the herring. Thank me later.

(also worth getting: the whitefish salad, any of the smoked salmon, the kippered salmon, and basically anything else they sell because R&D is the best place in the universe).
posted by Itaxpica at 11:32 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Katz's pastrami sandwiches makes me want to fight crime. Seriously. I think it's all the red meat and fat and grease that goes straight to my head and makes me feel indestructible when I'm walking back home late at night.
posted by cazoo at 11:37 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


R&D is the best place in the universe

People look at me funny when I try to explain a smoked whitefish to them..
posted by mikelieman at 11:43 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ooh, I almost forgot this: story time!

So years ago, my mother helped chaperone my younger brother’s class on a trip to the Tenement Museum, after which they were gonna have lunch at Katz’s (hot dogs only, unfortunately). She thought that her father, who had grown up in the neighborhood and was a classic old Jewish New Yorker, might get a kick out of it - she figured he would have eaten there when he was a kid and would appreciate that he was going with his grandson. So she calls him, and mentions that she’s going to Katz’s with this group of kids. His response:

“Did you say Katz’s?”
“Yeah”
“Feh. It was a dirty place then, and it’s a dirty place now.”

Since then, any time anyone in my family passes Katz’s, they will inevitably say those exact words.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:43 AM on October 28, 2014 [5 favorites]


A NW Portland deli offers a pastrami reuben that I have utterly fallen in love with, and I refuse to believe that it's humanly possible to make a better sandwich than that. I understand they have other foods available as well, but I can't stop getting the same thing every time I go.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:53 AM on October 28, 2014


Thirding the Super Extreme Nostalgia Value, for the exact same reason (although my family's history on the Lower East Side merely goes back to 1900).

I have ridiculously fond memories of standing on line with my grandmother, and dad, and mom, and brother, waiting to go through the doors and that weird, turnstile-ish entrance and sit down. It seemed perfectly natural that, as Italian-Americans, we'd spend our Sunday family dinner at a Jewish deli. Even as a kid, I understood that Katz's was something that helped define the neighborhood, and my family's experience in it—something to feel pride about.

At the time, the deli seemed impossibly large to me, like an interminable, wood-paneled meat museum. I would grasp my little chit with white knuckles, afraid that I'd lose it. There were so many people waiting and milling about, and so many conversations going on, and so many decisions to make.

And then, finally, cranky from the wait, we'd eventually find a table, and sit down and eat. And all would be forgiven the moment we bit into our food.

And now? Though I still love the place, I hardly ever go there, in part because I'm hesitant to drop $20 on a sandwich (even though it's really two sandwiches), and mostly because I'm not in the neighborhood anymore. Katz's was never a destination to me—a place that you made plans to go to—so much as a dependable fixture that you were probably going to walk past anyway.

I really should go back.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:55 AM on October 28, 2014


If somehow I had to pick exactly one type of food to eat for the rest of my life (I assume this would be a detail in some sort of Faustian bargain), it would be pastrami Reuben sandwiches on regular rye with Russian dressing.
posted by griphus at 11:56 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm still on a meat high from a Schwartz's sandwich (fatty, of course; who orders lean?) last night. Oh, Montreal ...
posted by scruss at 12:22 PM on October 28, 2014


Go to Cincinnati.

No, because then I'd be in fucking Ohio. If I'm going to travel a significant distance to get a sandwich, I'm certainly not going to pick Ohio over NYC. Hell, I'm not going to pick Ohio over most any state (except maybe Nebraska or Iowa, the nation's gateway to Nebraska).
posted by axiom at 12:31 PM on October 28, 2014 [6 favorites]


i ate too much pastrami and now i feel like salty death
posted by poffin boffin at 12:36 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Aw, Ohio isn't really *that* bad.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:39 PM on October 28, 2014


(Oh, I see. You're just angry because you're in a state where you have to locate yourself by pretending to be in an article of winter clothing, that actually is pretty similar to Ohio politically and culturally. And our fancy deli is better than yours.)
posted by ChuraChura at 12:45 PM on October 28, 2014


pastrami Reuben

Makes as much sense as "pastrami hamburger."
posted by rhizome at 12:51 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Zingerman's is way overrated, which is why I didn't even bring it up. I live walking distance from their deli and haven't gone into it in a couple of years. That's not say that it's not good (the sandwiches are generally tasty, though I've not had the pastrami so can't say much about that), just that it's not the second-coming-of-Christ people like to make it out to be. Not to mention, it can be fairly pricey (the sandwiches cost like 15-20 bucks, and while far from skimpy, are NOT infant-sized).
posted by axiom at 12:57 PM on October 28, 2014


What I want to know: is there a Katz's of Sephardic Jewish food anywhere in the States? My tastes run more toward Mediterranean/Middle Eastern textures and flavors despite my Ashkenazi origins.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 1:23 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


pastrami Reuben

Makes as much sense as "pastrami hamburger."


I'd say that's exaggeration. Pastrami and corned beef are made from the same cut of meat, the only difference is prep - they use slightly different spices and cooking methods (one's smoked while the other's boiled). So to me it's more like the difference between a hamburger cooked in a microwave and topped with ketchup, and one grilled over charcoal and topped with mustard.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:11 PM on October 28, 2014


a hamburger cooked in a microwave

how dare you
posted by poffin boffin at 2:39 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, that's how I feel about corned beef.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:40 PM on October 28, 2014


Katz's is lifechanging. Russ & Daughters' is the real goddamn deal.

But Yonah Schimmel's? Wasn't impressed. The one time I went there in the 7 years I lived in the LES, I ordered a knish, they took it off a rack, and reheated it in a microwave. A MICROWAVE.

I can make better knishes myself, and I don't use an f'ing microwave.
posted by evil otto at 2:40 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I remember reading how to make a pastrami at home. It was a multi-day (5?) process that involved smoking, boiling, refrigeration, spices, and other steps I'm sure I'm forgetting. Doing it would have been a fun (and delicious) activity

It's really one of those things that's kind of pointless to make at home unless you already have all the equipment AND you're having a party. Otherwise you're just left eating pastrami for weeks and waitaminute... is good idea.

Seriously though, it is extremely labour intensive (we did our own pastrami, corned beef, brisket, etc at a restaurant I used to work at) but oh god so delicious. There are few things as culinarily sexy as racks and racks of slightly wobbling, still-hot meat fresh out of the 34113o47095hcntj2k gmew keyboard shortcircuiting due to drool.

Katz's is, and has been for a long time, #1 on my list of places to eat if/when I ever get my fat ass to NYC.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:06 PM on October 28, 2014


So are there any places comparable to Katz's, other than Katz's itself, left in New York?

The Stage Deli used to get mentioned in the same sentence quite a bit, and was sort of my go-to place for pastrami when I didn't want to deal with the Katz's parade-of-tourists experience, but it went under a few years ago.

Katz's is amazing but the last three or four times I've been in the LES with the intent of going there, there's been a stack of tour buses parked in front of it, and lines out the door. I'm glad they're doing good business, but nothing on this green earth is worth waiting in lines like that for.

It seems like the population of New York ought to be able to support more than one good pastrami-and-rye place, no?
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:31 PM on October 28, 2014


Pittsburgh has the Smallman Street Deli (no, not the place with the silly french fries on the sandwich), which serves a perfectly acceptable pastrami on rye that looks a little dinky (especially compared to Katz's), but fills you up after 2/3s of a sandwich. The 4/5 star review that best summarizes the experience: "Only reason it doesn't get 5/5 is because I've been to delis in NYC and well, that's where 5/5 lives." Yup.
posted by Turkey Glue at 3:37 PM on October 28, 2014


So to me it's more like the difference between a hamburger cooked in a microwave and topped with ketchup, and one grilled over charcoal and topped with mustard.

They're not chopped ham, you know.
posted by rhizome at 4:41 PM on October 28, 2014


So are there any places comparable to Katz's, other than Katz's itself, left in New York?

Well there's Carnegie, but I don't know how that flies with the purists.
posted by rhizome at 4:41 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


They're not chopped ham, you know.

Mmm, steamed hams!
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:45 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


The last time I went to Carnegie I got a pound and a half of corned beef and by the time I got home there was only the half left. It was only a 20 minute cab ride too.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:56 PM on October 28, 2014


I thought Katz's was a kosher deli. When did they start with the cheese (on the same sandwich as meat)?
posted by sourwookie at 6:15 PM on October 28, 2014


Katz's is definitely not kosher - maybe it was once upon a time? Before I moved to New York, I had always assumed it was, and my boyfriend keeps kosher, so it was a disappointing discovery. If anyone wants to recommend their favorite kosher delis, I'm all ears!
posted by naoko at 7:27 PM on October 28, 2014


I can make better knishes myself, and I don't use an f'ing microwave.

Yeah, by most accounts Yonah Shimmel has been phoning it in for years. Great history, decidedly mediocre knishes.
posted by Itaxpica at 7:41 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, by most accounts Yonah Shimmel has been phoning it in for years. Great history, decidedly mediocre knishes.

It's all about the prophets.
posted by ryoshu at 7:47 PM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's a gelato place across the street from Katz's that has really inventive flavors. I recommend it highly if you're in the neighborhood.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:49 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


katz's has never been kosher, just kosher style. ratner's was milchig.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:05 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love pastrami, but I've never been to NYC (I know, I know). So just for my reference, how does Katz's stack up against Langer's in LA (probably the best pastrami I've had so far)?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:49 AM on October 29, 2014


Sure, Katz's is pretty okay, but...
Second Avenue Deli 4 Eva.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 2:03 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's a gelato place across the street from Katz's that has really inventive flavors. I recommend it highly if you're in the neighborhood.

every time I see that place it cracks me up horribly cause it's so drab and sterile, it looks like it a hastily converted warehouse-turned-ice cream shop for stalinist propaganda purposes.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:56 AM on October 29, 2014 [6 favorites]


i will die if they have beet flavoured gelato
posted by poffin boffin at 8:56 AM on October 29, 2014


Second Ave. Deli -- now on 33rd off 3rd ave. -- is kosher. there's another deli near there called Sarge's where I've had some good, gut-busting meals...
posted by AJaffe at 9:00 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's a gelato place across the street from Katz's that has really inventive flavors. I recommend it highly if you're in the neighborhood.

That would be Il Laboratorio del Gelato and I concur. (And I'm a stickler - a visit to Florence during their annual gelato festival, followed by a gelato-making class with actual Italian chefs in the back of a restaurant kitchen IN Florence, and my standards were forever changed.)

every time I see that place it cracks me up horribly cause it's so drab and sterile...

That's kind of a thing, though. The "sterile" bit is supposed to kind of be a good thing - "we are clean and pure and pristine, and that also means we don't put weird artificially-flavored shit in our gelato." That was a big sticking-point with the chefs in the class - they said you could tell if a gelateria was good by the color of the banana and pistachio gelato. If the banana was yellow and the pistachio was green, that was actually a bad sign because those were artificial colors, and "if they put fake color in, who knows what other fake stuff they put in?" So sterile appearance is a feature in some gelaterias, is the thing.

But Katz's looking like someone's rec room is part of the charm, conversely.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:08 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


i will die if they have beet flavoured gelato

They do.
posted by sourwookie at 12:17 PM on October 29, 2014


I thought Katz's was a kosher deli. When did they start with the cheese (on the same sandwich as meat)?

katz's has never been kosher, just kosher style.

I was also surprised by the cheese-and-meat when I first went! I knew it wasn't kosher, but I didn't know that "kosher style" literally just means "no pork." Oh well.

Anyway, best kosher deli I know of is Pastrami Queen.

And now I'm gonna go to Katz's this week.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 3:26 PM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love Katz's! I loved the Stage Deli too and was bummed when it closed. Carnegie Deli is overrated - it's not awful, but it's nowhere near as good as Katz's.

However, my very favorite deli is Manny's in Chicago.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:36 AM on October 30, 2014


katz's has never been kosher, just kosher style. ratner's was milchig.

Same with Russ and Daughters - everything they sell is dairy, but they're not kosher because they've sold sturgeon from day one. There's actually a great story in the Russ and Daughters book about an Orthodox Jewish Russ uncle who worked the store but would refuse to sell sturgeon to customers he knew were Jewish.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:15 AM on October 30, 2014


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