Despite multiple trips over countless years going to New York City, it wasn't until a year ago today that I encountered this sandwich — the one that left me drooling until I could enjoy it again. Katz's quickly went from a one-stop place for me to a traditional stop, regardless of my city plans.
Katz's Delicatessen is located in NYC's Lower East Side and has been a proud resident since 1888. That fact alone should be enough to persuade you to pay it a visit.
While there may be many options for food, the only thing I ever ordered is the pastrami on rye. It's thick-cut, perfectly seasoned, stack of meat with mustard on rye. Did I mention I don't even like mustard? This is the only sandwich where I will eat it. Served with a side of pickles, you really can't go wrong. I convinced a visiting group from California to try it as I was enjoying mine when they claimed seats nearby — and they agreed with my impression of this NYC staple (4 of their 6 party members had ordered this sandwich)
Be warned: I have yet to visit the deli when it isn't packed full of people, so don't plan on this being a quick stop. The lines may be out the door, and it may feel like chaos inside (think sardines in human form), but once you start eating you will forget any of the "trouble" had while waiting. The best way to order is to fall in line, don't be shy, and talk to those behind the counters. They'll share their stories and give a free taste while you wait. Don't forget to tip them!
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I'm Having What She's Having...
It's a great place to catch a glimpse of the real culture of New York. For over 125 years, they hand you a ticket when you walk in & pay when you leave. It's very old school in here, with trays & the cafeteria flare to the place. It's decorated with photos of all the famous people who have eaten here. During WW II, Katz became famous by their slogan, "Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army". They have very delicious potato latkes. But don't forget to check the other famous items on the menu from Matzo Ball soup,pickles to various sliced meats of pastrami, brisket and corned beef. A truly a hidden gem of the Lower East Side!
I was reminded of the cultural diversity you can find in New York city last night at Katz’s Deli. The establishment has been open since 1888 and at this point it’s a legend. I personally love that during World War II they made it easy for people to send food to their loved ones in the army. The slogan was “Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army!”. By the way, they still send Salamis all over the wold. Now a bunch of Dominicans work at the famous deli, bringing a new flavor to the experience. I was happy and ordered in Spanish.
I walked into Katz’s and immediately grabbed my blue ticket. It’s the most important thing and you must not lose this ticket. If you do terrible things will happen to you.
The set up is like a school cafeteria. There’s a station for each type of thing you could order; burgers, sandwiches, beer, coleslaw, fries. You have to stand on line for each of the different things you want and the person at that station marks your ticket so that you pay for it on your way out.
If you have never been here, do your self a favor and order the Pastrami sandwich and a beer. That is all you need for the experience. Less is more at this iconic spot and you might as well try and taste the reason why the place is so famous in the first place. The legend of the pastrami lives on!
KATZ’S DELICATESSEN - 205 E Houston Street New York, NY 10002
Long before its cameo in When Harry Met Sally, Katz’s was (and still is) the quintessential New York deli—filled with clamorous diners, delightfully cranky staffers and a menu of traditional noshes (knishes, matzo ball soup) and sandwiches that can’t be beat. Get the pastrami or brisket with mustard on rye—and remember to bring cash (no credit cards are accepted).