Cooking with Alison

Katz’s Delicatessen, New York City

In Reviews on March 24, 2011 at am

Katz’s Deli is famous for being New York’s oldest (since 1888) and best delicatessen. I have been wanting to try their smoked meat for years and it was better than I’d hoped it would be.  The sandwiches cost about $16 each, but you get a tall stack of meat.  The sandwiches are served with pickles and pickled green tomatoes (upon request).  The pickles are crisp, refreshing, and mildly sour.  The green tomatoes are very sour.  I was disappointed to discover that they no longer sell vacuum sealed meat.  It would have made a great souvenir.

We went on a Sunday at 11 am and the tables were already filling up.  We waited in line for a few minutes (the lines are usually intimidatingly long) and ordered their most popular smoked pastrami sandwich on rye with mustard.  The pastrami was absolutely delicious.  It was flavourful, not too salty (unlike so many other smoked meats), and surprisingly juicy.  Also, the meat had the perfect balance of tenderness and chewiness.  It was the best pastrami and the best smoked meat I’ve ever had.  (I’ll never eat at Schwartz’s in Montreal, Quebec, Canada again.)  Next time I’ll have to try their corned beef sandwiches.  They also have turkey or roast beef sandwiches, whole salamis, sausages, etc.

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