Tuesday, 12 July 2011
New York Eats – Katz’s Deli, 205 East Houston Street (corner of Ludlow St) New York City, 10002
If you’ve ever watched When Harry Met Sally, you’ll remember the scene where she gets a little too excited in a deli. Uh huh, this is THE deli.
In fact, here’s where she sat.
Guess they don’t have connection with any other store.
When we walked in, after a brisk warm walk with our friend Joyce and her lovely little baby girl, the deli was near empty. Surprisingly empty for a famous place, I thought. Business must be slow.
(When we first walked in – before lunch time)
(As we were leaving – during lunch time)
Didn’t take long for it to fill up. We were there for about an hour, and in that time, I’m not sure where the people came from, but they sure filled up the place quickly enough. Huge place that it is, it didn’t feel crowded and neither did we feel rushed to get out of there.
As we stood there by the counter, I felt like I was in as American a place as I could have ever been. Brown, wooden-style counters (very high) (or maybe I am just short) with busy staff behind them waiting to take your order. I looked down the long counter, worryingly lost for words as I tried to order something, anything but WHAT TO ORDER?!?!
Friend came to the rescue. Pastrami on rye (I was told they’re famous for their pastrami on rye).
Paid, was given a ticket, and found a table near the back of the restaurant. Perfect for people watching, and since I was afraid of going back to the counter (I don’t know what to order, alright?) I sat down and waited for the nosh to be brought to me.
Wowserz, how huge is this sandwich? Pretty huge, is the answer. LIke, if you tried to eat it the usual way, ie the-take-a-bite-of-this way, you’d find yourself failing in your quest.
It required some form of disassembling and then re-assembling in your mouth, that’s how huge it was. In fact, the 3 of us kinda picked our way through the sandwich; one pastrami piece at a time.
The pastrami was lovely and salty – with each bite being delightfully chewy. Got some annoying strands stuck in my teeth, but that was about the only downside to the sandwich. There was pretty much no way we could have finished the sandwich by ourselves, so what did we do?
We ordered more food.
French toast with maple syrup and beef sausages
Oh man you’ve not tasted sticky and gooey and lovely until you’ve tasted this. We were in Noooo Yawk … land of calories-on-display-board (annoying) and yellow taxis. We were on holiday!
Calories don’t count.
The sausages were more like the German variety (or what is sold to me as German sausages in the local supermarket in London, anyway) and not so much the English variety of sausages that we’re used to (ie Cumberland, apple and pork, etc.)
Which is good, because I actually prefer this chewy version which to me, has more of a bite than the English version.
Weirdly enough, quite a few people I’ve spoken to have wrinkled their noses in disgust when I said something stupid like ‘I like maple syrup pancakes with sausages / bacon / some other variety of meat.’
Huh??? How can you NOT like sweet pancakes with salty meat? You don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve tried this combination out.
Fluffy bites of pancake smooshed in mouth with chewy, salty bites of bacon/sausage is like the yummiest combination of American food possible. OK slight exaggeration but it’s good.
(nice owner guy talking to the customers)
We had a great afternoon at Katz’s; partly because of the food, and partly because of the great people-watching we had here. Friendly owner-guy (or at least that’s what he seemed to be) went round saying hi to all the customers; rounding off a good experience at Katz’s.