Katz Deli – the oldest deli in America

Katz Deli a New York institution opened in 1888 and it is the oldest deli America and you come for sandwich paradise. Although they go through over 40lbs of beef brisket daily, their pastrami which comes from the navel, is their best seller – apparently they sell 4000 sandwiches a day, that’s 1500lbs of meat! The meat is first cured, rubbed in spices, smoked, then steamed and can take up to a month to get right, the recipe hasn’t changed through the generation. The meat is cut against the grain for extra tenderness and if you haven’t been here before you need to go for the original out of respect which is the pastrami on rye with mustard.

The pickles comes in two forms, half sour and whole sour. Put simply the half sour is brined for less time giving it a firmer texture and more of it’s natural inherent sweetness is still there. And the whole sour, well you get the picture.

Katz’s Corned Beef Hot Sandwich $18.95 the dry cure pickling formula is applied which takes up to a month to get right. What you get a melt in the mouth result which is like no other corn beef I’ve ever had.

Katz’s Pastrami Hot Sandwich $19.95. As you walk it you see huge slabs of pastrami, the exterior is the deepest mahogany and steam billows from it from it’s pulled from the steamer. Every slice is hand carved into big thick slices and bits of the rub flies up in the air. The flavour is massive, the meat is succulent, supple and the spices perfume the meat. It’s a 2 handed sandwich and the rye disintegrates and you pick it up.

Since it was our first time here we decided to order both the brisket and pastrami – but hands down the pastrami is the one to order.

The verdict:
When did I go? June 2012
The damage: Expect to pay $25+
The good: My previous experience of pastrami was from my supermarket deli which was pleasant enough, but believe the 2 handed sandwiches here are just a different league. The mouth-watering smoked tender pastrami is spiced perfectly and hands down it was the best I’ve ever had.
The bad: The neon lit, greasy spoon-esque, no thrills venue may not be for some but the sandwiches here are game changing.
Rating: 4/5
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 205 E Houston Street, New York, NY 10002 USA
212 254 2246


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