Katz’s Deli and The Pastrami and Rye of my Dreams

Katz's Deli

Katz’s Deli is a New York Institution and almost untouchable when one thinks of getting a ‘pastrami on rye’. When we finally made it here to sample one of their sandwiches I was kind of awestruck, it is like a mecca, a beacon of shining meat light, and so iconic in mine and many other’s movie memories of New York.

It is that memorable scene in the film ‘When Harry Met Sally’ that stuck in my mind as we stood in line waiting to cross the threshold. How had I never been here before? I watched that movie, like a 100 times but never been to Katz’s

Katz's deli Sign

So here we were standing in that line, now you have to know that I never, and I mean never queue for food or beer ever, well not through choice. I might stand in line at a buffet but that is about your lot. I was just hoping that the hype would be correct, but then again just talking to the regulars in line I kind of worked out quite quickly that this place ‘really was that good’ and that ‘this is normal’ and that ‘I should forget that I needed a pee’ and just wait to get my plate of meaty goodness just like every other punter on the line. I just wrote all that so that I could put another picture in the post 🙂

Crowds at Katz's Deli

I was amazed when we got through the door, the crowds were so deep I could not see where to go to get the food or even work out where to go, so we did the English thing of finding another line to stand in. Aha that is why we stood in line outside, to train us for what was about to become.

Lines at Katz's Deli

It was, I have to say a little mad, although there was a just a great big mass of people swelling all around the deli, you had to find an actual line behind one of the meat carvers at the counter. It felt like a free for all but in reality the carvers had everyone marshalled pretty well,

When you finally got to the front and made your choices they gave you a little bit to try, a small off cut, a bad idea for a meat addict like myself for sure.

Pastrami on Rye at katz's

So finally after about an hour in line (inside and out) and at last (26yrs after When Harry Met Sally) I found myself staring down at a plate laden with like a Rye Sandwich piled high and deep with Pastrami. I have never, and I mean never tasted a slice of deli meat as good as this. It was rich, so deep in flavours, kind of peppery. It was like my taste buds were in charge, drawing me in, to take bite after bite. I felt like I should be full, but I continued to gorge on, and on.

Looking back now, and at the sandwich in that picture, I just want another bite and another sandwich right now. It was everything that I dreamed of, everything I hoped it would be, and every bit as good as I had been told. Amazing and many other words in the dictionary that mean the same.

Katz's Deli

Katz’s Delicatessen is located at 205 Houston Street, on the southwest corner of Houston and Ludlow Streets on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City. According to that font of all knowledge Wikipedia, Each Week “Katz’s serves 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of pastrami, 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of corned beef, 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of salami and 12,000 hot dogs.”

You can follow them on Twitter and on Facebook, but really you just need to stand in that line to eat some of that pastrami, or something else off that menu.

Perhaps I can tempt you also to a Brisket sandwich?

Brisket sandwich at Katz's


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