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As the lower east side slowly morphs into Seaside Heights, there’s one thing that stands pat – for now at least. Katz’s Deli isn’t just a glutenous Classic NYC Establishment, it’s a landmark that deserves government funding at this point. Rumors of its potential “the rent is too damn high” demise return every year, but, thankfully, it’s still alive and well. That pastrami sandwich wouldn’t taste as good uprooted to a new location.
There’s no point in preaching Katz’s. The majority of the people who read this website know the drill. With an operation as brash and unapologetic as this one, inevitably, you’re either a huge fan or big time hater; there isn’t much middle ground. Naturally, we’re huge fans. Shocking, I know.
For those lucky enough yet to pop their Katz’s cherry (tourists!), here’s what you need to know. Don’t lose your ticket, that turns into a bad scene. Order with confidence, if you look scared or intimidated the dudes from Staten Island behind the counter will eat you for dinner. Yes, you want a taste. Yes, you should tip. Yes, you should ask for extra pickles and make sure to order a side of fries. Yes, this is the home of the Meg Ryan “When Harry Met Sally” fake orgasm scene. Yes, ladies, feel free to give it your best shot. Oh, and bring cash. You’re going to need that.
Katz’s pickles their own cucumbers. Make sure you load up on the half-sours; they’re incredible.
Matzoh Ball Soup
Top notch. It’s not Grandma’s, but it’s really damn good soup.
Don’t even think about passing on these. You need these thick, sometimes soggy, sometimes crispy, always greasy potatoes represented on your table.
A Jewish classic. A Katz’s classic. Whether a member of the tribe or not, you need a couple knishes in your life.
Try and find a more perfectly marbleized, moist, meaty and delicious piece of pastrami anywhere. You can’t. This right here is the best in the business. Enjoy. And if you really want to get crazy, come for breakfast and get the pastrami omelette; it’s insane.
Get it on a roll with russian dressing. Heaven followed by multiple trips to the bathroom.
It’s tough for me to not make a pit stop at Katz’s when I’m walking by and since the sandwiches are so big, I usually just grab a dog on the run. It makes for a great snack. There’s something so perfect, yet simple about these dogs. Soft buns, homemade deli mustard and sauerkraut. So good.
Dr. Browns Black Cherry Soda