Monday, 6 July 2009

The Katz Delicatessen, New York

At the Katz cafe
The Katz Cafe is what you call an institution. Only mentionned slightly in the guides, I think it would deserve a bit more. The great atmosphere of this cafe that hasn't changed for years and years and years...., the democratic feeling (whoever you are you will be served when your time has come) - and that's also where a famous scene of 'When Harry met Sally' was filmed. (We actually first sat just behind the table it was filmed at... took me a minute to see the sign hanging from the ceiling).
Anyway. The place definitely has an American feel about it, something not European at all, and lots of references to the past. The waiter below is quite an interesting character too.
At the Katz cafe
The whole place feels like it's a blast from the past. The whole walls are covered with photos of people who ate there (not that I would recognise anyone ... Note the neon above the counter:’send a salami to your boy in the army’
At the Katz cafe

BUT this is not why you should go: you should go because they have THE BEST PASTRAMI on the whole planet. I had no idea that pastrami (never had it hot nor with these big gherkins either!) could be that good. I was surprised by the bread as well, very good bread, similar to the polish bread we get in Europe. Go onto the Katz it contains some very good bits of info about the place and its history.
Like Katie K commented on my previous post, a lot of the first immigrants were Yiddish, which explains that I relate the food served to North Eastern Europe, the big gherkins for example were very popular there as seen in the film 'Goodbye Lenin'. The menu still contains some words of yiddish too. I really loved the way the deli had kept the historical details all along.
At the Katz cafe
At the Katz cafeAt the Katz cafe

The system was a bit odd, they give you a ticket in the entrance, which you must give back in the entrance, whether you have consummed or not. Only some tables are served by a waiter, and the other tables are for people who want to order their food at the different counters.
At the Katz cafeAt the Katz cafe
At the Katz cafe
Voila! Hope you enjoyed the cafe as much as I have, or if you haven't, pay it a visit!


Junglefrog said...

What a wonderful place Christelle! You seemed to have captured the spirit of the place quite well. And that old waiter looks fantastic. Not sure about the pastrami sandwich though. Too much meat and too little bread for my taste...:)

Adriana Mullen said...

The images of Katz are just wonderful Chris. I am so glad that you made there they pastrami sandwich is worth even if you do not have to eat for a month after! :)

unconfidentialcook said...

True, there's nothing like Katz's...but for the food I prefer The Carnegie....

Ricardo said...

Really good review, unfortunate i don't live near by, I would have loved to have that experience :) nice food :) xxx

doggybloggy said...

its actually called Katz's Delicatessen and it is not a cafe but your pictures capture the place perfectly

Christelle said...

To Junglefrog: Ia lot of meat for sure, but you can share it, and the pastrami is truly amazing!

To Adriana: yes it would have been a pity to miss this!

To unconfidentialcook: Ahhh, but you should have given me the tip before I went to New York! I will go back, so don't hesitate to mention to me the places you think I should go to! The Katz has a lot of cachet though, and the experience for a European is something...

To Ricardo: Thanks! Not my best review, but I am so busy at the moment it's unbelievable!!

To doggybloggy: Thanks! you are right, it is a deli not a cafe, I'll change that in the title!

Justin said...

glad you liked katz's. it's a must-visit place. but 2nd Avenue Deli makes even better pastrami sandwiches. okay, people debate that all the time, but you should compare on your next visit. still, katz's is tough to beat for the "experience."

Christelle said...

To Justin: Loved it! :) I don't think I can have pastramy too often (however gorgeous it is)without a very big green salad next to it anyway: Portion was huuuge!! I could have done with half that and it would stioll have been to big! It's part of the experience though I reckon. Next time I'll try the others :)