Yes, I WILL Have What She’s Having, As Long As Its the Pastrami

I recently have been traveling a lot for work, including three trips to New York City.  I"ve enjoyed the the delicious offerings of NYC delis on previous visit, but recently got to try Katz’s Deli for the first time.  Inspired by an "Cook’s Guide to New York" included as an addendum to Kitchen Confidential (incidently, an excellent book, especially if you have ever worked in the foodservice industry), I went not knowing the the movie history associated with the place.  I walked in and saw the many photos of celebrities who have eaten there and then saw the sign saying "This is where Harry REALLY met Sally – hope you’re having what she’s having!" referring to the famous "fake orgasm" scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally

Chick flick references aside, I went there for the pastrimi.  A relative of BBQ’ed brisket and corned beef, a good pastrimi sandwich is a glorious thing.  A bad one – much more common – is a disheartening gastrointestinal experience.  Katz’s has a unique serving system where you stand in line for a particular meat carver – clearly the regulars have their favorites – and while you are waiting for the meat for your sandwich to be carved (where it is corned beef, tongue, pastrimi or whatever), they offer you a small bite of the meat to sample and keep you occupied while hte sandwich is assembled by hand.  THe whole process is a little confusing, as it is a bit foreign, but the pay off is worth it.

The pastrimi is cut thicker here than at other NYC delis I"ve visited, and this is one piece of meat that can stand up to it.  Tender, juicy and flavorful, you could almost enjoy it without the mustard, if the mustard wasn’t so damn good. I don’t know what it is about deli mustard, but man, it is the only thing that can make a deli sandwich taste even better.   

There are plenty of fancy restaurants in New York City, lots of which will give you a long, luxurious meal at a white cloth-covered table.  But if you want some REAL New York food, you can’t beat a Pastrami sandwich from Katz’s.

3 thoughts on “Yes, I WILL Have What She’s Having, As Long As Its the Pastrami”

  1. Yes, Bernie Schulman’s. (Sad sigh.) We used to sneak their corned beef sadnciwhes into my grandmothers senior assistance home for her (they kept kosher, she did not!)As for Lox and Mandel? Do try a russian tea biscuit, a poppyseed one if you can, next in line would be the raspberry.Okay, now I want one!

  2. After fighting dowontwn traffic with two little ones in tow to watch a lackluster parade with 7,000 of my closets friends, this was the perfect St. Paddy’s Day dinner! Fast, simple, and absolutely delicious! Thank you for starting a new tradition for our family, because the thought of making our usual Irish stew was enough to put me over the edge!

  3. I’m returning to NY bfreoe the contest ends but there hasn’t been many entries so I will attempt one for fun (with what I will assume are reasonable metric measurements)The “Hangover Corned Beef Hash” (open face sandwich)2 slices of Rye bread (toasted)100g Suji’s Corned Beef (chopped)100g Suji’s Home Fries40~50g onion (diced)2 garlic cloves (minced)40~50g Saurkraut10g butter (unsalted)1 slice Swiss Cheese (optional)1 egg (poached or sunny-side)Russian dressing or grain mustardDirections:-Over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in butter in a skillet until soft and caramelized-Mix in saurkraut and corned beef-Turn heat to high and mix in home fries (already cooked)-Chop and stir vigourously until all ingredients are well incorporated-salt & pepper to taste-leave corned beef hash on high heat until a crust forms on the bottom shaking occasionally to avoid burns(3~4 minutes)-On a plate, arrange toast pieces next to each other (smeared with a little Russian dressing or grain mustard)-Pile hot corned beef hash on toast so crusty side faces up-place Swiss cheese slice on pile of corned beef hash-top with sunny side egg (runny yolk is a must!)-garnish with nothing

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