This summer I finally made it back to NYC. It had been at least 13 years since I had visited the city. It was hard for me to return after the tragic event back in 2001. However, the one thing I always missed were the delicatessens. I took advantage of my time in NYC and visited three delis, Katzs (from where the reuben pic was taken), Stage, and Carnegie. A good friend of mine and fellow chef used to work at a place in the Lower East Side near Katzs and I enjoyed roaming around his old stomping grounds. He also told me to go to a bar, Molly’s, between 22nd and 23rd on 3rd. But I was on a mission… I needed a good deli sammich. For those who have ever eaten true NY style pastrami will understand the difference. You’re taste buds will thank you. We used to have local deli style place here in Dayton. It was the closest thing in the area to a true NYC deli.
Many wise people have said that you can tell a lot about people by their eating habits. I’m on a date, it’s either our 2nd or 3rd date, and I take her to The Upper Krust, the aforementioned deli here in the area. I order one of my favorites, roast beef, and then she orders her sandwich… pastrami on…. and it pains me to say this… white!!! I’m thinking in my head “Well, I don’t think this relationship is going to work out”, (and it didn’t) and I don’t think we ever went out again, at least to eat.
Don’t forget about the Dr. Brown’s soda when you go to a deli in NYC. Black Cherry will always be my favorite, but oddly enough, for someone who doesn’t like celery, the Cel-Ray soda (yes, celery flavored soda) was surprisingly refreshing!
If you are lucky enough to be in NYC, you have to check out of the mentioned delis! Katz’s uses a ticket system to keep track of your order. Everyone (and I mean everyone) who enters must get a ticket. Don’t even try to “lose” your ticket, it will be one costly mistake! It’s always a hard decision what to get. Talk to the person behind the counter, ask him what looks good today. As an inside tip, slip him a few dollars in the tip jars (there will be plenty of jars and make sure he sees it) on the counters and they’ll generally give you a few slices of meat to sample! Great way to help you make your decision. And don’t forget the sour pickles!