Review: Katz’s, LES

Most people are familiar with Katz’s. Have you seen When Harry Met Sally? You know the scene.. well.

I try not to talk about sex in this blog, but this is an appropriate reference. In fact, there’s a sign hanging over that exact table. Isn’t that cool?


Anyway, Katz’s is a New York institution. It’s been around for more than 100 years, and its tagline, “Send a salami to your boy in the Army” is still everywhere in this place, along with pictures of the owners with celebrities. There is one area with waiter service (the guy you see in the blue jacket, who I swear was still there when we went earlier this month) or you can self-serve, which is much more fun. When you go in, you get a ticket, and you have to give them the ticket on exit– or else they charge you $50. I guess you organize any way you can when the line is constantly out the door.

First, you get on line for a slicer. Each slicer has his own line, and if you tip him, he’ll give you a healthy sample of whatever sandwich you’re getting. In this case, it was pastrami.

Sample from the slicer

Terry took a bite before I could get a good picture. Bad Terry. It’s so hard to resist, I can’t blame him.

Every time Terry has taken me here, we’ve eaten too much. There are so many good things to eat! We split a Pastrami sandwich on rye with mustard, then grab a side of cole slaw and some fries. To drink? He gets Dr.Brown’s Cream Soda and I get a diet Dr. Brown’s Cherry Soda. I remember when my dad used to get this stuff in the little glass bottles. I swear I grew up Catholic, but this is a New York (particularly Jewish) tradition. Yum.

Pastrami with the slicer

Katz's-- pickles.  Half sour, half dill

Terry likes the sours and I like the just barely pickled cucumbers.

Katz's-- cole slaw, reuben, soda, pickles

That pastrami is melt-in-your-mouth good. You just can’t get pastrami like that around here. Izzy’s is good and all, but it’s no Katz’s.

For the record, their fries are better than their potato pancakes. If you gave me Izzy’s potato pancake and Katz’s pastrami sandwich, I might just die. The ultimate deli meal.

There always seems to be a rumor about Katz’s closing to make way for development, but for right now it’s there and darn, is it good. It’s always a must-do when we visit NYC.