palate cleanser

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz is a traditional Jewish deli in the Lower East Side serving up salt beef and pastrami sandwiches. Made famous by ‘that’ scene in When Harry Met Sally, a sign hangs over the table that Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan dined at to this day.

There is a complicated ordering system at Katz, which works like a canteen: when you enter the restaurant, someone will give you a ticket. Don’t lose the ticket. At the counter, a man (and it is always a man) slices half a kilogram of pastrami into a pile and loads that up on your rye bread. While you wait, he gives you a few slices of pastrami to nibble on. If you tip your slicer in appreciation, more pieces of meat will magically appear in front of you.

At the end of your meal you give your ticket to the cashier who will charge you $22 for the pleasure of eating a Scooby-Doo sized sandwich which I suppose is a little expensive. And yet, I have never eaten a pastrami sandwich anywhere else since.

205 East Houston Street
New York
New York 10002


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