I'll Have What She's Having

3

Katz Deli offers the oldest time deli-delights with a side of history, the New York attitude is complementary of course.

Okay so, anybody who actually lives in New York City is going to be mad at Katz’s Deli because they are going to say it is too touristy, expensive, and overexposed. However true all that is I dare you to find me a New Yorker who is going to argue with the utter supremacy of their Reuben sandwiches. Pastrami, corned beef or – my favorite – the turkey, are all worth the trip to the lower east side, the battle with the tourists for a table, and the price.

First we do need to pay reverence to the history of the place. 1888 was the year this place opened and it was one of a kazillion Jewish delis in the area. Today it is pretty much the only one left. The website actually does a nice job of explaining the history of the joint and you can only imagine the general weirdness of eating at a place that served the girls of the triangle shirtwaist factory before their gruesome deaths. In more recent years the deli has been high lighted on one of the very best Candid Camera episodes of the 1960s (you can watch it on the internet, it is actually pretty funny and involves the bathrooms) as well as in the film “When Harry Met Sally”. The fake orgasm scene was filmed in here and there is a nice sign that alerts you to the place where Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, and Billy’s Mom did the whole “I’ll have what she’s having” bit.

Now, when you get into the place you will notice the fantastically kitschy décor and the frenetic crowds of people. As for the surroundings it is worth the time to check out all the pictures of weird celebrities on the wall enjoying some pickles and such. The neon signs are pretty genius as well, lots of old time crap beer signs that are probably from the 70s adorn the walls about the celeb shots. The custom made neons by the kitchen advertise the popular “send a salami” program that the deli has done for years so that you can get some meat sent to yourself at home or even your son in the army in whatever far flung place he/she happens to be fighting. The bathrooms are also a dream come true, I mean saw dust on the floor, honestly real saw dust on the floor oh and yeah I know you think that bathroom is a one hole from the size of the door on the outside, but just go in and you will see this to not be true.

Ok so, the food. All weird old time deli treats like tongue and kishka and what not are available but I suggest the Turkey Reuben because it is my favorite. Alright so the ordering situation is a little wild and there are things you should know if you wanna make it easy on yourself. Option 1 for avoiding the mess is to ask for “service seating” which are the tables all the way on the left hand side of the place and they come with a waiter. Otherwise if you want the real experience then go to one of the stations and order your food. There are three kinds of stations, all the way by the front door you can get knishes and hotdogs and cheese steaks I believe at the first station. I’m not sure on all the offerings because I usually just get the potato knish at this spot. The other two stations are “cutters” who are in the middle of the line and the French fries area all the way back towards the restrooms and free water. So if you want a sandwich bring your Katz ticket that you received at the front door and go to the cutter all the way down by the restrooms. You will be cutting like 50 tourists who will all be standing in line like idiots waiting for cutter #1. When you get up to the cutter remember two things: one, tip the cutter and two, make sure you know what you want before you open your mouth otherwise you will get yelled at.

They will give you a cut of meat to sample and if you like it tell them to go ahead and make the sandwich with that, otherwise order a leaner cut I guess. You should also order your soda from the cutter if you want a soda. Take your sandwich and go find a table without service and get happy with fat and salt and free pickles. You eat before you pay so don’t freak out about it. When you are full go on up to the cashier on your way out the door, hand them your ticket, and pay your bill. Don’t lose your ticket or they will charge you 50 bucks which will make you sad, and after an experience like Katz, you really shouldn’t leave sad.

Check out the history and the menu:
www.katzdeli.com

written by kylethefrench on 2010-02-26 #places #pickle #deli #lower-east-side #jewish #knish #sawdust #location #reuden-sandwich

3 Comments

  1. northwardnimbus
    northwardnimbus ·

    its crazy inside. but the reuben! the rueben is worth the trip!

  2. stouf
    stouf ·

    Very cool, very yummy !

  3. lovesmesumcake
    lovesmesumcake ·

    Oh my God, I LOVE KATZ'S. Literally the best pastrami sandwich I've EVER eaten, and I've NEVER finished one it's so big! Little known fact: you can actually pay by credit card if you approach the soda guy instead of the cashier!

More Interesting Articles

  • First Impressions of the New Lomography 58 Bokeh Control Lens: Emily Soto

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-08-07 #people
    First Impressions of the New Lomography 58 Bokeh Control Lens: Emily Soto

    Emily Soto is a New York City-based fashion and fine art photographer. With Canon 5D Mark III and Canon EOS cameras, she took photos with the Lomography 58 Bokeh Control Lens, producing a series of beautiful images that are reminiscent of renaissance portraits. She talks about the experience and the concept behind her photos in this exclusive interview.

    2
  • First Impressions of the New Jupiter 3+ Lens: AM Renault of Yamanaka Yuko

    written by phyllistc on 2016-02-29 #people
    First Impressions of the New Jupiter 3+ Lens: AM Renault of Yamanaka Yuko

    Photographer AM Renault is a core member of Yamanaka Yuko and Six Dimen Boy. He is deeply in love with nature, a thing he always intertwines with photography and design. This time, Lomography is honored to have AM Renault shoot with the New Jupiter 3+ Art Lens. What's more, one of his photos has been chosen as the cover of the product package.

  • Stay Focused: A First Time For Everything

    written by Lomography on 2016-04-03 #news #gear
    Stay Focused: A First Time For Everything

    You won't believe what we have in store for you with the launch of our newest mystery product. What a crazy idea, they thought. It can't be done, they said. But at Lomography, we know that there's a first time for everything. So we've decided to travel back in time and have a quick look at some of the unbelievable ‘firsts’ of photographic history. Could these milestones have anything to do with our mystery product?

    12
  • Shop News

    Category Filters for easy Film Shopping

    Category Filters for easy Film Shopping

    Sure, it takes effort to source films these days, but the Lomography Shop has just made the online part more convenient - under each category, you may now filter by Brand and ISO.

  • My New York City Bike Ride Through Purple Eyes

    written by cecilialeitinger on 2015-08-14 #news
    My New York City Bike Ride Through Purple Eyes

    What do you do when you don't have much time in a city like New York but you want to see everything, feel the vibe and be part of the community, even for a short time? Jump on a bike and enjoy what trains, buses and cabs can never give you: be part of the city. Take a camera with you to capture the moments and sights you don't want to forget. I did this with my LC-A 120 and LomoChrome Purple film.

  • Lomo'Instant Wide First Impressions: Katphip

    written by Lomography on 2015-10-26 #gear
    Lomo'Instant Wide First Impressions: Katphip

    Katherine Phipps is a passionate Photography Major who obviously had a grand time with the new Lomo'Instant Wide. She talks about her instant wide experience and shares some of her favorite shots in this short feature.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Police Games (A Tribute to Leonard Freed)

    written by sirio174 on 2016-01-30
    A Salute to the Masters: Police Games (A Tribute to Leonard Freed)

    This article is dedicated to Leonard Freed's important reportage of the difficult and dangerous daily work of New York policemen, published in his 1980 book. Here I'll show you photos of public games organized by the various police forces of my hometown Como during last year's Christmas festivities. Take a look!

  • Shop News

    Say Aloha to the Lomo'Instant Honolulu!

    Say Aloha to the Lomo'Instant Honolulu!

    Ride the wave of infinite creative possibility with the Lomo'Instant Honolulu! Sway with the palm trees, dig your toes in the sand, and start snapping amazing instant photos!

  • Jeri Lampert Shoots with the Lomo'Instant Wide

    written by Lomography on 2015-12-09 #people
    Jeri Lampert Shoots with the Lomo'Instant Wide

    Jeri Lampert has made quite a name for herself, having photographed for a number of magazines and well-known brands. Taking a break from the glitz and glamour of the fashion world, she takes the Lomo'Instant Wide and captures scenes that are more personal and altogether different from the highly stylized images she has been known for. Here's a brief but intimate interview with the New York City based photographer.

    1
  • Artist Update: Western Thoughts, Eastern Dreams by Kamila K Stanley

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-11-10 #news #people
    Artist Update: Western Thoughts, Eastern Dreams by Kamila K Stanley

    Kamila K Stanley is always on the cusp of an adventure. In the early part of 2015, she started inviting fellow photographers to join a collective named after a verse from "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." And ever the curious observer, she spent some part of the year in Turkey. With a camera and reserve of 35mm films, of course.

    1
  • The Changing Faces of the NY Public Library in Photographs

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-04-27 #videos
    The Changing Faces of the NY Public Library in Photographs

    The New York Public Library has stood the test of time as one of the major centers of culture to become a monument itself. Here's a video of collected images telling the story of the NYPL since its existence.

  • Shop News

    The New Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens now available for pre-order in Shop!

    The New Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens now available for pre-order in Shop!

    We're grateful for the overwhelming support from all our KickStarter backers. For those who were late to the party, we're happy to let you know that the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens is now available for pre-order in the shop! Estimated delivery date slated for January 2017!

  • 4 Easy Ways to Share your Lomo’Instant Wide Photos with the World

    written by Lomography on 2015-11-24 #videos
    4 Easy Ways to Share your Lomo’Instant Wide Photos with the World

    So, you’ve got your brand new Lomo’Instant Wide and have already taken some of the coolest looking pics from your favorite new camera. What now? Share them with the World, of course! We want to see every single fantastic, fascinating and mesmerizing photo you shoot with the Lomo’Instant Wide and we’re here to tell you how it can be done.

    1
  • 10 Articles You May Have Missed Last Week

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-22
    10 Articles You May Have Missed Last Week

    Photography doesn't have to be a lonely pursuit. Let us introduce you to pros who have created ripples of interest online and beyond. Plus, meet our New York staff, recall the graffitied history of the city, and convene about the changing look of film.

  • Exciting News In Lomography's Orbit: Getting Ready For a Journey of a Lifetime

    written by Lomography on 2016-03-30 #news
    Exciting News In Lomography's Orbit: Getting Ready For a Journey of a Lifetime

    With the recent launch of the New Jupiter 3+ Art Lens, we feel like we've had the luck of the cosmos on our side. And now we have even more exciting news that we're dying to share with you! This time, we're really reaching for the stars!

    4