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Katz's Deli

Rating: 
205 East Houston, New York, 10002
exactly what it is... the old standard. always good. always will be...

212-254-2246 www.katzdeli.com

Reviews for Katz's Deli

  • don't waste your time (12 Mar 2010)
  • don't waste your time or money on this vile place, i would have given it zero stars if Places would allow it.

    yes it was in 'When Harry met Sally' for THAT scene. And by god, it doesn't half trade on that fact now. Rude, surly waiting staff are the low light of this drab eaterie, with low rent food at high rise prices.
    Stick your head through the door (to say you've been there) if you want, then get upto Midtown to carnegie's for proper Deli Sandwiches
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  • Don't believe the hype (12 Mar 2010)
  • Last April I finally got around to visiting somewhere that had been on my to do list from many previous trips to NYC - Katz Delicatessen (E Houston St). A restaurant that practically defines the phrase "New York Institution", it has been serving kosher food to New Yorkers for well over 100 years, and as far as I know has been fantastically popular for most of that time. But due to the same set of issues that plagued my visit to Peter Luger's the previous year, I can't say I enjoyed my lunch at Katz's. New Yorkers will no doubt blame me for being a wimpy pallid-faced Brit, but when I decide to grace a restaurant with my custom, I expect to be treated like I'm doing them a favour, not the other way round. Of course, the root of the problem is that we weren't doing them a favour - Katz is going to be rammed all the time no matter how bad the service is, and they know it. And so if they order us around like cattle, throw food down on the table and avoid eye-contact, the worst that will happen is that someone else will take our place in the queue. Much like Luger's.

    Unlike Luger's, however, the food at Katz was really not worth the effort. My pastrami sandwich was nice enough but too uniform in texture and taste to justify the huge portion, and the filling itself was actually no better than the salt beef from the Brick Lane Beigelry back home. Pickels were pleasant (and free, so can't complain), but at $15 this was too expensive to be a snack, and too uncomfortable to be a meal. Still, at least now I've done it.
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  • Really serious pastrami (12 Mar 2010)
  • I would agree with much of the sentiment in the other reviews. This place is massively hyped and is often mentioned as one of NYC's must-dos. It is an institution - no doubt about that. And it is busy, busy, busy. It has that brand of chaos that suggests the owners quite enjoy people looking bewildered, wondering how, when, what and with whom to order.

    We ordered from the counter so avoided the supposedly dawdling service. And myself and the young lady shared an enormous pastrami, Russian and coleslaw salad, along with the free pickles. It was delicious and filling. I've never seen so much pastrami being carved up at the counters!

    Old signs exhort you to 'buy a salami and send it to your boy in the army'. And they did seem to be taking plenty of big sausage orders. Katz himself (or at least the guy in all the photos) was going around saying hello to all the tables in a kind of retired prize-fighter kind of way. He seemed pretty friendly and the atmosphere in the place was pretty good. So don't completely write it off, but don't expect creature comforts.
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