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Stage or Carnegie?

If you only had one night for deli, which is better - Stage or Carnegie? I like Pastrami (and I don't like it fatty), chopped liver, and would also like to know which has the best cheesecake. Thanks hounds!

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  1. Carnegie has the best cheesecake!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Forget those...go to Katz's! You'll never have better pastrami.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeahBaila

        I agree, Stage and Carnegie both suck. Katz's is the way to go in Manhattan. However, if you like great tasting lean pastrami David's Brisket House in Brooklyn probably has the best.

      2. between Stage and Carnegie, I would definitely choose Katz's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Get In My Belly

          I'm here on business, and it's close to my hotel PLEASE help!

        2. Stage or Carnegie are my only choices - please help hounds!

          6 Replies
          1. re: OC Mutt

            Carnegie has delicious pastrami, chopped liver, and cheesecake. I have never eaten at Stage.

            1. re: vvvindaloo

              Having lived just a few blocks from both the Carnegie and Stage for three years (on and off, had an apartment and commuted from the west coast) I say Carnegie without a doubt is the better of the two for pastrami and without a doubt the cheesecake, which we still mail order. We ordered regularly from both at the beginning, but it became Carnegie only very shortly. We only gave up our NYC apartment in February, so this is pretty recent!

              1. re: vvvindaloo

                Had pastrami, roast beef and cheesecake from Carnegie's about once a week from Feb to May. It was great each time. The pastrami was moist and the roast beef rare. The pastrami is sometimes fatty though.

              2. re: OC Mutt

                I had the pastrami at Carnegie once last year. The sandwich was 3 inches thick, but the meat was very dry. Disappointing. Didn't Stage close for health violations?

                I haven't been to Katz's in a little over 1 1/2 yrs because they changed the pastrami. Previously it had been tender and juicy with just enough fat to be melt in your mouth perfect. Then they changed to this lean, dry meat without any explanation. A few people have commented on it on this board. Did they switch back to the good stuff?

                1. re: powermd

                  There have been no changes in the pastrami at Katz's. Crazy as it may seem, there are people who prefer their pastrami lean, so Katz's has both lean and fatty cuts. If you do counter service, you can tell the countermen you want your pastrami with some fat on it. Before they make your sandwich, they always give you a sample to taste. If it's too dry for you, they'll look for a fattier slab of meat.

                  Btw, it was Carnegie, not the Stage, that was closed very briefly by the DOH.

              3. I had lunch at Stage a year or so back on a previous trip from the UK. I went as the place had appeared in a UK "sandwich recipe" book. I thought the pastrami was fine and it was a good experience for this tourist - that said, I have nothing to compare it with

                I have another trip next month and lunch will be at Katz.

                1. Katz' food is better than both, but as between the two, I dissent from the majority and think Carnegie is over-rated and usually prefer to sit down at Stage.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: addictedtolunch

                    Frankly, it's a toss-up. Take a coin and throw!

                    1. re: idia

                      katz's beats them all but carnegie is great...expensive but great.

                      1. go to Katz's deli, order the pastrami extra lean ,, that will be the best deli you can get. and they have good chopped liver also

                        1. Neither. Now that Second Avenue Deli has closed, Katz' is pretty much it until they close (temporarily). Get the real deal, don't settle . . .

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                            2nd Avenue Deli is going to reopen in a couple of months, though this time on 3rd avenue in the thirties....gun to my head, I would chose Carnegie, if there wasn't a gun to my head I would go to Burger Joint, Yakatori Totto, or The Cart on 53rd & 6th (evenings only) in that 'hood...

                            1. re: Cpalms

                              I'm counting the days. . . Stuffed durma or a big chopped liver sandwich??? Russ & Daughers even has chicken soup with matzoh balls now (customers requested it since 2nd Avenue Deli closed). I think someone dragged me to Stage or Carnegie once . . .not a fan.

                          2. Thanks all you helpful hounds. We ended up at Stage since Carnegie didn't take Credit cards and as I said, we were on business and therefore couldn't schlep to Katz's. The pastrami was good, but fatty - though I made the mistake of forgetting to order it lean. The chopped liver was spectacular, the dark pickel superb, along with fan-freaking-tastic service by our waiter. However, the cheesecake was verydisappointing. Dry, a bit grainy, just kind of a letdown. Oh well. Thanks again.

                            1. The Carnegie for a real delicatessen experience.....loud, crowded, oversized portions, robust servers, and the best pastrami in the world. They used to pickle, smoke and steam the navels in the basement years ago but now have a state of the art commissary in Jersey. If you pass by around 6 or 7 in the morning, you'll see the 250lb+ plastic tubs of pastramis and corned beefs being delivered with the daily pickles (sours, half sours and pickled tomatoes, no dill please) cheesecakes and bakery. Even the Dusseldorf mustard is an exclusive recipe and it's great. It is not a place to sit back and savor your Ruben....you eat, pay and get out....and if you don't, the waiter/waitress will hustle you along. A customer once asked the waitress to please butter the toasted bagel for him. She snapped back, "I'm not your mother, you butter your own bagel." Huge menu, homemade fresh made crepes for the blintzes, good sweet & sour stuffed cabbage, and please don't ask for a lean pastrami....it should be a blend of fatty and lean slices and the Carnegie does it best....they make a nice sandwich. Go for the Danny Rose....a Corned Beef/Pastrami combination...ask for extra Rye on the side. The Cheesecake is World Class.....made with cream cheese and drier than the ricotta cheesecakes you'll find in Little Italy. The Truffle Torte, a moussecake/cheesecake combination is also good.
                              Bring an appetite and expect a wait during peak hours.
                              Enjoy!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DudeLuv

                                I am going to agree with all you have said, as I lived just a few blocks from the the Carnegie for several recent years....except that they have the best pastrami in the world. Langers in LA deserves that title, and I am fortunate to live in LA (NYC was for work, I was back and forth).! So, I have experienced both Carnegie and Langers up close and personal for years! And you are NOT kidding about Carnegie's world class cheesecake! Everybody needs to get there or put in a mail order, which can be done online, to experience it!