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Dec 8, 2008 08:44 AM

Katz's: beyond the pastrami

Need a refresher course.....Doing a late lunch there today. What to recommend besides pastrami? How is the chili?
And what is the ticket system there?

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  1. Not to sound flip, and no disrespect intended...but If you want chili, go to a tex-mex place. Seriously.

    At KATZ's, it's all about the pastrami, corned beef, and other traditional real deli fare. I'd steer clear of anything that strays too far from those specialties.

    1. Wait... is there more than pastrami there... oh yeah, hot dogs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: msny98

        Exactly. Get a hot dog to eat while waiting for the guy to make your pastrami on rye. Or for a hot dog on steroids (in a good way) get a knoblewurst on rye.

        When you walk in, they give you a ticket. You give it to the countermen who make your sandwich, get you soda, etc and they add the prices, then you give the ticket to the person at the register on the way out who totals up your tab.

        1. re: ESNY

          Katz's knoblewurst is one of the best things ever to happen to a sausage casing...awesome crunch. A must have at Katz's.

        1. re: Lettucepray

          I tried the tongue before but I thought it was only ok. Even though I got the fatty end it didn't feel so "fatty" to me. For some reasons I felt like it was lacking something but I couldn't pinpoint what it was.

          I wasn't impressed by their corned beef either.

          I agree with others that the pastrami and hot dogs are extremely good. Their chopped liver is fine too.

        2. The corned beef. Or get a pastrami Reuben.

          9 Replies
            1. re: 2slices

              their reuben's are not that good, both corned beef and pastrami, they are served on cold rye and not fried on a griddle (even though they have a griddle at the hot dog station)....for me a rueben is the finest expression of how good pastrami or corned beef can be, You would think that Katz's would do it well, they don't...believe it or not but their roast beef and salami are pretty damn good too...

              1. re: Cpalms

                The 'kraut they use saves it for me.

                1. re: D...DF

                  yeah, but that crap-ass rye bread that Katz's cannot hold up to the juiciness of the corned beef/ pastami and sauerkraut...and no melted swiss is just silly....

                  1. re: Cpalms

                    I said exactly the same thing about the rye bread a few posts down. :-)

                    1. re: RGR

                      yeah, I don't get the rye at Katz's, it's really a let down, then again, there is not much good rye bread out there these days....I think it is analagous to the great BBQ places in the south that toil away for hours to make the most succulent smoked meats, only to slap their pulled pork (or whatever) on the cheapest crapiest white bread possible, makes no sense to me.... and spare me the line about tradition...

                      1. re: Cpalms

                        ".... and spare me the line about tradition..."

                        people here refer to that as "authenticity"....

            2. re: D...DF

              I'm just busting your chops. I love a reuben, but I feel that if you're at Katz's minimal accoutrement is the way to go.

              Also I've never had it, but I've heard the tongue is very good. And I like the fries very much.

              1. re: 2slices

                have a couple of half-sour pickles and work up to the dills.

            3. I didn't even remember they served chili. I'd never get it, so I don't know. Other than the pastrami, I recommend the brisket, the corned beef, and the turkey, in approximately that order. Make sure all of them are juicy enough (wait on line, try the sample, and give your opinion on it to the cutter). Also, ask for tomato pickles if they don't give them to you off the bat. They're good, and so are the regular pickles (some prefer the half-sours and others, the sour pickles).

              The ticket system:

              You're given a ticket on entry. At each stop (cutter, soda man, cole slaw man, etc.), a certain number is written on the ticket. When you leave the store, the cashier inputs the number, adds tax, and charges you the amount you owe. DO NOT LOSE YOUR TICKET!

              Also, don't forget to tip the counterman (cutter) at least $1 per sandwich.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Pan

                Left early before reading all the replies. Thanks for these, all. I ended up ordering 2 knockwurst, fries, sour pickles, along with Dr. Brown's black cherry soda. Only issue was that the counterman didn't mark the back of the ticket but they did get that resolved.

                  1. re: cblue

                    cblue, I wish I had been with you! That would be my order. After I got tired of pastrami...wait is that posible?