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Katz's: beyond the pastrami

c
cblue Dec 8, 2008 08:44 AM

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. The Professor RE: cblue Dec 8, 2008 08:58 AM

    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. m
      msny98 RE: cblue Dec 8, 2008 09:27 AM

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

      2 Replies
      1. re: msny98
        e
        ESNY RE: msny98 Dec 8, 2008 09:51 AM

        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
          j
          johnindabronx RE: ESNY Dec 25, 2008 05:03 AM

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

      2. l
        Lettucepray RE: cblue Dec 8, 2008 09:39 AM

        my fav — TONGUE on rye

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lettucepray
          k
          kobetobiko RE: Lettucepray Dec 9, 2008 06:47 AM

          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. D...DF RE: cblue Dec 8, 2008 09:41 AM

          The corned beef. Or get a pastrami Reuben.

          9 Replies
          1. re: D...DF
            2slices RE: D...DF Dec 8, 2008 10:09 AM

            Reuben? For shame.

            1. re: 2slices
              c
              Cpalms RE: 2slices Dec 8, 2008 04:44 PM

              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
                D...DF RE: Cpalms Dec 8, 2008 08:33 PM

                The 'kraut they use saves it for me.

                1. re: D...DF
                  c
                  Cpalms RE: D...DF Dec 9, 2008 08:26 AM

                  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
                    r
                    RGR RE: Cpalms Dec 9, 2008 11:19 AM

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

                    1. re: RGR
                      c
                      Cpalms RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 07:55 PM

                      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
                        thew RE: Cpalms Dec 13, 2008 01:14 PM

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

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

            2. re: D...DF
              2slices RE: D...DF Dec 8, 2008 10:12 AM

              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
                p
                PAULSCOHEN RE: 2slices Dec 8, 2008 04:00 PM

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

            3. p
              Pan RE: cblue Dec 8, 2008 06:48 PM

              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
                c
                cblue RE: Pan Dec 8, 2008 08:06 PM

                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
                  b
                  Blumie RE: cblue Dec 10, 2008 11:25 AM

                  No pastrami?!?

                  1. re: cblue
                    dcdavis RE: cblue Sep 23, 2010 03:19 PM

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

                2. d
                  duck833 RE: cblue Dec 8, 2008 08:26 PM

                  I have done brisket tasting at Katz, my opinion is not so great. The brisket I find in other bbq specialty places or the ones I do myself are better. But I doubt Katz has a wood fired smoker with someone tending it all night.

                  The pastrami is what I come here for and the rye bread. I also am somewhat risk adverse and normally get table service at Katz.

                  If any of the readers of this thread ever come to Portland then they should try K & Z deli. The pastrami is very good, maybe a west coast Katz thing. The owners are a little weird but the food is good.

                  21 Replies
                  1. re: duck833
                    r
                    RGR RE: duck833 Dec 8, 2008 09:08 PM

                    The rye bread? It's really poor. So flimsy that it 's no match for the juices from the pastrami and pretty much disintegrates after the first few bites. Since it's all about the pastrami anyway, I just end up eating it with a fork and knife.

                    With regard to the brisket at Katz's, it should not be compared to what you get at a bbq joint because the styles are totally different. At Katz's, it's Jewish-style, which means it's a pot roast. Ergo, no smoker is involved in its preparation.

                    1. re: RGR
                      s
                      steakrules85 RE: RGR Dec 9, 2008 07:39 AM

                      Is their brisket juicy?? Can you request that you like it to be sliced thick and juicy (fatty). I am sure that they could do that. I'd hate to get lean brisket because its always dry.

                      1. re: steakrules85
                        r
                        RGR RE: steakrules85 Dec 9, 2008 11:17 AM

                        Since I go to Katz's for one thing only -- the pastrami -- I've never had the brisket. Sure, it could be thick-sliced. But, frankly, I don't see how the meat could be very juicy because by its very nature, the brisket cut is lean. That's why when I make pot roast, I never use brisket.

                        Even with bbq'd brisket, it's important to order it fatty. I made the mistake once at Hill Country of trying the lean cut because some had mentioned that it was juicy, and it was gaggingly dry.

                        1. re: RGR
                          s
                          steakrules85 RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 06:40 AM

                          I'm right near Carnegie today. How does it stack up?? Is it a tourist trap or what?

                          1. re: steakrules85
                            The Professor RE: steakrules85 Dec 10, 2008 07:03 AM

                            Folks seem to love to dis the Carnegie...it is a bit of a touristy stop but all the same, they have some very good stuff there and it is still a regular stop for lovers of real deli (I have run into Jackie Mason there on quite a few occasions).
                            Expensive...I suppose so, although the portions certainly make up for that (and make for another great meal the next day!)
                            There are some that will disagree with me...but I still think the ol' Carnegie is a worthwhile destination in NYC.

                            1. re: The Professor
                              dcdavis RE: The Professor Dec 23, 2008 02:24 PM

                              The Carnegie Deli in the Mirage Hotel in Vegas made me homesick for New York. Not as good as Katz's but awful good. Especially in buffet and Celeb chef restaturant land!!

                            2. re: steakrules85
                              r
                              RGR RE: steakrules85 Dec 10, 2008 08:41 AM

                              I am one of those who vociferously disagrees with The Professor. For me, it's not that it attracts tourists (not surprising considering its location practically in the heart of Times Square). But so does Katz's. The problem with Carnegie is that, imo, the deli -- especially the pastrami -- sucks!

                              1. re: RGR
                                The Professor RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 12:27 PM

                                That's cool...everyone's taste is different I guess.
                                Just wondering what it is you don't like about their pastrami particularly? When I've had it it's always been juicy and tender from a properly long steaming, it's just fatty enough, and the spices and smokiness are subtle enough so as not to overpower the meat. I will agree that it's pricey (almost to be expected in midtown) and that KATZ's is better by a good margin, but in mid-town at least I haven't found pastrami anywhere near as good as Carnegie's.
                                What constitutes your ideal pastrami?

                                1. re: The Professor
                                  r
                                  RGR RE: The Professor Dec 10, 2008 03:25 PM

                                  Price is not an issue for me. And the gargantuan size of the sandwiches at Carnegie kind of offsets the high cost because you can share those suckers with even 3 or 4 companions or take the rest home and eat for days. However, the last time I was there, albeit a long time ago, the pastrami was gaggingly dry.

                                  I like my pastrami with sufficient fat on it to keep it moist and juicy. Both Katz's and Sarge's -- though a different style from Katz's -- always manage to accomplish that.

                                  1. re: RGR
                                    The Professor RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 06:39 PM

                                    Fair enough.
                                    Agreed that the lean cuts are best left to feed the pooch.
                                    Guess I've been lucky...never had a dry sandwich there. Seems to me that one of the other things that might make the meat less than tender would be too short a time in the steam cabinet. Having done chunks of pastrami and corned beef at home in my covered steam-pot, I found that besides obviously needing a decent amount of fat marbling the meat, it also really needs at least 2 hours in the steam as well (and preferably more) to reach tenderness. On a busy day, even with some forethought, it seems possible that the demand could get ahead of the supply. In any case...I will be doing a pilgrimage to Katz's next Tuesday for a reminder of the "real deal" as far as pastrami goes. Cheers..

                                    1. re: The Professor
                                      r
                                      RGR RE: The Professor Dec 10, 2008 07:06 PM

                                      Enjoy the "pilgramage" and please report back. :-)

                                2. re: RGR
                                  s
                                  steakrules85 RE: RGR Dec 15, 2008 10:43 AM

                                  Went to Carnegie today and it wasn't bad. I had requested the rarest roast beef they had with muenster, lettuce, and tomato on a kaiser roll. It was a very tasty and HUGE sandwich. I got thru about half of the sandwich and will be taking the leftovers home. I also got a side of their crinkle cut fries which were delicious. It was takeout so the fries werent the hottest but still good. Also got a Boylan's Dark cherry which is great. Really pricy though it came to 28 bucks and they only accept cash which sucks.

                                  They were also passing around slices of pastrami to the tourists to try and I had a slice. Nothing really special IMO. Overall, it was a really good lunch but for the price a definite ripoff. Wouldnt pay close to 30 bucks for a sandwich, fries and a drink ever again.

                                  1. re: steakrules85
                                    h
                                    Hinterlander RE: steakrules85 Dec 16, 2008 03:11 AM

                                    >>Wouldnt pay close to 30 bucks for a sandwich, fries and a drink ever again.<<<

                                    You didn't. You really got about three sandwiches.

                                    1. re: Hinterlander
                                      s
                                      steakrules85 RE: Hinterlander Dec 16, 2008 05:47 AM

                                      Lol true but u know what I mean.

                                    2. re: steakrules85
                                      b
                                      Blumie RE: steakrules85 Dec 16, 2008 09:36 AM

                                      I think one of the reasons that Jewish-style delis do not do well outside of NYC is that there are not enough people who are willing to pay the prices that it takes to support quality delis. No question that $28 at Carnegie is ridiculous, but a pastrami sandwich at Katz's is $15, too. Outside of NYC, it's hard to get people to pay $15 for a sandwich.

                                      1. re: Blumie
                                        r
                                        RGR RE: Blumie Dec 16, 2008 01:07 PM

                                        A major reason prices for deli in Manhattan are so high is the exhorbitant cost of rent. Go to the Mill Basin Deli, in Brooklyn, which has excellent deli, and the cost of a pastrami sandwich is $11.50. So, if someone wanted to open a quality Jewish-style deli in Podunk, USA, I'm sure they would not need to charge even that.

                                        1. re: Blumie
                                          t
                                          tombombadillo RE: Blumie Dec 16, 2008 09:39 PM

                                          8 bucks in Brooklyn, in Manhattan your paying for the real estate

                                    3. re: steakrules85
                                      2
                                      2455Bklyn RE: steakrules85 Dec 13, 2008 04:37 AM

                                      There is no comparison for me it's onky atz for a Pastrami sandwich. I've been to carngie was and was so disappointed never again. I don't judge my food by the portioin size more is not better. I make special trips in to NYC form Jersey just to go to Katz.

                                    4. re: RGR
                                      c
                                      ConOrama RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 09:00 AM

                                      The gravy they give you for the brisket saves it, otherwise, its dry and tasteless.

                                    5. re: steakrules85
                                      p
                                      Pan RE: steakrules85 Dec 10, 2008 01:11 PM

                                      Yes, it can be juicy. The last time I got some, I tried the sample and said "That's a little dry. Can you get me a juicier one?" He did, and it was great!

                                    6. re: RGR
                                      d
                                      DaisyM RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 01:26 PM

                                      Any suggestions on where to get great rye bread nearby?

                                  2. d
                                    Dave Feldman RE: cblue Dec 9, 2008 08:56 PM

                                    Only one mention of the salami? It's outstanding.

                                    1. h
                                      humblepie RE: cblue Dec 9, 2008 11:42 PM

                                      For those of us over the water where tipping isnt such a way of life (heading to NYC in a week's time though!); sure you tip the guys on the counter, but would you normally then tip the cashier (i.e. go 15-20% of the whole check) on top? Can't wait to try the pastrami at Katz's!

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: humblepie
                                        Bob Martinez RE: humblepie Dec 10, 2008 05:31 AM

                                        "but would you normally then tip the cashier (i.e. go 15-20% of the whole check) on top?"

                                        No. That would be completely unnecessary and they'd probably think you were crazy. You'll be bussing your own plates. Tip yourself and buy yourself a beer to go with that pastrami.

                                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                                          r
                                          RGR RE: Bob Martinez Dec 10, 2008 08:58 AM

                                          When doing counter service, you find your own seat (at tables down the center of the room) and bring the food to the table. But when you are finished, no need for any "bussing" because there is a crew that comes around and cleans away the refuse.

                                          1. re: RGR
                                            Bob Martinez RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 09:25 AM

                                            I always clear my own tray in any restaurant that serves cafeteria style.

                                            1. re: Bob Martinez
                                              r
                                              RGR RE: Bob Martinez Dec 10, 2008 09:42 AM

                                              I, too, clear my tray in place which are strictly cafeteria-style and where there is no clean-up crew on regular duty. For example, Daisy May's BBQ. But Katz's is also a full-service restaurant, which is why they have that crew. And they do clear the center tables as well as the "reserved" ones.

                                              1. re: RGR
                                                Bob Martinez RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 10:02 AM

                                                I've always done it so I never give it much thought. I figure "I brought it over here, I'll carry the empty plates over to the bin." I cast no aspersions on those that don't do the same. :-)

                                            2. re: RGR
                                              s
                                              steakrules85 RE: RGR Dec 10, 2008 10:54 AM

                                              If you ask for a taste of the brisket at the counter will they give u a slice?

                                              1. re: steakrules85
                                                p
                                                Pan RE: steakrules85 Dec 10, 2008 01:13 PM

                                                You mean as a sample, if you're buying a sandwich? Of course. They'll do that for anything - pastrami, corned beef, turkey, whatever.

                                          2. re: humblepie
                                            b
                                            Blumie RE: humblepie Dec 10, 2008 11:28 AM

                                            No tipping is necessary at Katz's at all. It's custom (and IMHO, part of the fun) to tip the meat cutter a couple of bucks. I also leave a few bucks on the table for the busser (I do not clear my own table and do not think it's necessary). And, of course, if you utilize the waiter-service tables, you should tip the waiter in the neighborhood of 20%.

                                            1. re: Blumie
                                              k
                                              kapnic RE: Blumie Dec 24, 2008 01:43 PM

                                              most importantly, you tip the cutter before he slices, then he presents you with a nice plate of meat to sample while he makes your sandwich

                                              1. re: kapnic
                                                p
                                                Pan RE: kapnic Dec 24, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                I tip after he slices and get great service and great pastrami. Some of them may recognize me, though.

                                                1. re: kapnic
                                                  Bob Martinez RE: kapnic Dec 26, 2008 08:29 AM

                                                  "most importantly, you tip the cutter before he slices, then he presents you with a nice plate of meat to sample while he makes your sandwich"

                                                  Plate of meat? You must be tipping in solid gold. After tipping I've gotten a couple of slices of pastrami. That's it.

                                            2. MSK RE: cblue Dec 10, 2008 10:11 AM

                                              Hey...what about the Latkes, Kishke, Knishes, Kasha Varnishkes & Kugel???

                                              I'm from NY originally and can't get the sides duplicated in SF....that's what I miss the most

                                              Ess Gesunt!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: MSK
                                                d
                                                david sprague RE: MSK Dec 10, 2008 04:25 PM

                                                latkes are awesome. knishes not so much. kinda leaden. never even checked to see their kishka option, leaving me feeling like saying 'd'oh!' since i love the stuff....

                                              2. h
                                                humblepie RE: cblue Dec 10, 2008 11:52 PM

                                                Thanks for the tipping info. We Brits are still a bit strange in our tipping habits, where tips left can vary between 0-10+%. Usually in a more casual place, 10% would be seen to be generous in the UK...........I guess the table service/counter service distinction for deciding on tipping makes sense for Katz's. I think I slipped up in Trattoria dell' Arte a few years ago when we were in a rush to get to Carnegie Hall and I went low on the tip when adding it to the check by mistake........but TDA seemed to have some clientele in that evening who were 'there to be seen' rather than eat, and we felt a bit uncomfortable really.....the staff were really nice though.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: humblepie
                                                  r
                                                  RGR RE: humblepie Dec 11, 2008 06:44 AM

                                                  It's not unusual for visitors to the US coming from countries where the tip is included to find the tipping system here confusing. And the percentage is higher in NYC than in many other places in the country.

                                                  The only time you will see a tip included is when a restaurant does it for parties of 6 or more. And in that case, it is usually stated clearly so that you don't end up tipping twice by mistake.

                                                  The tipping the counterman tradition at Katz's is unique because you won't find it at any other deli.. But, then, when you order at the counter at other delis, it's only for take-out.

                                                  1. re: RGR
                                                    p
                                                    Pan RE: RGR Dec 13, 2008 12:49 AM

                                                    I tip the counterman at 2nd Av. Deli, too. I wonder if I'm the only one who does.

                                                    There are a few - though only a few - restaurants in New York where I've seen service charges for parties of less than 6, but it's rare, and it's been quite a long time, so I couldn't give you any names.

                                                    1. re: Pan
                                                      r
                                                      RGR RE: Pan Dec 13, 2008 05:50 AM

                                                      Since there is no self-ordering at the counter when you are eating in at the "new" Second Av., are you saying you tip for take-out when you are picking it up yourself?

                                                      1. re: RGR
                                                        p
                                                        Pan RE: RGR Dec 14, 2008 02:23 AM

                                                        Yes. They make the sandwich for me for takeout, I tip them.

                                                        1. re: Pan
                                                          r
                                                          RGR RE: Pan Dec 14, 2008 07:02 AM

                                                          Then I would venture a guess that you are the only one who does that. At least, nobody I know personally does it.

                                                          1. re: RGR
                                                            t
                                                            tombombadillo RE: RGR Dec 16, 2008 01:18 PM

                                                            Since the new trendy neighbors arrival on the block, Katz has held up it's traditional standards with their meat, but as folks say the sandwich breads and the fries have changed.
                                                            They used to have the same style and flavor fries as Nathan's!!!!!!!

                                                            1. re: tombombadillo
                                                              Jeffsayyes RE: tombombadillo Dec 16, 2008 05:31 PM

                                                              I got the tongue once and I will never go back. Pastrami is always the way to go. it would pain me to even say the word reuben. id feel like im ditching my grandfather.
                                                              the fries are good - but, they can't do them well-done because they just come from a general basket. too bad, they would be great if they were well-done here.
                                                              Hot dogs are pretty good. not a bad option.
                                                              derma (one of my favorite foods of all-time) is not the best of the best, but still hits the spot.

                                                              1. re: tombombadillo
                                                                bobjbkln RE: tombombadillo Dec 17, 2008 07:15 PM

                                                                I've been eating at Katz's for 60 years and the bread was never any better. Always came from this big wax paper package. Frankly, I usually order my sandwich on club, but that too is no prize (but it does hold up better). I also do not remember the fries being any different, but I could be wrong about that.

                                                  2. b
                                                    bachslunch RE: cblue Dec 22, 2008 05:27 PM

                                                    Two questions re Katz's:

                                                    -What kind of bread is best for the pastrami sandwich? Would have thought the rye would be the obvious choice. Am not a fan of standard white bread.

                                                    -Any time when it's not insanely crowded and busy there?

                                                    10 Replies
                                                    1. re: bachslunch
                                                      r
                                                      RGR RE: bachslunch Dec 22, 2008 06:29 PM

                                                      Pastrami on white bread? Don't even think about it! Rye is traditional though some like it on club bread. Frankly, I could care less if the flimsy rye at Katz's falls apart. I just eat the succulent meat off the plate.

                                                      I recall going to Katz's on a Sunday around 11 a.m. and finding no line at all. But I can't say if that holds true all the time.

                                                      1. re: RGR
                                                        b
                                                        bachslunch RE: RGR Dec 23, 2008 01:50 PM

                                                        Thank for the reply, RGR.

                                                        Am not familiar with club bread (also found mention of "club rolls" at this site), and had no luck finding out more online.

                                                        Are these like bulkie rolls or kaiser rolls? Many thanks for any clarification.

                                                        1. re: bachslunch
                                                          bobjbkln RE: bachslunch Dec 24, 2008 07:52 AM

                                                          Sort of like a chunk of hero bread, just a bit softer and chewier.

                                                          1. re: bachslunch
                                                            r
                                                            RGR RE: bachslunch Dec 24, 2008 08:05 AM

                                                            You're right, bachslunch. I, too, could find no info on the web. I have no idea how it got the name "club." (The traditional way to order is to say, "A pastrami on club.") It's a long bread -- not a roll -- from which sandwich-size pieces are cut. I think bobjbkln's description is about the closest I could come to it.

                                                        2. re: bachslunch
                                                          Jeffsayyes RE: bachslunch Dec 23, 2008 10:07 AM

                                                          katz is also open very later. I rarely remember it being closed. they prob close at 2am, not quite sure. I think if you just dont go during the obvious lunch/dinner, you are good.

                                                          and I can't imagine getting not rye bread. it's just sacrilegious. I used to get great pastrami on heros wehn I was a kid at delis. I guess anything would work in theory. pastrami is next to heaven.

                                                          1. re: Jeffsayyes
                                                            k
                                                            KTinNYC RE: Jeffsayyes Dec 23, 2008 10:15 AM

                                                            The late hours are for Friday and Saturday only the rest of the week they close by 10 or 11.

                                                            1. re: KTinNYC
                                                              r
                                                              RGR RE: KTinNYC Dec 23, 2008 12:35 PM

                                                              The hours listed on Katz's' website are as follows:

                                                              Sun. 8 a.m. - 10:45 p.m.
                                                              Mon. & Tues. 8 a.m. - 9:45 p.m.
                                                              Wed. & Thurs. 8 a.m. - 10:45 p.m.
                                                              Fri. & Sat. 8 a.m. - 2:45 a.m.

                                                          2. re: bachslunch
                                                            s
                                                            stuartlafonda RE: bachslunch Dec 27, 2008 06:17 AM

                                                            1. crowds: No rhyme or reason, yesterday at 3:20 the place was packed with every cutter having a line of at least a half dozen people and every seat in the front room filled. At 5:30 no cutter had more then one cutomer and I saw a cutter with no line. Usually, during non holiday time I find the early afternoon to be a slow period for them.
                                                            2. credit cards: walked over to the guy by the catering section in the back and handed him my card and he took it and did the whole transaction in seconds without any problem. Place was very busy, with a very long line to pay so it was a great option.
                                                            3. Other then an additional 20% tip on a big bill I don't see a a problem with doing waiter service. It is fun to sit back and watch the action, and not so much fun to wait on multiple lines. I say if the place is really busy and you don't mind the extra cost, have a seat. The sandwich is huge, I don't need the pre taste.
                                                            4. I never have an egg cream with my pastrami sandwich, it just doesn't seem right. I tried the egg cream yesterday and it was terrible, It had way too much milk and was room temperature. Back to Dr. Browns, when I want an egg cream I'll go to Gem.
                                                            5. Pastrami was awesome.

                                                            1. re: stuartlafonda
                                                              guttergourmet RE: stuartlafonda Dec 27, 2008 07:12 AM

                                                              I admit that the egg creams can be hit or miss -same can be said of gem spa-I've recently had better ones across the street at veselka 9with an awesome burger). i also admit it takes a strong stomach to drink an egg cream with pastrami and sour pickles. Maybe i'm pregnant?

                                                              1. re: stuartlafonda
                                                                c
                                                                Cpalms RE: stuartlafonda Dec 27, 2008 02:10 PM

                                                                couldn't agree more about table service...you can order your pastrami how you like (fatty or lean) and they are always plenty big. After you have ordered from a cutter once, the thrill gone, and is replaced by having to wait in disorganized lines and then stumble around with a tray looking for a table, only to be followed up by waiting on line again to pay.....

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                                                              foodwhisperer RE: cblue Dec 23, 2008 03:25 PM

                                                              the best things at katz's are the pastrami and the cornbeef or is it corned beef .... amazingly the philly cheese steak is excellent there. the Knubblewurst ( garlic wurst) is great,,, the roun knishes are good. The brisket is excellent. the french fries are fair, the soups are hit and miss, the chopped liver is excellent. the kishka is good . and yes they have doctor brown cel ray soda too.

                                                              1. guttergourmet RE: cblue Dec 23, 2008 06:49 PM

                                                                OK- I only go to Katz's at off-hours. Love that all the tourists always go for waiter service at the tables along the wall. They're busy looking at the Where Harry Met Sally sign and not realizing that the sign next to their table "Waiter Service Only" is Yiddish for "I'm from Ohio and Like Mayo on my Pastrami." Anyhow, besides the glorious pastrami and decent corned beef, the hot dogs are great, the round knishes good, the knoblewurst garlicky goodness. As Dave Feldman pointed out, the salami is the signature meat hence the slogan of Katz's "Send a Salami to your boy in the Army.' They don't write them like that anymore. If you order the salami the only way to go is with the hard salami. If you're ever there before 8 in the morning as I often am, the salami and eggs are the most soulful breakfast one can ever have. they make a damn good egg cream too. Somebody explain to the tourists along the wall what an egg cream is ;)

                                                                15 Replies
                                                                1. re: guttergourmet
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                                                                  foodwhisperer RE: guttergourmet Dec 23, 2008 07:09 PM

                                                                  I wont try to explain the egg cream to the tourists,, I'll go there tomorrow for breakfast and get some salami and eggcream for breakfast. what came first teh chicken of the eggcream?

                                                                  1. re: guttergourmet
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                                                                    Pan RE: guttergourmet Dec 23, 2008 07:24 PM

                                                                    I had waiter service for a large group once, and it was fine. They actually filled our requests for juicy or lean pastrami, etc., admirably. (I wasn't one ordering lean.)

                                                                    1. re: Pan
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                                                                      foodwhisperer RE: Pan Dec 23, 2008 07:33 PM

                                                                      Sandwiches are bigger when you get them at the counter and give a tip,, but the advantage of waiter service is that you can use a credit card and can avoid along line at teh cashier

                                                                      1. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                        KTinNYC RE: foodwhisperer Dec 23, 2008 07:45 PM

                                                                        Sandwich size does not depend on the tip, this is a total urban myth. You can use a credit card if you pay in the back counter where you would pay for uncooked hotdogs and salamis.

                                                                        1. re: KTinNYC
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                                                                          foodwhisperer RE: KTinNYC Dec 24, 2008 05:36 AM

                                                                          The back counter accepts credit cards for catering orders . If they took your credit card for your meal that you ate there you were lucky. Sandwich size is without a doubt bigger when you tip the counter guy especially ompared to what a waiter brings,, and the number of pickles is ridiculous. Also, dont lose your ticket that's 2 years of dishwashing

                                                                          1. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                            Blumie RE: foodwhisperer Dec 24, 2008 05:39 AM

                                                                            It's not luck, anybody can pay for their meal by credit card.

                                                                            1. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                              KTinNYC RE: foodwhisperer Dec 24, 2008 05:45 AM

                                                                              I've tipped before the sandwich was made I've tipped after the sandwich was made and there is no difference. I've duplicated this experiment multiple times with almost all the cutters and it does not matter. You can keep on telling the tourist this little tale to impress them but I know better.

                                                                          2. re: foodwhisperer
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                                                                            Pan RE: foodwhisperer Dec 23, 2008 07:47 PM

                                                                            I really didn't notice any difference in size between my sandwich that night and all the other times I go there, when I wait on line. I could see where that could happen, though, because when I'm on line, I give the cutter a tip, which they don't get from waiter service crowds.

                                                                        2. re: guttergourmet
                                                                          thew RE: guttergourmet Dec 24, 2008 04:28 AM

                                                                          my dad used to send me salamis when i was in college, because of that sign, just as a goof. he also would include SPAM in the care packages, because of monty python.

                                                                          and on a tangential note - here's a moment of silence for dave's of canal street - long gone, once purveyors of the best egg cream on the planet

                                                                          1. re: thew
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                                                                            DaisyM RE: thew Dec 24, 2008 05:13 AM

                                                                            We're going on Saturday to get pastrami and corned beef to take to my in laws in New Jersey for Pastrami-Fest '08. This will include pickles (purchased on Friday from the pickle guys), whitefish salad from Russ and Daughters, and knishes from Yonah Shimmels. This is an eagerly anticipated event in the family.

                                                                            1. re: DaisyM
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                                                                              fourunder RE: DaisyM Dec 24, 2008 05:56 AM

                                                                              With due respect to KTinNYC.....check out the comments from an earlier thread..it may save you a trip on pickles and tomatoes

                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/475219

                                                                          2. re: guttergourmet
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                                                                            RGR RE: guttergourmet Dec 24, 2008 08:29 AM

                                                                            "Somebody explain to the tourists along the wall what an egg cream is ;)"

                                                                            Basically three ingredients: chocolate syrup, milk, and seltzer. However, it's not quite that simple. For purists, the syrup *must* be Fox's U-bet. Very cold whole milk. Seltzer with maximum fizz.

                                                                            Note: When making egg creams at home, seltzer in a syphon bottle works best. Bottled seltzer works only when used immediately after it is opened. A previously opened bottled, even if capped very tightly, loses too much fizz to make a proper egg cream.

                                                                            P.S. The less traditional vanilla egg cream is made by substituting vanilla syrup for the chocolate.

                                                                            http://www.foxs-syrups.com

                                                                            1. re: RGR
                                                                              thew RE: RGR Dec 24, 2008 09:14 AM

                                                                              also the seltzer and milk must be mixed before the syrup is added or you will not get the white foam on top which is essential. a brown foamy top is a clear indication of a subpar eggcream

                                                                              1. re: thew
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                                                                                RGR RE: thew Dec 24, 2008 11:32 AM

                                                                                Opinions differ with regard to the order in which the ingredients should be put together. Some use the method you describe. Some put in the syrup first, followed by the seltzer with the milk added last. I use the method shown on the Fox's U-bet website: syrup first, then the milk, followed by the seltzer. This always achieves a white foamy head.

                                                                                http://www.foxs-syrups.com/egg_cream....

                                                                                1. re: RGR
                                                                                  thew RE: RGR Dec 24, 2008 11:56 AM

                                                                                  i guess the syrup is heavy enough not to mix in and destroy the head.

                                                                                  you live and learn

                                                                          3. thew RE: cblue Dec 24, 2008 02:14 PM

                                                                            I've been eating at katz's for over 4 decades. I have tipped before, after, and not at all. no difference in the size of the sandwich or the quality of the meat.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: thew
                                                                              MSK RE: thew Dec 24, 2008 09:22 PM

                                                                              And................no matter how many times they are asked (which I'm sure is almost daily)................

                                                                              they do not give a discount when your name is KATZ!!!!!

                                                                              (I've even got the drivers license to prove it)

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                                                                              GLieber RE: cblue Feb 27, 2010 11:27 AM

                                                                              Their corned beef is the best, and so are their knishes.

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