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May 17, 2010 05:37 PM

Sarge's beats out Katz's

I must say that I have been to Katz a few times and Sarge's just once. Last night I ate Sarge's at around 2AM. The place was basically empty, with only one other patron, which I thought was great. We were seated and presented with water, coleslaw and sour/half sour pickles.

I ordered a bacon Burger which was really one of the best I have ever had in Manhattan. Very fresh meat and fresh cut fries.

Though the pastrami is what really matters. We also got a Robin, which is like a Reuben, but with Pastrami. I must say the pastrami was incredibly tender and flavorful, but was just lean enough. Was not to fatty as to make it disgusting, but had just enough fat to make it taste amazing. My last few trips to Katz, were disappointments, Not only are the prices insane, but the crowd's and fatty cuts of meat, make Kat'z less desirable.

The Robin at Sarge's was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had, let alone at 2AM on a Monday morning. The pastrami was also incredibly delicious and I must say perfect. The price and service were also respectable.

Sarge's is my new spot for late night eats in Manhattan.

Sarge's Delicatessen
548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

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  1. Sarge's is my favorite deli (strongly prefer it to Katz's and Second Ave. Deli). I'm heading back to Sarge's for my pastrami "fix" on Saturday. It's one of the few restaurants that I miss from my old Murray Hill/Kips Bay neighborhood. I also love Sarge's chopped liver and noodle pudding. (Wow! I guess I've just planned my entire dinner!).

    4 Replies
    1. re: ellenost

      Sarge's is great in a pinch and is well worth hitting if you're in the area..its a great old school deli without trying to be an old school deli...but while the Pastrami is good..its really not all that get a good solid Pastrami sandwich there but nothing more..which isnt really a knock on the is what it is..and Im glad for it...its too bad there arent more places left like Sarges

      1. re: ChooseYrPoison

        Imo, Sarge's pastrami is consistently superb -- not just "a good solid...sandwich..but nothing more," and not just "great in a pinch."

        Pastrami at Sarge's:

        I do agree that having more places like Sarge's, especially ones that would be open 24/7 and deliver, would be wonderful.

        1. re: RGR

          OMG! That is what a deli sandwich is supposed to look like! Folks in NYC don't have a clue just how good they have it compared to the rest of the world- I'm ready to book a flight just on that picture alone!

          1. re: Clarkafella

            When I went away to college, I bought a ham and cheese hero and it had 1 piece of cheese and 2 pieces of ham for $8. I laughed.

    2. Sarge's is great and gets a ++ for being open 24/7. Been there in the wee hours for pastrami and very early breakfast and it's always fabulous. I do prefer the pastrami at Katz's but they are both up there in the great category along with 2nd Ave.
      Vive la difference!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Motosport

        Had a Sarge's pastrami sandwich (for the 1st time) yesterday. Sorry Katz''ve been bypassed. After a lifetime of going to Katz's, and considering their pastrami the gold standard, my biz is going elsewhere. The shrinking sandwich size, lately the chewy, under-seasoned pastrami, tourist/mob scene of Katz's are now in my rear-view. Folks--it's really simple: I ordered my sandwich (plus noodle kugel, chopped liver app, cheese cake--all also great) an hour--at my door, pastrami still hot & moist, down the hatch. Life is good.

        1. re: drumwine

          I love Sarge's, but Katz is still miles ahead in pastrami.

          I went back to Katz for the first time in awhile last weekend, and the pastrami was absolutely melting. Don't get me wrong though, $20 is a lot of money for a sandwich.

          That said, I would kill for a Sarge's double decker sandwich with turkey, pastrami, swiss cheese and cole slaw (and the souper soup) at 3AM. Also, I was at Katz on a Saturday morning around noon, and the line was nonexistent, in and out within 15 minutes.

          Both are waaay better than Mile End if you want to get into a chewy argument (although the smoked turkey is great). I did try David's Brisket House for the first time this week too-- best value anywhere ($5 sandwich that I could barely finish).

          1. re: ChiefHDB

            Try the Three Little Piggies pastrami sandwich, just remember to hold the coleslaw or get it on the side. Half the price of Katz's, and tell me if it isn't almost as good. I am constantly surprised by it.

            1. re: Wilfrid

              Can't find it. Do you mean "This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef" on First Ave?

              This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
              149 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

      2. I don't understand complaining about Katz's pastrami being too fatty. Did you ask for it to be a bit lean if that's how you wanted it? I have to say, really lean pastrami at Katz's is too dry, but the alternative doesn't have to be disgustingly fatty.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pan

          There is that kind of too fatty that ends up like looking more like stringy bacon when the fat falls apart off it. My unfortunate sandwich at Katz's was memorable for yanking a piece or two like that. I didn't specify fatty or not.

          1. re: sugartoof

            I have had one sandwich at Katz's that, though delicious, was really too fatty, but I did ask for "juicy." I'm surprised you got THAT fatty a sandwich without asking for one, and that is definitely legitimate to criticize, in my opinion.

        2. I've had great pastrami at Katz's and I've had horrible pastrami at Katz's. With Sarge's it's consistently good, plus I'll add my vote for the 24/7 thing. My husband is a thoroughly unadventurous eater not to mention somewhat of a bull in a china shop when it comes to ordering and I had fears that the staff at Katz's might not have too much patience with him, so this morning (we're on va-cay in the city) I took him to Sarge's. He adored the blintzes, and any time I can get pastrami and Sarge's fantastic fries for breakfast is a good time!

          1. I also think Sarge's is one of the top delis in NYC. Consistently under rated. Great matzoh ball soup and latkes too. Very good kugel.

            2 Replies
            1. re: comiendosiempre

              Whatever else Sarge is, it doesn't seem to be underrated here at Chowhound.

              1. re: Pan

                I think it's more a case of it finally sticking around long enough to gain a reputation after being overlooked for the better part of 2 decades. It Katz's and 2nd Ave. aren't what they used to be, Sarge's is an exciting new discovery or rediscovery for a lot of people.