Carnegie Deli Revisited Revisited...A Triumph!
A year after the last review we had returned (twice in a couple of weeks). First a party of 6 on a Friday night. Then a party of 7 on a Sunday afternoon.
A bunch of food lovers looking for the great deli experience. We started with a cold borscht with sour cream. Tasted great, with tiny bits of beet in the bottom. The color could best be described as Pepto-Bismol Pink. We then had a stuffed cabbage. Generous sized easily appetizer for 6. DEEEElicious. Sorry that I cut it up before taking a pic. Unlimited full and half sour pickles replenished on request. The potato pancake was big crisp on the outside and properly mealy on the inside, served with sour cream and applesauce a real comfort food.
Now on to the sandwiches. Mrs, Doc got her pastrami and shared with a guest. Hot, juicy, perfect balance of lean to fat. So tender and spicy full flavor. Doc sister went with the brisket (she does not eat pickled meat). Perfectly cooked and lean, the way she likes it. Other couple shared a corned beef. Again piled high and just the right balance between lean and fat, hot and juicy. The final triumph was the Woody Allen for me. The best of the best. As good as any I have had at Katz's. A foundation of the juicy corned beef upon which is stacked a mountain of pastrami. Served hot, in the past I have had many sandwiches served lukewarm or room temp, but these arrived hot. We had a couple of orders of coleslaw and a side of Russian. The coleslaw was tasty and crisp and the Russian was good, much better than at Katz's.
Being a holiday celebration we moved on to desserts. The strawberry cheesecake is a must. Real fresh strawberries, (not overcooked in a gloppy gel), again a very generous slice. Rich with cream cheese, balanced between dense and creamy. Chocolate fudge cake, moist cake, deep chocolate flavor, fresh chocolate frosting. Sour cream ruggelach. Rich and sweet. As expected good stuff.
The waiter brought us any extras we requested such as more bread, free refill of fountain drinks, not canned or bottled. No sharing charges that were mentioned on the menu were added.
Next came as a surprise. Mrs. Doc's elementary school was on the lower east side of Manhattan and wanted to have deli at their little reunion. Turned out to be seven people. In the back room at Carnegie there is a staircase going up that looks to be going to another dining room. It is in fact an alcove that holds 4 tables at which we were seated. It was fortunate because it provided us with a private room away from the hustle and bustle of the regular dining room. We were lingerers and this was the perfect location. This was more of a social gathering than a food quest. No appetizers. Sandwiches and sides were the order. An order of 3 potato pancakes, 2 coleslaw as described in previous paragraphs. This time we got a kasha knish, a $5 pastry the size of a medium grapefruit. Excellent crust with a hole in the top. Nicely seasoned filling with perfect texture. Again the word is balance when it comes to the texture of crumbly vs. mushy and salt and pepper balance with the sweetness of onion in the filling. The potato knish was very good but not of the mammoth size of the kasha.
Here come the sandwiches. Corned beef and pastrami as reported earlier. A roast beef was nicely rare pink color and adequate size. Two Woody Allens were delivered and this counterman put the pastrami on the bottom and topped with the corned beef. Again the most delish. Although this place is by no means inexpensive, the Woody Allen costs $19, a mere $3 more than a corned beef or pastrami alone. Since they hadn't imposed the $3 sharing charge this is a relative bargain.It appears to be as much meat as the two sandwiches ordered separately. Again a triumph and will go again when the opportunity presents
Dense and rich seem to be the adjectives that appear most. I guess you have to be rich to start.
You will leave more dense and less rich. Both visits wound up costing around $200 with tax and tip, extra tip for lingering reunion.
Last years post.
If you go on a weeknight, street parking at Muni Meter becomes legal at 6 P.M. . It cost $5 for 2 hours on a 4 hour maximum. Discount parking is available on the web from icon parking.
Pics: All before dessert are from first visit.
Woody Allen....Pastrami....Stuffed Cabbage...Strawberry Cheesecake
Chocolate fudge cake...Woody Allen (pastrami on the bottom)...Rare Roast beef...Another Woody Allen
854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019