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Best Deli w/ Best Meat between two slices in Manhattan

n
nola Oct 24, 2011 10:34 AM

What's the top and where is it?

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  1. howdini Oct 24, 2011 10:58 AM

    Katz's, corner of Houston and Ludlow St., Lower East Side. Pastrami on rye (ask for it juicy (fatty), tip as you order (make sure counterperson sees you tipping)).

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    Katz's Delicatessen
    205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

    2 Replies
    1. re: howdini
      b
      bornie Oct 24, 2011 12:10 PM

      what the customary tip for the "juicy", so as not to get slammed?

      1. re: bornie
        howdini Oct 24, 2011 12:20 PM

        You can ask for it either way, lean or juicy; I usually tip $3 or $4. I don't think you'd get slammed in any event, but I do think if they know up front that you're doing right by them, they'll do right by you.

    2. Motosport Oct 24, 2011 02:01 PM

      Katz's has fabulous sammiches. Especially pastrami or corned beef.
      My second choice would be Defonte's on 3rd Ave. It's not really what I would call a deli but if you are looking for a fantastic sammich it's a good place.

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      Katz's Delicatessen
      205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

      Defonte's Sandwich Shop
      261 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

      10 Replies
      1. re: Motosport
        howdini Oct 24, 2011 02:09 PM

        The corned beef is really good, but that pastrami...oh man! I don't even bother with the bread: just a little bit of mustard, and delicious slice after delicious slice.

        1. re: Motosport
          a
          AubWah Oct 25, 2011 06:39 AM

          who wants to tip 4 on an already 17 dollar sandwich i'll pass

          1. re: AubWah
            f
            FoodDabbler Oct 25, 2011 04:57 PM

            I tip $1 and I leave happy. This idea that you have to wave a large wad of cash in order to get good meat is ridiculous.

            Plus, I don't really know what a sammich is. Personally, I just get a sandwich.

            1. re: FoodDabbler
              r
              RGR Oct 25, 2011 05:42 PM

              Tipping the counterman is not mandatory though it is a tradition. Mr. R. and I always share one sandwich. Like you, we tip $1 and have always been very satisfied with the pastrami.

              The "sammich" is from a long-ago commercial for Levy's Jewish Rye Bread. The tag line was a fellow with an accent saying, "It make a nice sammich!"

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: FoodDabbler
                howdini Oct 26, 2011 07:07 AM

                I don't consider 3-4 bucks to be a large wad of cash, I consider it to be about a 20% tip, which I feel the counter people more than deserve, as they're working hard, on their feet all day or night, doing their job well and dealing with a lot of jerks.

                1. re: FoodDabbler
                  Motosport Oct 26, 2011 08:00 AM

                  I tip $1 ask for fatty and get a couple of sample slices for my approval. They always make "a nice sammich, a nice sammich!" That Levy's ad was a classic along with "You don't have to be Jewish to love Levy's Jewish rye bread" The ad showed several ethnic varieties enjoying a nice sammich.

                  1. re: Motosport
                    f
                    FoodDabbler Oct 26, 2011 08:13 AM

                    Thanks. RGR explained the reference, as well, upthread.

                    As I said, I too tip $1. To each his/her own, I guess. I once asked for "fatty" and was sternly told that I should say "juicy".

                    At Carnegie Deli you can still say fatty. Their pastrami is not as good as the meltingly tender, thick slices at Katz's, but it's not terrible. And their fatty corned beef is pretty good. New Yorkers tend to knock Carnegie for being too much of a tourist destination, but Katz's these days is hardly tourist-free.

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                    Carnegie Deli
                    854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                    1. re: FoodDabbler
                      howdini Oct 26, 2011 08:19 AM

                      When I worked at Sony Studios, I'd get corned beef from Carnegie from time to time, and remember it being better than Katz's, but I can't say for sure; do I remember correctly? Also, their matzoh ball soup was pretty durn good.

                      1. re: howdini
                        f
                        FoodDabbler Oct 26, 2011 08:39 AM

                        My impression, too, is that Carnegie's fatty corned beef is better than Katz's, but the difference is not as great as that between their pastramis (this time in Katz's favor). The matzoh ball soup at Carnegie is significantly better than the one at Katz's. The balls are fluffier (Katz's balls are leaden) and the broth more flavorful. Odd about that broth, because Katz's *looks* better, with bits of carrot, etc. in it, but doesn't taste as good.

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                        Katz's Delicatessen
                        205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                        Carnegie Deli
                        854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                        1. re: FoodDabbler
                          howdini Oct 26, 2011 09:03 AM

                          Yeah, Katz's matzoh balls are pretty toothy, and the broth is definitely nothing to cause a bubbeh any tzuris. Can't fault that pastrami, tho!

            2. ellenost Oct 25, 2011 06:50 AM

              I love the pastrami sandwiches at Sarge's; I'm not a fan of Katz's hand sliced meats. I prefer thinner slices for pastrami/corned beef. I always ask for my sandwiches at Sarge's to be "fatty", and I've always received juicy/delicious sandwiches for the past 19 years.

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

              2 Replies
              1. re: ellenost
                Motosport Oct 25, 2011 07:06 AM

                Sarge's is excellent, close to home and open 24/7.
                All things being equal I prefer Katz's for the one of a kind NY experience espacially if I am giving out of towners my "tour".

                1. re: ellenost
                  r
                  RGR Oct 25, 2011 04:51 PM

                  ellenost, I finally bit the bullet -- or, more appropriately, the pastrami -- and went back to Sarge's in September. After sending us that dreck when we got delivery from them several months prior, they pretty much redeemed themselves. The pastrami was fine though not the absolute juiciest we've had from them.

                  Sarge's photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157627594396779/

                  At this point, despite liking the pastarmi at Sarge's and Katz's, my sandwich of choice is the hot knoblewurst on rye at the 2nd Ave. Deli. We had a major lunch yesterday, so we went to 2nd Ave. for a late evening "nosh." The knoblewurst was perfect -- it's really hard to ruin it -- and hit the proverbial spot. I haven't put those photos up yet, but they aren't any different from those taken during previous visits. So....

                  2nd Ave. Deli photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157625958491672/

                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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                  Second Avenue Deli
                  162 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016

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