“Katz’s, that’s all” is painted on the side of Katz Delicatessen on the Lower East Side as a reminder of the slogan that earned the famous salami seller its following since World War II. As the story goes, the owners (smartly) encouraged people to send GIs a kosher tube steak (or three) as a reminder of home. It’s a nice slogan, but we really would like them to revise it to “pastrami, that’s all,” because that’s basically the only item you need to worry about.
Katz’s is a New York institution, with a pretty strict ordering process. Upon entering, each guest is given a paper ticket. You must keep your ticket safe — it’s how you pay at the end after your order is marked off with chicken scribble. Do not lose that ticket. Just don’t. Tourists and locals alike share Formica tables while the designated “orderer” queues up to request plates of pickles, chicken matzo ball soup and, as we said, pastrami. It’s the best pastrami you will ever have. Skip the corned beef. Period. The pastrami is like eating a combination of the finest hot dogs and salami and smoked brisket you’ve ever tried in your life. In between slices of rye served with a little mustard and new dill pickles.
Fuck it’s good. That’s why tourists are dining there with an equal proportion of locals. Because we all know how much New Yorkers love hanging out with tourists. Yeah, that good.
205 East Houston St., NY 10002 tel 212-254-2246 katzsdelicatessen.com