Sunday, March 29, 2009

[NYC '09: Dinner, day 2] Katz Delicatessen: When Dorothy met Deli

I have a soft spot for greasy Jewish-American diners and I have another soft spot for cheesy 90s chick-flicks. Put the two together and what do you get? Katz Delicatessen in N-Y-C!

Katz is definitely a New York institution. The ordering system can be super overwhelming for an out-of-towner – we were all really confused about the ticket vs. waiter system. It took three UCLA educations to finally crack the system and we eventually grabbed a table near the front. The self-serve counter is where most of the action is. It’s the epitome of NY speediness: you come in, put down your order, grab your sandwich and go. But we had been trekking around East Village and the Lower East Side the whole day and all we wanted to do was plop our asses down and have a meal.

(Welcome to a NY diner: pickles)

(Fries should be FAT. With Lox omelet)

(Debs' Pastrami Omelet)

Although I had planned on returning to a carnivorous diet during the NY trip, I didn’t want to overwhelm my palate with five inches worth of sliced pastrami on rye after over five months of meatless-ness so I opted for the lox and onion omelet ($13.40) instead. The omelet was huge and came with a generous portion of steak cut fries. The plate was greasy as hell but whadda’ expect? This is, after all, an American diner. The omelet was pretty good but I couldn’t find any onions at all in it :s the lox was also good but a little bit too salty for me. The omelet was too overwhelming for me halfway through – both in size and saltiness and I just couldn’t go through with the whole thing. I did pretty well though. The fries were the bomb though! Thick crunchy wedges with fluffy, piping hot innards – I finished all of them with no problem. I also got a bottle of their in-house lemonade ($2.50) which was the perfect washer-downer for the food.

(Trust me, skip the snapple)

I wouldn’t say that the food was amazing (but the fries were!) but Katz does have an absolutely fantastic atmosphere. It’s SO New York. The subway musician eats at the table next to the Wall Street financier just off from work; the waiter (yes, SINGULAR) has been working at the diner for years, stays for a chat, cracks jokes and asks if you want “caw-fee” at the end of your meal. Katz is not just a diner serving greasy sandwiches and omelets. It’s part of New York and there lies its charm

FOOD: 3.75/5

205 East Houston St.
New York, NY 10002

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