When it comes to food and eating out, I’m the first one to look for places I haven’t been to before and try new dishes. I like to discover new places in Miami, but I also find myself doing a lot of restaurant research before I travel. I browse the Web in hopes of finding something new, different and not too touristy. Yet, sometimes the touristy places (or “the classics”) are what keep popping up in my Pinterest feed and I just need to include them in my must-eat-there-#paraisoeats-list. When I was in New York last year, I had the perfect opportunity to visit a classic – no other than Katz’s Delicatessen.
That was my first time at Katz’s, but it’s a dining standard for most New Yorkers. Sure, there are other options in the city for pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, but going to Katz’s is unique – your palate will thank you, but you will also be treated to an authentic NYC sensory experience the moment you walk through the door. When I first entered the restaurant I was surprised by how big it was. There were about a hundred people sitting down eating and three dozen more waiting in line for their order.
For first-timers like me, the ordering process can seem rather bizarre. There is an army of cooks behind a long deli counter taking orders and making sandwiches in speed-racer fashion as patrons sample the meats while waiting for their meal. And if their meal combo included latkes, matzo ball soup or any beverage, they walk through a maze of tables to yet another counter to receive the rest of their order. Once they have their prize in hand, customers battle each other in the crowded dining area to find a vacant table.
Meanwhile, at the opposite side of the venue, there’s a long line of satisfied customers presenting their handwritten bills, looking to pay quickly and exit the “stage.” It’s a delicious, synchronized choreography, that while chaotic, adds to its unique charm.
Brunch has become a thing, I get it. But if you feel you can take a break from bottomless mimosas, and find yourself in the Lower East Side one weekend, I definitely recommend having an indulgent meal at this classic.