I’m back from New York having gained about 10lbs and my initial opinion was that undoubtedly the standard of food there is higher than in London. However, upon reflection I believe it might be that, as my chosen holiday destination, I was willing to spend more money on eating out in New York than I do when I’m at home.
The discovery of the NYC Zagat Restaurant Guide was a definite highlight of the trip and it proved to be a very reliable source when selecting dinner destinations. Zagat is a well-respected publication in New York with many establishments proudly displaying their ‘Zagat Rated’ stickers for all to see in their windows.
It uses a numerical system to rate eateries in food, décor and service categories (up to a maximum of 30) as well as giving an average price. Contributing votes are cast on the website by diners themselves making these reviews more reliable than most.
Zagat awards Katz’s Delicatessen (where we went for lunch on day 1 of the trip) with a very respectable 23 for food. The deli’s claim to fame is that it was the setting for the famous scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ that and it’s Pastrami on rye sandwiches. We both had one of these.
They come served with mustard, gherkins and cucumber and we had root beer to accompany it.
Katz’s is a bit of an ordeal come lunchtime, we arrived at about 1:30 on a Sunday and the line was to the door. It’s a bit every man for himself and strength of character is required both to obtain a seat and to order at the counter.
The sandwich was well worth the struggle. Deliciously salty and tender the meat, plenty of it, falls apart and is just the right amount. I expected to feel pretty bloated afterwards but it’s actually remarkably light. I think the bread could perhaps be improved upon and a little more mustard might not have gone amiss. The gherkins were pretty standard but the combination is a classic.
I’m glad to have tried root beer but it tasted a bit soapy for my liking. In all the Katz’s experience is not for the faint hearted but if you’re up to it you certainly won’t be disappointed.
205 East Houston St, NY