Katz’s Deli

It’s official: Bruni’s tastebuds cannot be trusted. It's either that or he’s not Jewish [which we knew but might explain why intuitively he doesn't know about really good deli meat]. Or both. I still have hope that he will turn this sad state of recent odd restaurant review affairs around because I don’t think he’s becoming Jewish anytime soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally enjoy reading him, his blog especially. But his resto reviews of late have been wacky. Especially this NYT review of Katz’s deli, a New York institution to be sure but not great Jewish deli. Not even passable deli: it’s too greasy, too fatty; the place is truly filthy and there’s not a religious Jew in sight.

In my opinion, Second Avenue’s brisket was the best and Noah’s Ark pastrami is the real deal. Katz’s, like Carnegie or Stage Deli is a shadow of its former self: the food is big and sloppy as if that could make up for lack of greatness.

I went over to Save the Deli to see what he had to say about this mess. And I totally disagree with his feeling that one star from Bruni is an insult; I don't think there should have been a review in the first place. And Mr. Save has issue with reviewing a lunch spot versus an expensive resto but has he been to Katz's lately? Katz’s isn’t an "affordable deli", does that even exist anymore?

What people [read: tourists] believe is the Jewish deli is an overpriced, bloated, greasy mess of a Disney-fied meta-concept of New York. Yeah, I’m angry. I want some Jewish deli as much as the next person and I can’t find it. But I know it’s not Katz’s and I want you to know not everyone believes that Katz’s is pastrami Nirvana.

PS some Bronx deli love from Off the Broiler.


Unknown said…
My dear Allergic Girl,
How wrong you are. Katz's is the real deal. It is the oldest deli in New York, in the United States, and likely the whole world. While tourists do flock there, it remains a place for locals, far more than the other delis that you mentioned in Midtown. To say that pastrami is "Too Fatty" belies your lack of knowledge about the product. The fat is what gives it the flavor. Real pastrami is fatty, cut by hand, and has a thick layer of spice shielding it. Noah's Ark is a fine deli, but to put it in the same league as Katz?

Katz's is old and Katz's has not been redecorated in fifty years. Katz's has worn tables and worn chairs and worn servers. Katz's serves food that is FATTY and GREASY because the alternative to that is DRY and TASTELESS.

Still, you have a right to kvetch. That's what blogs are for.

Save the Deli
Allergic Girl® said…
LOL. david, thanks for the weigh in. i do have a right to kvetch indeed. ;-) i am one of those locals, and i do not flock there.

what good deli did i mention midtown? noah's is on grand, the others i mention saying not good.
btw midtown where the diamond district is, and thus many orthodox diamond merchants, has some serious deli, KOSHER deli [which katz's is not].

and i'm a fan of fat, deliciously marbled meat. but fatty/greasy? well there's good greasy and then there's "this isn't a great cut of meat" grease. or when the brisket cools, it's dry cos it was only luscious when hot and greasy! which isnt as it should be.

hmmm it's true, i am feeling very passionate about the disappearance of the deli. and wishing i was on YOUR deli tour of the usa. but if Katz's is deemed the best, then oy.
Allergic Girl® said…
am i allowed to amen your amen?! ;-)

when are you coming down to the city so we can get some good gluten free deli?

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