Tag Archives: jewish

Katz’s Delicatessen

I never got around to writing about Katz’s, because the last time I went was before I started this website. Now that I live closer, and since the good folks at Hendrick’s Gin sent me a $25 gift card along with some cool Katz’s swag like gin and juniper soaked pickles and an apron, it was time to go back.

Nothing has changed inside since my last visit, which was pre-2009, aside from some new pics of celebs on the wall. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of a line at 6pm on a Friday. I thought it would be mobbed. My wife and I opted for waiter service. As soon as we sat, a nice platter of pickles came out. The tomatoes were the winner, oddly enough. I usually devour half sours like an animal!

We wanted to try more sandwiches, but we went with two fulls and one half. First up, the full sized tongue sandwich. This is served cold.

This was my least favorite of the three. The slices were too thick, and the meat wasn’t quite cooked properly. Too tough, too chewy, and too sinewy. Felt like it needed to be cooked lower and slower, so that everything became tender. As far as tongue goes, PJ Bernstein is the king. Without question.

Next up was the half sandwich of liverwurst. This was also served cold.

These thick slices of velvet deliciousness were very much welcomed after the tongue. This was great, and it was a lot of liverwurst for a half sandwich. Some of the best wurst I’ve had!

Last, and clearly the best of the three, was the combo pastrami + corned beef hot sandwich, full size.

In my prior visits, I recall not liking the pastrami so much. At times it was too fatty and sinewy as well, chewy as fuck with those hard ridges along the edge not rendering out properly. But this time it was perfect. And the corned beef was stellar; I’ll go with corned beef over pastrami any day of the week in most cases. But anyway, the sandwich was so juicy and tender, it really didn’t need any mustard.

I can’t wait to go back and try both the roast beef and the brisket. Those were the other two “must have” items that we just didn’t have the stomach space for on this trip. I feel like I rediscovered an old favorite in coming here. It definitely put a smile on my face. One critique I will give is that I think they can benefit from some improved rye bread. I realize it’s just a vehicle to deliver the meat, but I was expecting better.

205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002

2nd Avenue Deli

What better way to cap off a day of beer and burgers than to put down a massive, heaping pile of corned beef, sandwiched between two slices of rye bread? This baby was so excellent that it almost made me forget that I dropped nearly $20 for it. Check out what half of a sandwich looks like from the famous (but moved) 2nd Avenue Deli (on 1st Avenue, UES):


442 1st Ave.
New York, NY 10021

Kosher Steak

NYC has seen a recent spike in high end, good quality Kosher restaurants, particularly of the steakhouse variety. I’m talking about places like Prime at The Bentley Hotel on the east side, and Prime KO (Japanese inspired) and Talia’s on the west side. Shit, even Strip House offers a Kosher steak on the menu in midtown. I was intrigued by some of the things my buddy was telling me while we chomped away on the tasty Kosher beef at Prime at The Bentley Hotel. He now keeps Kosher, and he knows I’m a steak man, so a Kosher steakhouse was naturally a perfect fit for this bro-date. I had always thought to myself that Kosher simply meant a Rabbi had to bless the slaughter according to a specific process, and of course the prohibition on certain foods, but there’s much more to it than that. I have to hand it to those who make the effort to keep Kosher. I applaud your willpower and your dedication. I’d have serious trouble with several of these. Read on to get the basic Johnny Prime primer on what Kosher looks like through the eyes of a meat-loving gentile.

Clean Animals vs Unclean Animals
An animal is considered clean, and therefore okay to eat, if it “chews the cud” and has a cloven hoof. That means no pigs, rabbits, squirrels, bears, camels, elephants, etc., among others. Wait, wait, wait a second, Moishe… no pigs? EVER? Yeah, that’s right. NO PORK, which means NO BACON! Which means NO FUN! I kid. Beef bacon is a really fucking nice alternative, and so is duck bacon.

Ritual Slaughter
Shechita is the method by which the slaughterer severs the jugular vein, carotid artery, esophagus, and trachea in a single continuous motion with an un-serrated knife. Think Patrick Bateman.

Then the carcass is checked for diseases and injuries to make sure it wasn’t going to die within a year, which would make the meat unsuitable. It is forbidden to consume certain parts of the animal, such as certain fats and the sciatic nerves from the legs. As much blood as possible must be removed, but blood inside the meat is okay – YAY FOR MEDIUM RARE! However only the fore-quarter of the animal is used (front). That means no loin/short loin, flank, sirloin, or rump. Dayummm!

“Winged Creatures”
No bats, birds that eat fish, or birds of prey. More Patrick Bateman, I mean Bruce Wayne, references.

“Creeping Things”
No bugs other than locusts or whatever may be living inside a fruit. I immediately wondered if this included fungus, mold or bacteria. If so, that would be bad news for the aging process of beef, and anything with mushrooms or truffles. The answer is that those are all okay. Whew!

Meat & Cheese Combo
No Meat & Cheese together – DOH! But you CAN have cheese either 1 or 6 hours (depending on how safe you want to be about it) before eating the meat – just don’t mix. Apparently you can’t have the meat before the cheese, because the meat takes longer to digest and will ultimately be mixing with the cheese in your gullet. So get cheese in the app, not in the dessert. Biggest problem here: NOOOOO CHEESEBURGERRRRS, MAAAAAAN!

Shrimp? Oysters? Clams? LOBSTER?!??
Of course, the Bible says no Shellfish – DOH!


“Torn by Beasts”
Another interesting item for discussion is how the Good Book also says that people shouldn’t eat already-dead animals that have been partially eaten by other animals. I’d say it’s probably a good idea to avoid carrion anyway. I suppose there should be exceptions for starving people wandering through the dessert, like Bear Grylls.

But the upside is that it looks like Moses was wise enough to bring some non-perishables with him on that whole Exodus thing. Yes… Twinkies are apparently Kosher.

Serious photo credit goes to The Internet on this post. I’m not that funny. These images, however, are. The drawing at the top of the page was done by my brother. You can see more of his sick artwork at DeviantArt.