Thursday, July 3, 2014
Katz's, down on the Lower East side of Manhattan, is the oldest delicatessen in NYC (est. 1888), and it reminds me in some ways of a high school cafeteria. It's chaotic, a bit grungy and there's no time for personalized attention. I have to say I enjoyed the quick, terse exchange with the man at the counter when placing my order, but if you don't care for the no-nonsense New Yorkers or you don't know how it all works, you can get pushed, shoved and swallowed up in this place.
When you arrive, two bouncers greet you politely and hand you a ticket on which your life now depends. As you place your orders at the different counters, the servers behind them write down the prices of your items. If you get to the cashier without your ticket after you've eaten, the Kat'z SWAT team (the bouncers) will block your exit and conduct a body cavity search, I think.
Once I was done picking at my husband's plate, I dug into my whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and lox. Seems like an ordinary thing to order but this is a habit I can't break when I visit a Jewish deli. I wish I had broken it on this occasion. It was good enough, but the lox was not of the best quality, I'm disappointed to say.
John said it best: "Glad we visited; now we can check it off the list." Back to Carnegie Deli.
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