Archive for the 'Deli' Category

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Katz’s Delicatessen – New York City

Katz's Delicatessen - New York City

I’ve passed by Katz’s Delicatessen dozens of times over the years while striding down Houston toward the East River for a run, but never sat down for a proper pastrami sandwich until my latest jaunt to the big city.

The Astronomer and I, along with our friend Miho, Cousin Jackie, and Jackie’s boyfriend Aaron, descended upon this New York City institution (est. 1888) for an early Saturday dinner. The crowd wasn’t too robust at this hour, which proved to be a good thing for this group of Katz’s newbies because things work a little differently ’round here…

Katz's Delicatessen - New York City

We were each handed a paper ticket as we walked through the front door. The placards hanging from the ceiling directed us to the various ordering counters. There was a separate queue for each course—appetizers, sandwiches, desserts, and drinks. While this somewhat archaic and chaotic ordering system worked fine for us, it was nice to know that there were a few seats reserved in the dining room for full table service if need be.

Katz's Delicatessen - New York City

As soon as I made my way to the front of the line, my sandwich was constructed right before my eyes. Best of all were the scraps of pastrami that the sandwich artist passed my way to make the wait a tastier one. No cash was exchanged at this point—just a scribble on my ticket and I was set to find a seat.

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Cutty’s – Brookline

Cutty's - Brookline, MA

There’s little worse than boarding a flight on an empty stomach, so The Astronomer and I took Steph‘s advice and walked to Cutty’s for an early lunch following our tour of America’s Test Kitchen.

The gourmet sandwich shop is owned by Rachel and Charles Kelsey, Culinary Institute of America grads and Test Kitchen alums. In fact, it was inside the Test Kitchen where Rachel and Charles met, fell in love, and got married. Romance over recipes—what could be better?

Cutty's - Brookline, MA

After years of working to perfect recipes for home cooks, the couple ventured out on their own in a quest to construct the best sandwiches using the best ingredients.

At Cutty’s, meats are all-natural and roasted on-site, eggs and dairy come from small, local farms, and potato chips, salads, pickles, sauces, and sweets are made in-house. Bread is delivered daily by Iggy’s Bread of the World in Cambridge.

Cutty's - Brookline, MA

The thing to order at Cutty’s is their famous “Roast Beef 1000” with crispy shallots, Thousand Island dressing, and sharp cheddar on brioche. Sadly, both The Astronomer and I were reeling from palate fatigue at the tail end of our trip, so we passed on the beef and opted for vegetarian creations instead. Next time!

The Astronomer absolutely adored his “Greens Shallot” sandwich ($7.65) with sautéed Swiss chard, crispy shallots, and saffron yogurt on ciabatta. The deeply caramelized shallots, along with the hefty greens, packed a whole lot of oomph. The creamy saffron yogurt not only tied everything together, but kept our attention bite after bite.

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Langer’s Delicatessen Restaurant – Los Angeles (Westlake)

Langer's Delicatessen Restaurant - Los Angeles

After lunching on two not-so-memorable sandwiches at Bay Cities and The Spice Table, I finally struck sandwich gold at Langer’s Delicatessen. Located across from MacArthur Park on the cusp of Koreatown, Langer’s has been smoking, steaming, and hand-slicing their world famous pastrami for over sixty years.

The Astronomer and I were inspired to make our way here after sampling the amazing smoked meat sandwiches at Schwartz’s in Montréal. While smoked meat and pastrami aren’t exactly the same beast, we were curious to see how the two compared and whether one was superior to the other.

Langer's Delicatessen Restaurant - Los Angeles

Joining us for lunch were our friends and fellow Langer’s newbies Lien and Diana. We were seated at a table fit for four in Joan’s jurisdiction. Even though we only understood every other word she hushed, we all agreed that Joan was hands-down the greatest waitress ever.

Langer's Delicatessen Restaurant - Los Angeles

All three of my dining companions ordered the unadorned hot pastrami sandwich ($12.95). Diana opted for an “extra lean” version that cost an additional $3.25. The sandwiches were served with two spears of dill pickles on the side.

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Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery – Los Angeles (Santa Monica)

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

After spending Sunday afternoon watching “The Never Ending Story” with 80 diehard Weezer fans, I stepped out of the theater feeling positively hungry. It turns out that fantastical stories populated by a cast of strange characters bring on the pangs like you wouldn’t believe.

I remembered seeing Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery when we exited off the highway and couldn’t think of a better time than the present to finally experience “The Godmother.” Cue the singing angels…

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

The hype surrounding The Godmother is nothing short of tremendous. Its legion of passionate fans endure long lines, nightmarish parking, and gruff customer service for the pleasure found between two slices of hefty Italian bread.

When The Astronomer and I arrived at the market slash deli sometime past four o’clock, we made our way through the sizable crowd  hovering around the counter to grab a numbered ticket. One Godmother sandwich with “the works” was in my hands within fifteen minutes.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

All of the picnic tables along the L-shaped patio were occupied, so The Astronomer and I dug in on our feet over a slab of concrete railing.

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