After leaving the 9/11 memorial, we decided to acquire some lunch. We walked for a bit but were very tired and thought that the famed Katz's Deli might be an interesting option. I was game for anything but pizza. We hopped into a taxi which looked large enough for 5 people. It wasn't. Nonetheless, we wedged ourselves in and closed our eyes as the driver skillfully and frighteningly negotiated the streets and squeezed between vehicles. He dropped us off two and a half miles later at the corner of Houston (pronounced House-ton) and Ludlow Streets. There we saw the signs.
The building was nondescript but as we entered, we were amazed at the massive size of the interior. We were handed tickets which were not to be lost lest there be a $50 surcharge on exiting the establishment. Yikes!
Inside, there was a choice of self serve, then take your chances getting a table, or table service. We opted for the latter. As we headed through the busy deli to our table, I saw hundreds of photos of actors who had eaten there. I also saw signs, "send a salami to your boy in the army" and "where Harry met Sally...hope you had what she had!" The latter of course, being found above the table where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal sat in the movie "When Harry Met Sally." (I have no idea how the gentleman with the child managed to get into all my photos. White shorts...not my thing.)
We were given a menu...extensive and perfect for meat lovers. Beverages included New York egg creams, a treat which I only learned about a few years ago from hubby. They also had a large selection of Dr. Brown's sodas. These were new to me and came in flavours such as celery tonic (really?) and many tastes that were more pleasing sounding. I picked diet black cherry...yum. After perusing the menu, I decided to have what "she" was having in the movie, although I opted for only a half reuben sandwich and matzo ball soup. As I thought, the soup was excellent and the half sandwich was more than enough. I was not adventurous enough to try Katz's tongue or the chopped liver and egg although I sampled a bit of hubby's liver and it was delicious...from his sandwich that is.
So finally, I had the quintessential New York deli experience. Although the place was crowded and chaotic and the washrooms looked and felt like outhouse add-ons, I'd come back again. The menu is so interesting, I'd love to try something else. Perhaps next time, it could be blintzes, or knishes, or even potato or noodle kugel. Don't ask me what those are until I've had a chance to go try them.
Of course, on the way out, there was a stall with souvenirs...mostly t-shirts from what I saw. The tickets needed to be returned along with proof of payment and after this, we were allowed to leave the premises. The price was not inexpensive, but I think we did get value for the money. Besides, we had a true New York experience that's not to be missed.