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Things you probably didn't know about Katz's

No one should leave New York without eating pastrami. Ergo nobody should leave New York without going to Katz's. The Lower East Side deli, famous for its sandwich and for its fake orgasms, is one of the essential places in the city and has just turned 125 years old.


Because it's New York history. Few places are older than Katz's: 125 just turned this May (the Empire State, for example, is only 82, counts). But it is also a story that is savored in their pastrami, corned beef, tongue, turkey or tortilla sandwiches (with all of the above), which follow the same recipe since 1888. Yes, Meg Ryan's fake orgasm in When Harry met Sally (pointed at the restaurant with a sign) made him world famous, but before that, it was already One of the busiest delis: New Yorkers know where the good is and go again and again. They serve between 400 and 4,000 clients daily, and sell seven thousand kilos of weekly pastrami. And as the owner says: "If Sally had tried the pastrami, she would not have had to pretend anything."


Beef in brine, later cooked with a recipe in this case nothing secret, because they have it posted on their website: they cure the piece of meat between three weeks and a month (not 36 hours express, as they say, they do other delis), it smokes for 48- 72 hours (until the outside is black) and cooked in water (without being consumed at all) for four or five hours. Last step? They fillet it (very finite), place a huge amount between two slices of rye bread and each one adds mustard to taste. Awesome. Grease sprays by your hands are worth it. The big competitor of Katz's is probably Carnegie Deli, but its absurdly giant quantities do not reach the quality of this pastrami. Promised.


Well, he pastrami sandwich (to share but leaves very hungry), but also the corn beef sandwich, or if you really want to try the most monstrous and tasty, the Reuben: many (but many) slices of corn beef with melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian sauce. Are you already salivating? Mandatory, to accompany the pickles (pickles) of the two types, more and less sour; and no chips, a thousand times better are potatoes latkes: potato pancakes with sour sauce or applesauce.

A delicious monstrosity © Corbis


It seems an absurd question, but your answer is not so much. As you enter, they give you a tiny green, pink or yellow ticket. Do not miss it, they will write down what you ask for, either in self-service, well served by a waiter (there are different tables, according to the chosen style), and with that ticket you have to go to the exit and pay. Even if they didn't point anything on your ticket, If you lose it, they will charge you 50 cents..


We must avoid during the week the meal hours of yuppies and workers in the area (between 12:30 and 14:00). It is one of their favorite places and queues can be formed that go around the building. The best? Go before or after. And better yet: a Friday or a Saturday, the days that don't close, at dawn, after leaving by the lively Lower East Side or the East Village. A pastrami sandwich heals you and prevents any possible hangover. Also, we caution, these may be the hours when Sally's most aspirants pretend noisy and unnecessary orgasms. According to its owner, Jake Dell, on average, has an orgasmic client once a week.

Fake orgasms every week © Corbis


Katz's owners say that Bill Clinton was asked for two pastrami. Last Saturday Joey Chestnut, the largest hot dog eater in the Nathan's contest, also won the 'pastrami eaters' contest organized by Katz's for the 125th anniversary. The guy took 25 half sandwiches, that is, 12 and a half sandwiches. We assume that with mustard. It is not necessary to reach so much, it is more, they should not even try. With one for two, more companions, it is usually more than enough... Unless you have the serve of Bill Clinton.


Sorry? Yes, yes, Salami and the US Army. Katz's has two famous slogans: “Katz's, that's all”, which can be seen on the facade that they haven't touched since the late 40s; and "Send a salami to your boy in the Army", whose origin dates back to World War II, when its owner then had his three children fighting. Today they continue with this practice and send their sausage (and of t-shirts, caps and aprons, of which we don't know very well the usefulness there) to the soldiers in the front.

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