Sunday, October 16, 2005

Growing Up on Gefilte Fish

Jewish sandwiches have a special place in my heart. It was always a treat when my Dad would make his magnificently delicious sauerkraut and sardine sandwiches. I also loved spooning out jellied aspic and baseball-sized gefilte fish cakes from towering, screw-lipped glass jars onto thin slices of bread.

That's why my visit to Katz's in New York merits particular mention. Katz's is the "delicatessen of all delicatessens," and has etched its way into pop culture--and my heart. You might remember Katz's from the infamous scene in When Harry Met Sally. Or you might also remember it from the wonderful PBS Show
Sandwiches That You Will Like.

After spending a long and humid day in Central Park, Katz's was the ultimate destination to satisfy my rumbling stomach. My companion and I ordered pastrami on rye and a Reuben sandwich with "the works."

The pastrami sandwich was busting at the seams with thick-layered slices of pastrami. I ordered it without mayonnaise or anything else that might interfere with my overall delicatessen experience. The rich, smoky flavor of the pastrami was enough to make it an amazing stand-alone sandwich.

However, I must admit, I did have some problems with the Reuben. The lightly toasted rye bread, the coarsely shredded sauerkraut, and the caramelized swiss cheese were perfect, but the corned beef gave me some problems. It was too tough, and I was surprised by the weird, almost-gamey flavor of the pickling spices.

Their pickles tasted like Claussen's brand, but had an authentic aftertaste of being freshly brined. The thick-cut french fries were crisp on the outside, and hot, fluffy, and creamy on the inside.

Finally, no visit to New York would be complete without gulping down a "chocklity" egg creme. However, the best part of the evening was the "New York" label on my Diet Pepsi. How come the sodas in California aren't labeled similarly?

Ultimately, the message on my cola served as a subtle reminder that the evening I spent at Katz's was a quintessential New York experience.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...