Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dinner at Katz's Deli

Hub and I drove my Mom home to Long Island from my sister's in Pennsylvania yesterday. There was little traffic, so hub decided to get to the Island via Manhattan, usually an exercise in frustration, traffic, honking horns, crazy driving, and a waste of of time and gas. But in another century hub spent a summer as a cab driver in New York City and occasionally wants to relive those days.

We entered Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel. It is a great entry point to the city. The Statue of Liberty and skyscrapers, visible approaching the tunnel, presented a stunning night time display. The Empire State Building's red, white, and blue lights glowed and other buildings were ablaze in white lights. The lower part of the new Freedom Tower was lit and there was a blinking red light atop the spire, but the upper floors are not complete and occupied, so there was a dark space between the lower lights and blinking red light.

Driving across Canal Street in lower Manhattan, our stomachs began yearning for nourishment - as if we had not eaten recently or gorged ourselves over the past couple of days on a Thanksgiving feast on Thursday and lunch out with friends earlier in the day. But city eateries beckoned. We knew the name of a famous deli in the area, plugged it into the GPS, and a few minutes later not only found the restaurant but, in a New-York-miracle, found a parking spot half a block away. And - another marvel! - did not have to feed the meter. The place was crowded, but we waited only a few minutes for a table.

Katz's Delicatessen is one of those iconic places New Yorkers heard of and/or experienced. Most non-New Yorkers are also familiar with the restaurant and have seen it on screen, whether realizing it or not. The deli is the location of one of the most famous/infamous scenes in movie history. When Harry Met Sally is the movie, and Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan the actor/actress. (disclosure: it is probably PG rated.) Enjoy!
As we prepared to pay the bill and leave, the waitress pointed out which cashier accepted cash and which one credit cards. She informed us, in her very heavy New York accent, that tax and tip were not included on the bill. The cashier would add tax, and we could leave a tip at the table. Then she provided the following Tipping Guide:
I guess nobody can do math anymore - or maybe they figure people are too cheap!
A couple of other pictures of Katz's Deli from our repast last night.

Leaving the deli we passed security guards intent on ensuring everyone paid their bill before exiting.

It was a fun, nostalgic detour. But we all agreed better delis abound, including Ben's Deli near my Mom on the island (there are more than one in the New York area), and Harold's (there are two of them, not connected, but that is another story…) in New Jersey.

Perhaps you are hungry now. I know I am. Snack time!


  1. I just heard Billy Crystal on NPR yesterday and he mentioned Katz deli.

  2. Wonderful, and I loved the replay of the clip from the film. Of course, I never did such a thing!! ;~))

    PS Nora Ephron rocks!!

  3. Mmmmmm, good. Thanks for the tour!

  4. Funny, when I eat a lot, I seem to get hungry sooner than if I don't overeat. Could it be my stomach is already stretched out? :-)

  5. It's fun to be in an iconic place like that, even if the food is just okay. I can understand needing security, sadly, but a tipping chart? And I have to say it: "I'll have what she's having."

  6. I've been dying to revisit Katz' but I've been to Ben's many times and maybe I should just go back to Ben's :-)