Welcome to EatWisconsin, the blog formerly known as Undelicious. This blog will focus on the food, the people, the history, and restaurants in the State of Wisconsin. Though we will focus primarily on the State of Wisconsin, there will be occasional forays into other Cities.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Whirlwind weekend in NYC – Day 1

Some friends and I were in New York on our annual pilgrimage to a major league baseball park. This year's destination was Yankee Stadium. We had two nights in New York, so our eating would be limited. Nonetheless I figured with dinner, lunch and breakfast I would get to visit some great places. Our first stop, the famous Katz's Deli.

To quote the great Public Enemy I "don't believe the hype" of most places until I try them. Usually when someone says that someplace has the best something or another; I usually figure that it is their favorite, but not necessarily the best. Katz's has received universal acclaim for their pastrami, so I was less skeptical than usual, but I wanted to see if it was any better than the Rochester Deli in Waukesha, which I think is excellent and which Dennis the Menace (Getto) said "(Chef/Owner) Dan's hand-carved corned beef or pastrami is as good as that served at the best delis in New York." That's a pretty strong claim; could Katz's be that much better?" Read on to find out…

One we arrived we checked our bags into the hotel and walked about 15 blocks to the Legendary Katz's Delicatessen. On my first visit to Manhattan I had tried a Rueben, but I forgot what restaurant it was at (some deli near Times Square). It was good, but not memorable. That was before I became extremely interested in food and cooking. At Katz's I knew what I was ordering at least a year before I even set foot in the restaurant; Pastrami. The stuff is legendary and I needed to see what all of the fuss was about. Many words have been penned in describing the pastrami at Katz's. Steven Shaw (aka The Fat Guy) from eGullett said this of Katz's "The best pastrami, end of story. People who think otherwise don't understand pastrami." With a review like that from someone who knows an assload more about food than I, how could I order anything else.

As I stepped up to the counter, I was overwhelmed with the smells of pastrami and corned beef. I ordered the pastrami sandwich and was presented with a sample plate with a couple small slices of pastrami to sample while I waited for my sandwich to be assembled. Holy shit was this stuff good. It’s not too often that you try something and a smile appears on your face. Most over-hyped foods rarely live up to their reputation. This one exceeded it. It was smoky, spicy and best of all, moist and well-marbled. I cannot explain how good this tasted! Most pastrami I have had (with the exception of the Rochester Deli in Waukesha) is somewhat dry and not all that pleasant to eat. Not this stuff. I cannot lie; it was one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten, anywhere. The only condiment I added was a touch of mustard. Though it is a large sandwich, I managed to finish it. I couldn't stand the thought of leaving even the most miniscule morsel of this wonderful meal on a plate.

If anyone is ever in New York, you absolutely need to go and try the pastrami. Don't believe me, go to their website and click on the "Worth a 1000 words" tab. Stare at the pastrami then surf over to Midwest Airlines and book your flight.

The rest of the day was spent at Yankee Stadium at numerous bars. My eating was limited to some pretty good pizza in Times Square and some overpriced mediocre pizza at the Yankee Game. After blowing through at least 50 bucks each on beer at Yankee Stadium, the budget wouldn't allow for more eating.

Day 2 posting featuring Chelsea Market and Les Halles coming tomorrow.


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