This weekend I ordered pastrami from Katz’s Delicatessen in New York for a New Year treat. We steamed it to perfection this afternoon for a delicious pastrami on rye sandwich, while we watched the NFL playoff games.
We like to order a whole pastrami (about 4 pounds) and steam it “low and slow” (patience is a virtue). We also order a loaf of fresh Jewish rye bread, homemade deli mustard and “half-sour” pickles (which are brined for less time and taste more like a snappy, fresh cucumber).
There’s enough pastrami for a week’s worth of sandwiches. It’s a special treat!
We also enjoy visiting Katz’s on our trips to New York. Their Lower East side restaurant is an institution. On our teenage son’s first trip to New York we took him to Katz’s for lunch before visiting the Statue of Liberty, a memorable expedition.
“In 1888, a small deli by the name of Iceland Brothers was established on Ludlow Street in New York’s Lower East Side by the Iceland brothers,” Katz’s explains. “Upon the arrival of Willy Katz in 1903, the name of the store was officially changed to ‘Iceland & Katz.’ Willy’s cousin Benny joined him in 1910, buying out the Iceland brothers to officially form Katz’s Delicatessen.
“In the early part of the twentieth century, the Lower East Side was home to millions of newly immigrated families. This, along with the lack of public and private transportation, forged a solid community such that Katz’s became a focal point for congregating. On Fridays the neighborhood turned out to enjoy franks and beans, a Katz tradition.
“Each week thousands of visitors from around the world flock to Katz’s to dine in this legendary deli, and to feast on the most delectable sandwiches, platters and meats. But it’s really New Yorkers have made Katz’s Delicatessen what it is, making Katz’s an inherent part of the city’s culture and history.”