Carnegie Deli...is it really all that?

Nov 12th, 2001, 06:41 PM
  #1  
CM in Biloxi
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Carnegie Deli...is it really all that?

Would like opinions on Carnegie Deli. I've been to NYC countless times but have always avoided this place due to it being a "tourist trap." I'm from New Orleans and can smell one a mile away. I thought the menu to be quite expensive (I know, I know, I'm in NYC) for a deli. Is it worth it? Is this a decent, reasonably priced pre-theatre dinner spot? All opinions respected and appreciated.
 
Nov 12th, 2001, 06:48 PM
  #2  
Patrick
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In my humble opinion, yes, you are right. Although the prices seem outrageous, if you figure them by the pound it probably isn't so bad, as most portions are enormous. Frankly I like quality over quantity. Not very good for pre-theatre as you'll want to take half that pastrami sandwich home and we don't want it in the theatre next to us during the show.
 
Nov 12th, 2001, 09:36 PM
  #3  
Barb
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I was there last spring. We had a very entertaining waiter who was the star of a video playing outside - street comedy stuff - really fun. Autographed photos of celebrities everywhere. The sandwiches were excellent (I had a reuben) and are beyond huge, quite expensive. It might be a good option if you were going to split a sandwich. Also the cheesecake is awesome. I am a major cheesecake fan and really enjoyed it. Definitely split the cheesecake - monster sized portion.
 
Nov 12th, 2001, 10:14 PM
  #4  
Louis
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In my book the answer is no. I wish I could tell you the name of the place we went before an afternoon performance in the theater distict. What we had there ran circles around anything we have had at the Carnegie Deli. I guess all I can suggest is walk up the street a few blocks or around the corner from your theater, look, smell and use your judgement. You most likely will beat the Carnegie Deli both in quality and price. However, if you want quantity and a lot of noise, go to Carnegie. Also my wife wanted again to have the NY cheese cake that she knew and loved in the 1940's. There was nothing we found in NYC today that touched it in her eyes and that at Carnegie was in the bottom half. The world has changed and but for others it may be better.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 03:39 AM
  #5  
Gretchen
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Read on some board that these folks were eating at Carnegie--a reuben. The wife took a bite of husband's sandwich and the waitress saw it. She took the bill, crossed out the $11 and put in $14, the cost for sharing. Just a warning. The guy said he crossed out her tip.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 04:39 AM
  #6  
cheaters
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Look it's simple-you can't share at Carnegie unless you order a meal yourself. If you don't like it-don't go there. They are very clear about it and many restaurants do this. Yeah, it's kinda a scam but they give you fair warning. That's the hook with Carnegie. Expensive sandwich - huge sandwich-but you have to be able to eat it to get the value. I think you will like Carnegie...
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 05:03 AM
  #7  
Big Eater
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But it's JUST a sandwich!!!! And what good is it to be so huge? And why so expensive? It's a tourist trap. Please avoid.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 05:29 AM
  #8  
curious
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NO, no, no, it is a tourist trap! My husband and I went last fall. I ordered soup, he a sandwich. I saw that there was a sharing charge put I really didn't want to split the sandwich, just have my soup. If you split the sandwich they give you your own plate, etc. Well, as we always do when eating out, my husband tasted my soup and I had one, yes only one bite of his sandwich. Guess what, the waitress added $ 4.00 to the bill! We didn't tip either.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 06:36 AM
  #9  
x
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Be a rebel. Eat at the Stage Deli, down the street a block or 2 from the Carnegie. It seems to be a little cleaner and a little less surley. Same huge sandwiches, same huge prices, and either one is a NY institution. You want a tourist trap? Go to the ESPN Zone or Planet Hollywood.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 06:42 AM
  #10  
Philip
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The Carnegie Deli is really set up for the tourists. If deli food is what you are looking for, there are better delis outside of the theater district. (The Carnegie should be ashamed of themselves for charging a sharing fee. You bought the meat who cares what you do with it.)

If you are looking for a pre-theater dinner spot, there are plenty of reasonably priced restaurants in the theater district with good meals.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 07:21 AM
  #11  
Mira
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Others can recommend good pre/post theater spots (I sually eat before the theater at home) but if you want deli, make the trip downtown 2nd Avenue Deli (2nd avenue and 10th street). Yes, there will be some tourists, mostly what we call the "bridge and tunnel crowd"--i..e suburbanites) but also you'll get a smattering of uptowners, east village hipsters, slightly lower prices (sandwiches about $9, still huge) but I think much better food. Alas, if you're looking for cheesecake, you won't find it as they only serve kosher foods (no dairy products served at this meat restaurant). They are open 7 days a week , though
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 07:49 AM
  #12  
curious
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Sorry, I couldn't finish my previous post. It's one thing to charge a sharing fee if the person is getting their own plate and truly sharing, but quite another to charge them for taking one bite! That's outrageous! Talk about feeling taken. Besides, the soup was awful, the service truly was surly and my husband says that 2nd Avenue deli is much better. We really felt like fools for eating there. Never again.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 07:54 AM
  #13  
Owen O'Neill
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I've had lunch a few times at Ben's on 36th between 7th and 8th. A Reuben or a corned beef sandwich is more like $8 or $9 but may be a bit smaller than Carnegie or Stage deli. Pay the extra $1 to get the leaner corned beef - it's worth the difference. It's primarily people who work in the area in for lunch - not a tourist trap. The pickles and coleslaw are excellent and service has always been friendly and efficient on my visits.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 08:14 AM
  #14  
Sandy
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We were just in NYC this past weekend (Nov 2-5) and ate at Carnegie (it's a tourist trap, we're tourist, so there you have it).

The sandwiches were a foot tall, overpriced, hard to eat, not delicious, edible but that's it. Our waitress was surly, never smiled, didn't check on us, practically threw the check at us.

As far as we're concerned, it was a one-time experience . . . we found many more wonderful places to eat and great waiters/waitresses.

Someone here recommended Da Nico's in Little Italy and it was GREAT (and cheap). Our waiter (Lubick) was very nice, friendly and warned us that the portions were large. For the four of us, we ordered a salad, a pizza, and a pasta dish . . . we stuffed ourselves and had lots o' food leftover. With a bottle of wine and tip, the bill was only $71. We sat outside in the balmy weather and enjoyed the fascinating people watching. Thank you to whoever suggested this place to us.

My 2? worth.
Sandy
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 08:36 AM
  #15  
?
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I bet they always get the story that "it was only 1 bite!!!"
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 08:41 AM
  #16  
curious
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I don't care what story they get. All I know is I took a bite of my husbands sandwich and they charged me $ 4.00. At least we had the satisfaction of stiffing her.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 09:01 AM
  #17  
Patrick
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It's one thing to boycott a restaurant if you don't like their policies. Clearly one should never go back (or even leave before ordering) if you don't like their clearly stated non sharing policy. But I can't believe that people then take away the server's tip because they are doing their job and enforcing the rules of the restaurant. You only tip servers who cheat their boss??? I'm sure these waitresses are not the ones who set the policy. Why do you stiff them for doing their job?
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 09:08 AM
  #18  
lisa
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I have bad news for you -- the "surly" waitstaff is part of the shtick at Carnegie Deli. It's part of what makes the Carnegie the Carnegie. Have you ever been to Peter Luger's? Same deal and you pay even more for the privilege. I think the Carnegie is an adventure that is worth trying. On the other hand, the Stage Deli is good, too.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 09:14 AM
  #19  
curious
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Yes Lisa, I've been to Peter Lugars. I even tasted a bite of my husband's sirloin and guess what? They didn't charge me for doing so. They actually treated us as customers rather than ATM machines. I also remember liking the waiter very much.
 
Nov 13th, 2001, 09:33 AM
  #20  
jack
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curious - something tells me you are the type that says to the traffic cop "How dare you give me a ticket! I only ran 1 stop sign!" or pleads before the IRS "How dare you fine me! My deductions were only off by $1000!".

Rules are rules; if you don't like them then don't play the game. And certainly don't hold the ref in contempt for blowing the whistle on a foul.
 

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