Which New York Deli (Katz or Carnegie)

May 10th, 2008, 05:10 PM
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Which New York Deli (Katz or Carnegie)

This is our third visit to New York in three years and we really enjoyed the deli experience...not to mention the pestrami and corned beef. We enjoyed our visit to Carnegie Deli in 2006 and we are staying at a hotel near 48th and 8th. We were planning to go back to Carnegie until I read some negative post here? We have a day scheduled in the LES but Carnegie would be a better schedule fit. Is Katz worth the extra time?
Latig is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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iamq is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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Carnegie is for tourists. Katz is the real thing.

And it's pAstrami.
nytraveler is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Second Avenue Deli is superior to Katz which is superior to Carnegie.
May 10th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Katz's is great.
TwoFatFeet is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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I am pretty sure Katz is better than Carnegie with Barney Greengrass being the tops in the city.
Aduchamp would know for sure.
andrew8 is offline  
May 10th, 2008, 08:49 PM
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Thank you Andrew8 for having such confidence in me.

The re-opened Second Avenue Deli is superior to the others in most regards.

I think the pastrami at Katz's is better. We talked with the owner last visit, a most affable fellow and we only spoke about we liked and the changing neighborhood. A rare moment of tact for me.

But when it comes to side dishes such as kasha varnihkas (groats with noodles and onions), potato and noodle koogle (pudding) and even thier french fries, 2nd Ave's are exceptional. When you sit they give gribbenes (fried chicken skins which from the resndering of chicken fat called schmaltz) health salad, (cole slaw w/o mayo) and new and sour pickles that are crisp and delcious. A new gimmick is a gratis shot of chocolate soda as a chaser.

Stage and Carnegie are sadly for show and nowhere in the class of Katz's and 2nd Ave.

I do not eat at Barney Greengrass that often to give an educated opinions, but those I trust say it is just a step below Katz's and 2nd Ave but way above Stage and Carnegie

Ben's and Sarge's were disappointing. There is a Queens transplant in the Chelsea market that I have not had a chance to sample.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 04:16 AM
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+1 for Katz.
gb944 is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 05:20 AM
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This thread reminds me that I haven't been to Second Avenue Deli's new location yet. Will have to go when I visit family. My mouth is already watering...
TwoFatFeet is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 09:28 AM
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Gribbenes and health salad are like poison and antidote.
Jed is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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The differences among these places isn't sufficient to go out of your way to pick one over any other. Is your deli palate really that refined? My guess is no. My guess is that this is also true for most of the folks stating a preference.

A few key points. Katz's is considered authentic because they haven't changed the decor. They haven't changed the decor at the Carnegie either. Since the neighborhood changed, Katz's has become every bit as much a tourist destination as the Carnegie. You'll be eating largely among tourists at both.

I haven't been to the reopened Secoind Avenue Deli yet, but I'm sure it's excellent. But, again, is your deli palate refined enough to tell the difference?

As for Barney Greengrass, don't go there. It's not a meat place. This isn't deli 101.
EricH is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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The question ErichH raises pertains to most ethnic food. The Jewish style restaurnts In New York are different than those in other cities. (I have not been to Nate and Al's in LA). So the issue becomes what is better or best.

I am very close to a Chinese family and over the years I have learned between good and excellent.

So which do you prefer?

There are differences between the restaurantts. I never use the term genuine because things evolve over the years. Chocolate soda chaser is anything but genuines. To me the food is what counts.

The same holds true for pizza. Many thinks John's is the best but it is not as good as Lombardi's, Pizza Fresca, or Tontonno's.

So do you want something that is good or better?
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 12:25 PM
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Katz? its a sandwich and more of a retro NYC experience. Agree Katz is the real thing but of NY past.

City Bakery
Indian downtown
Dim Sum and bubble tea China town
You really want to high tale it out of the broadway area for the NYC experience. Glad you had such a good time at Carnegie. Call it a big food memory and move on.
Let us know where you go.
Sarah is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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To me retro is a erstaz recreation of what once existed. Katz's has been doing the same thing for years. Simply because it is old does not mean it is of the past.

Much of Chinese food is based on Confucianism or Taoism? So that must make thenm super retero.

By downtown Indian I assume you are referring to East 6th Street between 1st and 2nd, rather than the restaurants on and near lexington Ave above 23rd Street. While we prefer Banjara, Haveli, and Brick Lane, there is a sameness to them. And the cost of rent has increased and while still cheap the bargains are gone and non-Indian restaurants are creeping in.

We have been going to Lex Ave and one place in particular:
81 Lexington Ave
(At 26th St)
New York, NY 10016

It is strictly veggie but the dosas and the variations on the dosas are ourstanding.

Finally, Manhattan Chinatown is finally catching up with Flushing Chinatown in terms of quality. Flushing for years was far superior to most spots in chiantown but things are improving. For dim sum

Jing Fong-a 1,000 seat restaurnt used for weddings, baby banquets and other events. They have dim sum everyday with no concessions to Amercan tastes. Very inexpensive and very good but even with a 1,000 seats there is a long wait on the weekends.

Golden Unicorn is making a comeback. A large space on two upper floors with a bizarre protocol for getting a table. Speak to the young women at the entrance before taking the elevator. Once headed down now returing.

Sweet n' tart very small with no concessions to American tastes less chaotic and bit more expensive.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 03:21 PM
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I think Katz is better than Carnegie.

Iíve eaten at Nate N Alís and Katz is better.

I have not tried Second Avenue.
Abigail06 is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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I'm told that the pastrami at Carnegie is machine sliced so thinner while at Katz's it's hand sliced so thicker. I guess it depends on which you prefer. I've also heard that 2nd ave. deli is better than the other 2 and has the best corned beef.
mclaurie is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 10:18 PM
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Zabar's on 80th and Broadway is fabulous! Best pastrami sandwiches and new pickles!

Not to be missed under any circumstances and to be sought out again and again...
Anna Roz
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May 12th, 2008, 12:26 AM
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At the Zabar's Cafe it is only counter service and really no place to sit, correct?
Aduchamp1 is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 03:24 AM
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There are somw places to sit at the cafe. The food market at Zabar's is great, but the cafe doesn't really feature that stuff. The food at the cafe is only so so, but this is precisely the sort of nonsense you get when you start onto the "go to...for the BEST..."

Stop arguing over "the BEST." Your trip, won't be ruined if your experience is described as "I got some really good..." and skip the arguments over whether going to X was a big mistake because Y is really so much better.

The Carnegie, Stage, Katz's, and (I'm willing to bet) 2nd Avenue delis are all great. Go to the one that fits best into your schedule and you won't have missed anything worth sacrificing anything else for.
EricH is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 09:28 AM
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Actually, one gets the sandwiches at a deli next door and carries it to the cafe.

I was not impressed with Carnegie. It is o.k., lots and lots of meat in those sandwiches, not necessarily tasty but lots, and that appears to be the selling point.

Anna Roz
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