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Katz’s Delicatessen


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Aha! I never noticed the round ones. I was with someone that had ordered one of the square ones and tasted it. Might as well have been batter dipped wallpaper paste. What flavor are the round Yonah Schimmel ones?

edited to add:

A bit of research has yielded the following, off the Katz's online menu.

Knishes (square) 3.45

Potato only

Knishes (round) 3.95

Potato, Broccoli, Sweet Potato, Kasha

Next time I'll know...

Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
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I'm not absolutely promising they're from Yonah Schimmel, I'm just saying I've been told that. There are usually several available at Katz's in the round format: potato, sweet potato, kasha and broccoli. It may be a complete coincidence that those correspond to four of the eight types normally available at Yonah Schimmel.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Is Yonah Schimmel's really still good? I haven't been there in probably ten years, but I thought the consensus was that it had gone downhill.

FWIW, I had a couple of Yonah Schimmel knishes (directly from the Yonah Schimmel shop, not from Katz's) maybe 6 months ago, and they were delicious.

Also, this is probably obvious, but I once made the mistake of ordering a pastrami sandwich from a waitress, rather than going up to the counter and doing the routine, chatting with the cutter, asking for juicy, sampling, tipping, etc. Unsurprisingly, I got an OK sandwich, but not nearly as transcendent as I've gotten many times before.

Katz-PastramiTableService.jpg

Ordered from a waitress at a table.

Katz-PastramiTakeout.jpg

Ordered from the cutter at the counter.

At that same table-service lunch, my friend ordered a roast beef sandwich. He was warned that it was cold and rare, but he was unprepared for it to be SO rare, really quite raw in parts, with large expanses of fat, not very appealing overall. Amusingly, an older gentleman in a Katz's shirt was working the room, saying hello to everyone eating at tables. He came over to us, asked where we were from, told a few funny anecdotes, then glanced at my friend's barely-touched sandwich. He chuckled, said "wow, somebody ordered wrong" and walked away... Yes, it's true, I guess, but I kind of expected a little more sympathy...

Anyway, I'll forgive them because the pastrami is so good. And I'll always go to the counter and order my own meat.

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There are advocates of counter service and advocates of table service. I've been through phases of preferring each. Especially when I was younger and there were still culturally appropriate waiters, you could sometimes do better with table service: the guys at the counter had more devotion to the waiters than to the counter customers, it seemed to me. And especially if you made a connection with the waiter, and specified that you wanted fatty or whatever, that preference would be conveyed and honored. Plus, they told great jokes (at some point I may be persuaded to recount the pickle-slicer joke). These days, I prefer the counter because the old-guard waiters all seem to be gone. But I imagine it's still possible to work the table-service angle. I will say, however, that I've done some experimenting with the tipping situation and have never really noticed a difference in the end product. Socializing with the counter guys and showing an interest in the quality of your meat seems to be the big determinant of outcome.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Is Yonah Schimmel's really still good? I haven't been there in probably ten years, but I thought the consensus was that it had gone downhill.

Yes, they are still good. But everything has gone downhill in the last ten years, hasn't it?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I'm not absolutely promising they're from Yonah Schimmel, I'm just saying I've been told that. There are usually several available at Katz's in the round format: potato, sweet potato, kasha and broccoli. It may be a complete coincidence that those correspond to four of the eight types normally available at Yonah Schimmel.

Makes perfect sense and it also makes perfect sense to give more explicit instructions to the person who goes over to get the knish while one is waiting to order his/her pastrami sandwich!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Amusingly, an older gentleman in a Katz's shirt was working the room, saying hello to everyone eating at tables. He came over to us, asked where we were from, told a few funny anecdotes, then glanced at my friend's barely-touched sandwich. He chuckled, said "wow, somebody ordered wrong" and walked away... Yes, it's true, I guess, but I kind of expected a little more sympathy...

That was sympathy :wink: .

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Is Yonah Schimmel's really still good? I haven't been there in probably ten years, but I thought the consensus was that it had gone downhill.

Yes, they are still good. But everything has gone downhill in the last ten years, hasn't it?

Ha! Well it certainly feels that way sometimes... not to change the subject, but it's much harder to get great old-school Italian-American in the city these days. I really miss Andy's Colonial Tavern in East Harlem, for instance. Sal's spaghetti with white clam sauce was to die for.

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My family had a kosher deli for a few years and on occasion, somebody would order a pastrami on white with mayo. A shanda.

What would be the term for a strictly kosher deli serving me a pastrami on white with mayo? It happened to us several years ago. It reminded me of the mayo scene from "The History of White People in America".

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Aha! I never noticed the round ones. I was with someone that had ordered one of the square ones and tasted it. Might as well have been batter dipped wallpaper paste. What flavor are the round Yonah Schimmel ones?

Round are also referred to as "homemade," though I don't know that they are. The square are nasty and out of a box.

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My family had a kosher deli for a few years and on occasion, somebody would order a pastrami on white with mayo. A shanda.

What would be the term for a strictly kosher deli serving me a pastrami on white with mayo? It happened to us several years ago. It reminded me of the mayo scene from "The History of White People in America".

The Goyish Deli.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Is Yonah Schimmel's really still good? I haven't been there in probably ten years, but I thought the consensus was that it had gone downhill.

Yes, they are still good. But everything has gone downhill in the last ten years, hasn't it?

I'll have to be the dissenting voice then. YS's knishes are now uneven, at best (& I think I'm being kind). I have not had a really good one in years, but I've had many bad ones. If nothing else, I am a persistent creature and just cant admit that something's over. Maybe, given your opinion, I'll try again? Sometimes the persistence pays off, however... I had an above mediocre meal at Jackson Diner (the one still in J.Hts.) this past weekend (talk about going against the odds, huh?).

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  • 6 months later...

I ate at Katz's last Friday night. Pastrami sandwich was sooooo good. Split one sandwich with a friend. I put a bit of mustard on mine, and I'm ashamed to say my friend put some ketchup on hers... (YUCK?!?!?!). Another ordered latkes, and the fourth ordered blintz.

P1020111.jpg

I also had my first "egg cream". No egg. No cream. It was a glass of chocolate milk with a splash of seltzer water. Glad I tried it, but won't order it again. Must be an acquired taste, and I live too far from NYC to acquire such a taste (sorry to the New York folks if such speak is considered heresy).

Sat at the waitress-served part of the restaurant. Glad I studied up on the "ticket" system which really irritated the folks in my group who didn't know what they were.

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